Autor: Stuart Shepard Fuente: Family News In Focus

Senate committee discusses pornography and the First Amendment.

Experts on pornography's effects on brain chemistry testified at a Senate hearing this week where a key point of discussion was whether porn is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment or addictive material that should be unlawful.

Psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover described how pornography is analogous to cigarettes, noting that "it is a very carefully designed delivery system for evoking a tremendous flood within the brain of endogenous opioids."

It's time, he added, to stop regarding it as simply a form of expression.

"Modern science," Satinover said, "allows us to understand that the underlying nature of an addiction to pornography is chemically nearly identical to a heroin addiction."

Dr. Mary Anne Layden with the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania explained how a pornographic image is burned into the brain's pathways.

"That image is in your brain forever," she explained. "If that was an addictive substance, you, at any point for the rest of your life, could in a nanosecond draw it up."

Dr. Judith Reisman, president of the Institute for Media Education, called on the Senate to take action against pornography, saying it's time to mandate that law enforcement begin to collect all data and pornographic materials found in the possession of anyone involved in criminal activity.

Doing so, she added, would yield data showing whether pornography is being used as a how-to manual for sex crimes.

"The evidence the panelists presented showed an overwhelming harm from pornography," said Daniel Weiss, media and sexuality analyst with Focus on the Family.

He hopes the Senate will turn the evidence into action.
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