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Petition urges porn harms be considered

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/04/2017

After important conversations about consent and rape culture, there are calls for an expert panel to consider the societal harms of pornography on New Zealanders.

A petition with more than 22,000 signatures, calling for an investigation of the public health effects of porn, will be presented to major political party leaders in Wellington on Wednesday.

Family First is sponsoring the petition and national director Bob McCoskrie says the response received in the first two months is indicative of community concern around the issue.

"Society is starting to catch up with the science on the harms of pornography," he said.

"Research shows that children who are exposed to pornography develop skewed ideas about sex and sexuality, which lead to negative stereotypes of women, sexual activity at a young age, and increased aggression in boys."

Mr McCoskrie said porn also placed pressure on young women leading to eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and depression.

"If we want to tackle sexual violence, we must first admit the role that pornography plays and the harm that it does to attitudes and actions," he said.

National, Labour, NZ First, Maori Party and Green Party MPs will accept the petition on the steps of parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

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