A town in Australia wants to become the world's first porn-free city.
As part of a campaign to combat violence against women, city leaders and Christian ministries in Toowoomba, Australia, are working together to eliminate porn from their community entirely. A local church group, City Women Toowoomba, is leading the effort supported by the mayor Paul Antonio.
The campaign addresses porn as a public health disaster that promotes gender-specific stereotypes of dominance and aggression in men.
Up to 300 people, mostly men, attended a rally at a public park last week and pledged, "I won't view porn and I will help create a city free from porn."
A local ABC affiliate spoke with John Minz, chairman of Toowoomba Together, a local organization that raises awareness about domestic violence issues. Minz described porn as a "social cancer," adding, "politicians and police are doing what they can in relation to drugs and alcohol, but who is taking responsibility in relation to pornography? The answer is no one."
Studies show that consuming porn can hardwire pathologies in the human brain in the same way that drug use can, altering the reward center to compulsively desire the dopamine hit that viewing porn can bring.
City Women Chief Executive Letitia Shelton of Toowoomba said that an actual porn-free city "sounds very ambitious and unlikely," but she believes that curbing its negative influences, and shedding light on this issue, to be a worthy cause.
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