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Porn reduces rape?
August 25, 2006 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Porn Up, Rape Down
posted by caddis (54 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Spring Forward, Fall Back
posted by Eekacat at 9:47 AM on August 25, 2006


Pimps up, hoes down!
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:49 AM on August 25, 2006


Global Warming Up, Pirates Down
posted by GeekAnimator at 9:50 AM on August 25, 2006


Vindicated at last!

This news is almost as good as this was.
posted by mds35 at 9:52 AM on August 25, 2006


Apple up, apple down.
posted by NationalKato at 9:54 AM on August 25, 2006


That's great news - I'm not sure it's too surprising though - let people who would be violent criminals have an outlet, and it's bound to help.

Now let's get going on legalizing prostitution!
posted by agregoli at 10:25 AM on August 25, 2006


A good test of this theory would be to observe a culture that, initially, was very permissive about porn, but became more restrictive over time.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:30 AM on August 25, 2006


I'm waiting for the president of the so-called "Concerned Women for America" to just explode.
posted by drstein at 10:30 AM on August 25, 2006


Speaking of the CWA, did anyone notice the debate on NPR this morning about not airing the 9-11 doc because of the firemen's cursing? Because you know, the cursing might upset the children who are watching.
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:37 AM on August 25, 2006


Rape has declined 85% in the past 25 years?! That's frickin' amazing, especially given that social taboos against reporting rape have been significantly weakened. It certainly represents a great social gain. Wow.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:38 AM on August 25, 2006


Bed goes up, bed goes down
posted by Smedleyman at 10:39 AM on August 25, 2006


Another test of this theory (which is necessarily flawed by the multitude of social mores involved), would be to compare countries with porn galore (like the Netherlands) with countries with a dearth of porn (like Turkmenistan? I dunno, I'd have to a little research here...) and their respective rape rates.

Maybe this has been done?
posted by kozad at 10:40 AM on August 25, 2006


There was a big article in our paper about a christian conservative group attempting to get hardcore porn in hotels (on demand) stopped, including a ridiculous public service announcement style poster that said "If it begins with a click" (picture of remote control) "and ends with a sexual assault crime, maybe it's time to rethink hardcore pornography."
See here.

To which I say, can't you extend the concept out to anything?

"If it begins with talking, and ends with murder, maybe it's time to rethink free speech communication with humans. Did you know that 99% of all murders begin with talking?"

Sigh.
posted by disillusioned at 10:49 AM on August 25, 2006


It begind with car keys, it ends with child murder. Maybe it's time to rethink automobiles.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2006


Den: I heard the same thing and had to shake my head.
posted by rikschell at 10:55 AM on August 25, 2006


Hammer down! Rabbit ears!
posted by jenovus at 11:00 AM on August 25, 2006 [3 favorites]


I used the same methodology and sources as the author and noticed that not only did internet access decrease the incidence of rape, it also decreased the incidence of vehicular theft and murder.

There are only two possible conclusions: either a) Grand Theft Auto is the most effective crime deterrent ever or b) The author of this article is an imbecile.
posted by justkevin at 11:01 AM on August 25, 2006


Since I started watching porn I haven't raped anyone.
posted by Mick at 11:03 AM on August 25, 2006


The difference, of course, is that nobody consistently claimed that Internet access or Grand Theft Auto will increase the number of rapes. Such a claim has been made of porn.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:03 AM on August 25, 2006


Kind of interesting, I find it hard to be conclusive based on what is written there. The author hints at some of the problems, I am unconvinced that correlation implies causation. It may be true, but it needs more than a 6 page article written with needless anecdotes and comparisons to be convincing.

It is interesting that out of the 8 states he cites 5 of them show an increase in sexual violence, yet nationally the rate is down.
posted by edgeways at 11:03 AM on August 25, 2006


If it begins with dick, it ends with a click. Just say "thanks, just not for me (not that there's anything wrong with it)" to gay porn.
posted by hal9k at 11:06 AM on August 25, 2006


Face down, ass up
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:07 AM on August 25, 2006


No, it begins with downloading MP3s and ends with running over school kids with your car.

