WASHINGTON - Pornography now is so widespread in the United States that it deserves to be addressed seriously as a major public health crisis, a panel of activists has revealed. On the eve of a two-day conference on sexual exploitation, they suggested that porn be tackled in the same manner as teenage smoking or drunk driving. “There’s an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media, which has campaigned against pornography since 1962.

“There’s a lot of science now proving that pornography is harmful,” Hawkins told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington. “We know now that almost every family in America has been touched by the harm of pornography.”