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Should Porn Stars Be Forced To Wear Condoms? Californians Are Voting Today

By November 9, 2016 February 9th, 2017 No Comments

As anyone who has been on social media for even a second today knows, today is voting day. All across the country, people are heading to the polls to cast their votes for the presidential election and also local, state, and other federal officials. Today, that includes a unique ballot for a state proposition in California. According to a report by USA Today, California voters are now weighing in on the type of workplace safety issue that doesn’t come up often in ballots: whether porn stars should have to wear condoms.

People who support Proposition 60 say it is needed to the lower disease risk to performers, especially due to issues in recent years with some actors carrying the AIDS virus. The proposition would require licensing of adult film producers, make distributors and agents liable for violations and would allow lawsuits against for producers.

Rick Taylor, manager of the Yes on 60 campaign explained the proposition in an interview:

“This law is [already] a law that the pornographers have decided they would disobey, and they have. What we’re trying to do is put some teeth and close a few loop holes in it that protects workers in that industry. We believe those workers are just as important as any worker that goes onto a construction site, plays baseball, they all have to wear helmets. We’re saying if you got to wear a helmet to be on a construction site, you have to wear a “helmet” to go on that film stage.”

Opponents of the bill are largely members of the porn industry. Many porn stars and producers have taken to their Twitter accounts for the last several months to speak out against the bill, saying that it would negatively affect their business.

The debate focuses attention on southern California’s in particular, since it is the traditional home to the porn industry, an industry that reportedly generates $97 worldwide and $12 billion in the United States. Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley is infamously referred to as “Porn Valley” by many, because of all the porn studios in the area.

California’s workplace safety enforcement agency, Cal-OSHA, will have the responsibility to make sure porn actors wear condoms in adult films. Plus, Los Angeles voters approved a measure in 2012 requiring condom use. Proposition 60 supporters say enforcement of that law isn’t vigorous enough because the agency only acts on complaints. Only four citations were issued in 2014 and 2015, the state’s legislative analyst says. This new proposition would enforce the law more consistently.

One in four performers in the porn industry have sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhea in far greater proportions than the general population, says the For Adult Industry Responsibility (FAIR) Committee. As the organization that is backing the proposition, they say those who don’t wear protection pose a wider threat than just to fellow porn actors.

“The diseases contracted in the porn studios don’t always stay in the studios or in the porn industry. In one widely publicized case last year, a porn actor had sex with 17 people outside the industry (and with five others inside the industry) in 22 days before it was discovered he had HIV,” said the committee.

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While Fight the New Drug doesn’t have a particular political affiliation, we do support measures that protect the health and safety of individuals and also helps others to realize the potential harms of pornography.

Regardless of the outcome, this bill shows the harsh environment that many porn stars have to endure, and the unhealthy behaviors that create it. In a study done on 177 female porn stars, the performers reported having more sexual partners in their personal life in the past year than most the regular women had in a lifetime. The performers reported an average of 74 sexual partners in their lifetime, compared to the non-performer average of just 5. Similarly, the porn stars were far more concerned with getting an STD than the average woman. It’s also interesting to note that performers were also more likely to have experimented with drugs and have a history of alcohol abuse.

At the end of the day, the porn industry is a sketchy industry that promotes and profits off the exploitation of others. We don’t support harmful and corrupt businesses, which is why we don’t support the porn industry.

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