By Ashley Steeb
A new edition to the Republican party platform includes a declaration that viewing pornography is damaging to the viewer’s health.
“The internet must not become a safe haven for predators,” the platform reads. “Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public crisis that is destroying the lives of millions.”
Delegates approved the platform at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week.
John Shafer, director of counseling and student health center at Franklin College, said viewing pornography becomes unhealthy when people are addicted. Pornography addiction can break up relationships and families because the person is unsatisfied unless they are viewing these videos.
Shafer does not claim to be an expert on the topic, but he works with the main demographic that views the videos—high school, college and young males. Shafer said viewing legal pornography can be done in a healthy manner. However, he did name a major exception.
“Child pornography is a whole different situation,” Shafer said. “If it’s illegal and people are taking advantage of children or people are participating in activities that are not legal, that’s a whole different level. Then, I would say that yes, of course, that’s unhealthy.”
Treatments for pornography addiction are similar to treatments for any other type of addiction, according to Shafer. The viewer has to separate themselves completely from the pornography.
It seems pornography is not a topic many are eager to discuss. Eight Indiana delegates and multiple health departments in Indiana declined to comment on the platform’s stance for this story.