This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Utah Legislature recently rejected the idea of adopting a comprehensive sexual education program instead of the state's existing abstinence-only curriculum so porn site xHamster has decided to take matters into its own hands.
This week, the website began redirecting web traffic originating from Utah to a non-explicit sub-site featuring sex-ed videos.
"Utahns consume the most porn per capita of any state, but have some of the lowest levels of sexual education," xHamster says in a pop-up to the site. "We're here to change that."
Members of Utah's House Education Committee acknowledged on Monday that the abstinence-based approach currently used in schools is having little effect in lessening rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
"Things are broken," said Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns.
"Let's not put our heads in the sand and think we don't have a problem," added Rep. Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton.
Those statements were made after the committee rejected by a 12-2 vote along party lines HB215, sponsored by Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, which would have allowed for both abstinence-based and comprehensive programs, with parents able to select one of those options or opt out completely on behalf of their child.
"I'm not ready to go here yet," Hutchings said.
That decision, xHamster announced in a blog post, led the website to decide that Utahns could perhaps do with some additional sex-ed options after all.
"Beginning immediately, we're rerouting all xHamster traffic from Utah to our comprehensive sex ed series, The Box," the blog post said, adding that it had developed the materials over the past year, based on questions from porn viewers.
"While we love porn," the post said, "we don't think that it should be relied on for sex ed any more than Star Wars is a substitute for science class."