Earlier this month, the state Senate unanimously passed a resolution acknowledging the danger that pornography poses to individuals, families and communities, noting it "promotes and encourages sexually toxic expectations and behaviors," and "contributes to the hyper-sexualization of children, adolescents and adults."
Melea Stephens, LPC, MMFT, founder of the Rescue Innocence Movement, sees the resolution as a needed step in fighting the plague of pornography.
"As a marriage and family therapist in private practice for 20 years, I have become intimately familiar with the devastating effects associated with today's easily accessible internet pornography," she wrote in an op-ed about Alabama's resolution.
Stephens has seen many marriages crumble due to pornography. "Because I frequently focus on infidelity recovery and sexual intimacy enhancement cases, I have become very familiar with the often long-term negative effects of hardcore internet pornography on sexual intimacy, sexual performance, trust, fidelity and self-esteem in committed relationships," she said.
Stephens calls Alabama's move a "needed resolution" that will make the state's citizens more aware of the devastating effects of pornography.
"I am also familiar with the isolation, anxiety, depression, compulsive sexual behavior and erectile dysfunction associated with pornography addiction," she said. "What I did not know ... until halfway through my career was the often immediate and damaging effects of exposure to hardcore internet pornography on the developing brain of a child," she said.
Children are accessing pornography at alarming rates, inadvertently and intentionally. "Families have brought in their children to our clinic, boys and girls, ages 6–11, who were addicted to internet pornography," she lamented. "By addicted, I mean they were 'hooked' after one or two exposures to pornography and would go to great lengths to gain access.
She also confirms the correlation that exists between pornography and sex trafficking. "Three trafficking survivors were referred to me, two of whom were forced to create pornography."
Stephens equates internet pornography with obscenity, which violates the law, and laments that these laws are not being enforced.
It is well documented that pornography alters the brain and is highly addictive. According to Covenant Eyes:
Paragraph 2354 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes pornography as "a grave offense," and calls on civil authorities to "prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials."
Lust in itself is one of the seven deadly sins. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds His followers that "anyone who looks on a woman with lust commits adultery in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
Paragraph 2352 of the Catechism also states "masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action," violating natural law and contradicting the meaning and purpose of sexual love.
Despite the statistics of what widespread obscenity in the form of pornography does to the brain, relationships, families and society, politicians and law enforcement do little about it. On resolutions declaring pornography a public health crisis , Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia are leading the way.