Utah recently declared pornography a health crisis and a resolution that deals with the problem at a societal level.
South Carolina is considering a similar proposition.
The resolution will use “education, prevention, research, law enforcement and policy change at the community and societal level,” according to ABC news. The law will also increase punishments for repeat offenders.
William Struthers, professor of neuroscience at Wheaton college, agrees that pornography should still be a health crisis, but sees the issue from a unique perspective. As an expert on the effects of pornography, he argued that because pornography affects every attribute of a person, it is not only a health issue, but a societal one.
When discussing the issue, Struthers said Christians should be “rooted in theology of the body. We need to start thinking about the culture.”
While Struthers supports legislation that protects children from accidental and intentional viewing of pornography, he explained that he is less focused on legislating adult viewing. He said he believes that adults are more capable of selecting filters.
Struthers said that children who view pornography are more prone to negative behavior, both parents and the government should work to protect them.
Struthers added that parents need to step in and establish filters. He said though solving the problem is important, parents should also consider what message their children are receiving.
DeAnne Terrell, professor of family sexuality, agreed with Struthers, saying, “I think it would be lovely if there would be a way to engage people in honest connection with each other… so that healthy relationships would be the norm.” She added that this problem cannot be fixed by a policy position.
Struthers said pornography should not be made illegal just because it changes the brain. He said the brain is always changing.
He said the changes pornography makes to the brain affects a person’s faith. “Pornography…reinforces habits of behavior that are inconsistent with what it means to be a Christian. ”
Struthers also said pornography “affects every aspect of who we are,” and the problem must be discussed on an individual level if it is going to be solved.
Struthers said, “People need to first grasp a narrative of human nature and human flourishing… From that it will dictate the manner in which you grasp what it means to be a sexual creature.”
He said there are three main ways to view sex: from a realist, gnostic or romantic narrative. However, Christians need to find the Gospel narrative.
Struthers said churches have often reverted to a narrative that takes from the three world narratives, and that they have communicated pseudo-gnostic with sprinkling of romantic and realist narrative.
“We need to chuck all of that and go back to what the Bible says,” Struthers concluded.