Weird Al said it. It is, therefore, quite unarguably true.
posted by Floach at 11:08 AM on August 25, 2006


Just to be clear, I'm not claiming that porn causes rape. I'm claiming that the author's methodology isn't just poor, it's ridiculous.

He points out that 3 states with high Internet access saw declines in rape between 1980 and 2000. Remember the Internet porn epidemic of the 1980s?
posted by justkevin at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2006


I was joking with my title. The notion that porn reduces rape is pretty far fetched (although no one has proven it doesn't). Perhaps one could argue that this data tends to refute the argument that porn causes rape. The whole thing just seems to contradict lots of messages we have been given about porn and rape and that's what made it interesting, not that any real conclusions can be drawn from such limited data.
posted by caddis at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2006


disillusioned: Ah, our friends at the "Concerned Women for America" and the "Family Research Council." Both are just fronts for religious extremist groups, who want all television to be Barney and Mary Poppins.
posted by drstein at 11:13 AM on August 25, 2006


If it begins with a click, it ends with a moralizing bunch of asswipes looking over your shoulder with handcuffs at the ready.
posted by blucevalo at 11:19 AM on August 25, 2006


drstein writes "Both are just fronts for religious extremist groups, who want all television to be Barney and Mary Poppins."

Mary Poppins?! That fucking drug pusher?! A spoonful of sugar, indeed.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:24 AM on August 25, 2006


IRC comment from a MoFi member:

"I don't know whether or not porn affects the incidence of rape, but that paper does nothing to prove that it does. Not only does the author not define rape (and how to define it is an argument all by itself), but he says nothing about his data source for rape statistics other than citing it. Where does it come from (police reports only?), how comprehensive is it? Are some regions better about reporting than others? Not to mention that internet use is hardly an ideal proxy for porn use. Assuming his data source was valid, what are some other things that may affect both rape and access to the internet (ie a confounder), did he control for those things? I hardly see evidence in that lightweight paper."
posted by Melinika at 11:31 AM on August 25, 2006


"... who want all television to be Barney and Mary Poppins."
That's some kinky porn, right there.
posted by todbot at 11:39 AM on August 25, 2006


Just to be clear, I'm not claiming that porn causes rape. I'm claiming that the author's methodology isn't just poor, it's ridiculous.

I agree. As a First Amendment absolutist, I'm sympathetic to the argument, but most of the article engages in post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning (i.e., porn came before a drop in rape rates, therefore porn caused the drop) instead of presenting any coherent causal mechanism for how pornography affects rape rates. It also ignores previous research on whether pornography consumption affects rape rates, such as Baron and Straus's analysis of pornographic magazine consumption and rape rates at the state level. It also completely ignores any reference to how criminologists have been driving themselves crazy try to identify the causes of a massive post-1992 crime drop that has reduced rates substantially for violent crime, drug crime, and property crime, not just rape and other sex crimes. The breadth of the drop in crime suggests that the drop in rape rates cannot be explained by sexual causes all by themselves.
posted by jonp72 at 11:44 AM on August 25, 2006


This sorta reminds me of an essay by Naomi Wolf that speculates that porn has the effect of reducing male libido (discussed here), and to me it sounds like a reasonable but difficult to prove assertation. It has been documented that the Japanese are having a declining birth rate and sex less often, and I've wondered if that has anything to do with the amount of Japanese pornography that's available.
posted by bobo123 at 11:48 AM on August 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Rape may be down, but ejaculating on a woman's face is now considered normative behavior among teenagers.
posted by mert at 11:49 AM on August 25, 2006


The biggest danger porn poses is teaching men poor oral sex technique.
posted by SBMike at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2006


"porn" is far too general a term. Is we talking glossy tanned shorn fake sex or spontaneous "amateur" activity, S & M or uninhibited consensual diddling?

