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Porn vs Rape

Chris Samuel blogs about a plan to censor porn from the Internet in Australia. According to the ZDNet article the Fundamentalist Christian party Family First wants a national porn filter to protect children.

However there is strong evidence to suggest that the incidence of rape decreases as the availability of pornography increases. Access to porn prevents rapes!

The question is whether protecting people (mostly women and children) from rape is more important than protecting the strange and unusual (by the standards of modern Australian society) religious beliefs of a minority of people who oppose porn.

The current research on porn vs rape is based on comparing different regions of the US with different levels of Internet access. It would be more accurate if a scientific test could be performed in a controlled environment. The US has the largest number of prisoners of any country and the largest proportion of the population in prison of any first-world country and rape is common in prison. It would be easy to grant access to porn to one cell block of a prison and deny access to another and then record the incidence of reported rape (currently in the US porn is restricted in prisons and masturbation in prison is a crime). The results of such research could be used to devise government policy with the aim of protecting people from rape. Of course that would require compassion – something that’s extremely uncommon in politicians particularly the ones that claim to be Christian.

Some people are requesting the creation of Christian Porn – so Porn and Christianity don’t have to be opposed. The same site has an interesting page Masturbation: God’s Great Gift to Us. Now if all those rapists could be encouraged to watch Christian Porn and take advantage of God’s Great Gift then the world would be a better place.

16 comments to Porn vs Rape

  • Nils

    This was very interesting reading, thanks alot for posting it! I could not agree more, really.

  • Most interesting reading. I never knew masturbation to be a crime (guess it is indecent exposure) in prisons, and the paper that rape decreases as pornography increases is probably true.

    Take the northern states in Malaysia for example. OK, porn is banned in the country, but in the northern states, religious extremism is a lot more prevalent. And guess what? A lot of rape (sadly, even of animals) have occurred. So I do agree that porn probably helps reduce rape – if a man’s feeling the need, there’s always porn and a hand to sort him out.

  • Dave Winquist

    I use A LOT of porn, and have committed zero rapes. WFM.

  • Brian

    Some jails in Denmark actually have 2 non-stop porn channels in the cells, so if the inmates have a TV they can watch as much as they please. I have heard guards say that this is a very effective way to keep the inmates calm, that they (the inmates) are far less aggresive.

    The funny thing is that it has been tried in retirement homes too with the same results (“inmates” more calm).

    /Brian

  • etbe

    Colin: Even when the animals consent I think that human porn is better than bestiality.

    Dave: Thanks for sharing. But I have to note that a sample size of 1 is not statistically significant.

    Brian: That’s interesting!

    http://fortytwo.ch/blog/archives/2007/07/#e2007-07-30T17_44_51.txt
    I was expecting to get a lot of low-quality responses to this. So far the only one is at the above URL. Someone who didn’t read the cited paper and insinuates a link with drug trafficking, slavery, and money laundering. He really should have claimed that pornographers are terrorists.

  • I agree with the content of your post, but I’m curious about the “Christian Porn” site you link to.

    At least to me it appears that site is actually mocking Christianity rather then seriously suggesting that Christian porn is a viable option?

  • etbe

    Adam: It’s difficult to tell. I used to think that http://www.chick.com/ was mocking Christianity but people tell me it’s serious (and it would be a lot of effort for a joke site).

    In any case the theories advocated on the SexInChrist.com site seem consistent and based on the bible. Even if the authors were satirising Christianity that doesn’t prevent others from believing it.

  • etbe

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joycelyn_Elders

    A comment via email pointed out that some of the ideas of Joycelyn Elders are similar to these.

  • etbe:

    The world certainly is a wonderful place … I love that about it, but wow … just wow …

  • Thanks for the rude response to my comment.

    That parts of the porn industry is linked with illegal porn and other crime (as I said, these are spamming and credit card fraud as well as drugs and slavery) is an established fact. Anybody who discusses the availability of porn should address this. I don’t know if the paper does this, your posting does not.

    That said, I’m happy for every rape that is not committed because somebody could jerk off in some corner instead.

    (See, I, again, didn’t mention terrorists anywhere.)

  • etbe

    cmot: I describe your response to my post as being of low quality firstly because you did not read the paper in question. In your comment you show that more than a month later you still have not read the paper and yet want to offer opinions on it. Read the paper first and comment after!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_The_Children_(politics)

    Secondly your comment is of low quality because you do not provide any evidence of links between legal porn and the other crimes. Claiming such links without evidence is a common rhetorical technique, see the above two URLs which both match your post.

    Now if you wish to write a response to one of my posts that is based on facts (and provides references for said facts) and your response is based on reading the post (and any papers or other references that are cited) then the response you get will be something that you probably won’t consider to be rude.

    PS Thanks for not mentioning terrorists. Your reference to “illegal porn” (presumably child-porn) covers the previous bogey-man before terrorism became fashionable.

  • [...] http://etbe.coker.com.au/2007/07/30/porn-vs-rape/ The best available evidence suggests that an increase in the availability of current porn DECREASES [...]

  • Byung Kyu

    I whole-heartedly agree with you that a better controlled study is needed. I am not an expert in statistics, but I can think of a number of hidden variables that would skew the results of such a study, such as:

    1. Better porn availability comes with better access to publications, on and offline, hence (hopefully) a more cultured society, and this means overall crime rate would be less, rape or otherwise.
    2. Again, better porn availability is quite likely linked to the level of education. Highly educated people can find better ways to hide crime, if committed.
    3. And, without reading the full article, it seems to be a study over decades of time period. If simple correlation over time is all evidence and control one needs, well, we can start believing in the famous assertion that lack of pirates (real sea-faring pirates) cause global warming.

  • etbe

    Byung: A better controlled study could easily be performed in a prison. Brian’s comment suggests that similar research has already been performed in Danish prisons.

    In regard to your specific comments:
    http://etbe.coker.com.au/2007/12/28/twilight-of-the-books/
    1: My above blog post references an article indicating that literacy is declining not increasing. Better access to publications means little if people choose not to read them.
    2: The paper that inspired this post showed that porn availability was increased for everyone. Using broadband net access does not require a rocket scientist (other comments on this post are evidence of this fact).
    3: Interesting claim. One thing that people seem to forget is that it was steam ships which ended piracy (as it used to be known – with the Jolly Roger etc) and coal (used to power steam ships among many other things) which is a major part of the global warming problem.

    Also piracy is not totally lacking. Do a google search and you will find reports of modern pirates. Nowadays they hit cruise liners and bulk cargo vessels and are armed with assault rifles and RPGs. But it’s still piracy. Also there is evidence suggesting that some pirates have government sanction (privateers).

  • David

    I think it’s very clear access to porn reduces the inclination to commit sexual crimes. Porn has a cathartic effect on sexual aggression. It’s the people who are denied sexual release we have to worry about i.e. Catholic priests.

    Byung Kyu

    Here are some images of modern pirates.

    http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=90101&rendTypeId=4

    http://www.boingboing.net/images/pirates.jpg

  • etbe

    http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/online_artcls/pornography/prngrphy_rape_jp.html

    The above paper has some interesting research on porn vs rape in Japan. It seems that Hentai doesn’t cause rape either.