If all (or most) porn being viewed depicted men taking women against their obvious will and causing physical damage then I don't doubt it would actually spawn an increase in sexual crime.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2006


Grand Theft Auto is the most effective crime deterrent ever.
That's true! All those hundreds of hours I spent sitting on my couch, mashing my PS2 controller—why, I could have been out robbing banks, stealing cars, raping women, and murdering cops. But instead I merely learned how to get real good at driving across town with a five-star wanted rating.
...but ejaculating on a woman's face is now considered normative behavior among teenagers.
Hey, so long as the Dirty Sanchez doesn't become popular, I'm happy. Seriously though, this is nothing new, and has nothing to do with declining rape rates. I remember when I was a teen I had a girlfriend who liked pearl necklaces, although neither of us knew it was called that. Good thing too, or else I might've become a rapist!
posted by nlindstrom at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2006


Corrilation != causation. I doubt the two things are related, although pornography that shows healthy, non-violent, consensual sexual relationships could help to reduce rape and so forth, basically "normalizing" acceptable behavior for people having sex.

However porno which shows violent and non-consensual sex would have the opposite effect. Most porn seems to be of the first variety, though.

Still, I would attribute the changes to other things.
posted by delmoi at 12:09 PM on August 25, 2006


I learned to speak full sentences right around when his "statistics" cite a decrease in rape.

Therefore, unraped women of the world, you have my loquaciousness to thank.
posted by klangklangston at 12:10 PM on August 25, 2006


"Rape may be down, but ejaculating on a woman's face is now considered normative behavior among teenagers."

It's how they greet each other!
posted by klangklangston at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2006


I used the same methodology and sources as the author and noticed that not only did internet access decrease the incidence of rape, it also decreased the incidence of vehicular theft and murder.

There are only two possible conclusions: either a) Grand Theft Auto is the most effective crime deterrent ever or b) The author of this article is an imbecile.


Huh? What methodology is that? What the hell are you talking about?
posted by delmoi at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2006


TheJesseHelms wins.
posted by dminor at 12:34 PM on August 25, 2006


Vomit up. Boogie down.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:52 PM on August 25, 2006


"Normative", heh, heh. That's how the guy on Cheers acts.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2006


This is sort of like how Levitt claimed that the drop in overall violent crime was due to Roe v Wade.

You know, except for the fact that Levitt sifted through all available relevent data and showed his work.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:10 PM on August 25, 2006


I am reminded of a Denis Miller joke (from before he started all the name calling)

"If there's an edgy loner wandering alone in the streets at 3am and he wants a dirty magazine, I say we sell it to him!"
posted by lumpenprole at 2:11 PM on August 25, 2006


Goatse has made us all permanently impotent
posted by pieisexactlythree at 4:08 PM on August 25, 2006


mert:
Rape may be down, but ejaculating on a woman's face is now considered normative behavior among teenagers.


It's the sacrifice we all have to make. Repeatedly.
posted by spaltavian at 5:24 PM on August 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Reports of self abuse, however, have skyrocketed.
posted by redteam at 7:33 PM on August 25, 2006


Two lines from that article really grabbed me:

"Today, purveyors of Internet porn earn a combined annual income exceeding the total of the major networks ABC, CBS and NBC."

". . . some high school teachers of sex education are beginning to show triple-X porn movies to their students in order to depict techniques of satisfactory intercourse."


My Gawd, are these assertions actually true?
posted by jason's_planet at 8:09 PM on August 25, 2006


"some high school teachers of sex education are beginning to show triple-X porn movies"
I call complete and utter bullshit on that unless someone can cite a case.
posted by 2sheets at 9:08 PM on August 25, 2006


Obviously we aren't talking about American high schools. We only teach abstinence education here. Why would we teach them how to do something they aren't doing?
posted by graventy at 9:25 PM on August 25, 2006


Rape may be down, but ejaculating on a woman's face is now considered normative behavior among teenagers.

What's wrong with ejaculating on a woman's face? I thought it WAS normal.
posted by bradth27 at 7:53 AM on August 26, 2006


I'm still giggling at delmoi describing most porn encounters as "healthy, non-violent, consensual sexual relationships." Porn is okay with me, probably contributes some good (and some bad) images/ideas. But I'm not sure I would look to porn as a model for healthly sexual relationships.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:01 AM on August 26, 2006


But I'm not sure I would look to porn as a model for healthly sexual relationships.

I do.

Thanks to Internet porn, I now know that if I roll around Queens in a van and kick around a few suave lines, I can pick up random women on the street and they'll have sex with me in the back of the van!

Internet porn has been very good to me.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:17 PM on August 26, 2006


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