T Nation

PORN

Yes, murderers and sex offenders say alot of things. People will always try to assign blame in an attempt to deflect responsibility for their actions. Watching Jenna Jameson performing fellatio doesn’t drive anyone to murder. The majority of the sexually oriented material found in the possesion of violent criminals and sex offenders is of the illegal variety (child porn, rape, extreme fetish etc.). In addition sex crimes have nothing to do with sex. The tired argument that pornography contributes to violent crime is ridiculous. I would be willing to bet that movies like Natural Born Killers have contributed far more to violent crime than porn.

And FYI- de Beers controls the diamond industry because their large stockpiles of raw material allow them to control the supply and create demand. Although de Beers no longer (officially) buys raw from mines they don't own, their former business practices directly contributed to the lengthy civil wars in many African countries. So yes the war in Sierra Leone, like that of many others in Africa was a civil war, and why do you think the geurilla's wanted to control the populace and overthrow the government? So they could grow corn? No, so they could control what are some of the richest diamond fields in Africa now that de Beer's is not the sole buyer for the raw material those mines are producing, and the profits are much greater.

The diamond industry was never offered as a justification for porn, it was used as an example of selective morality. In addition to directly contributing to the gruesome civil wars all over Africa, diamonds are the currency of choice among terrorists, including al Qaida.

“It’s those damn political, religious, and right-wing extremists who are dangerous. How would we define how dangerous they are, hate crimes maybe? Of 11,605,571 reported crimes in the United States in 2000, 9,430 hate crimes were reported. That’s a whopping .08 percent of all reported offenses. As a percentage of the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, they make up an even larger .09 percent. What a problem those extremists are.”

Are you actually trying to justify hate crimes??? 10,000 is just not enough volume for you? Never mind that hate crimes, like rape are grossly under-reported, and statistics are easily manipulated. In light of Sept. 11 you are actually going to argue that hate crimes are not dangerous? Or, do you blame that on porn as well?

A lot of murderers and sex offenders do take responsibility for their actions, but they realize that had it not been for porn they would not have been led to commit the heinous crimes they did. One of the dangers of porn is that it desensitizes us. People progress from Playboy to hardcore couple porn, to group sex, anal sex, BDSM, rape fetishes, etc., etc. They become increasingly desensitized to other people’s pain and suffering and eventually begin acting out their fantasies. It’s not a tired argument, as numerous studies have shown. Men exposed to pornography are less likely to convict a rapist, they’re more likely to view rape as the woman’s fault, or that she wanted it, and they’re more likely to express the opinion that they might commit such acts themselves. De Beers has a monopoly that they control. Had the guerillas managed to take control of Sierra Leone and control its diamond mines they would have flooded the market with diamonds, breaking de Beers’ monopoly on the market and driving the price down. That was one of the reasons people were urged not to buy diamonds from Sierra Leone. I don’t see how you can bring up the diamond industry as an example of “selective morality.” Let’s examine things theoretically. The goal of the diamond industry is to produce and sell diamonds, a morally neutral end. The means by which it accomplishes this end is through laborers who are paid a fair wage, a morally good or neutral means. The goal of the porn industry however, is to produce and sell depictions of intercourse, sexual activity, rape, bestiality, etc., a morally wrong end. It goes about this through the victimization and abuse of men and women, a morally wrong means. Evil exists in the world, it pervades everything. It is undoubtedly present in every industry in the world, the diamond industry as well as the pornography industry. That doesn’t mean we should give in to it. I’m as against injustice in the labor market as I am in pornography, but the fact remains that pornography remains a greater threat, in particular because it’s not a visible threat. You have people like purple hosh who see “extremists” as a threat, regardless of the fact that they are responsible for a miniscule amount of crime. It’s not what is most visible that is dangerous, it’s what we can’t see, what subverts is, that’s the real danger.

Here’s an article I used for a TV vs VVideo Games essay I wrote in an english class: www.turnoffyourtv.com/waters.amused.html It says that on TV, even the news is entertainment that can be turned off at any time. When someone doesn’t like something they can change the channel or go away, taking away a lot of the realism of what goes on in wars, etc. I’d say that has a LOT more to do with violent crime that porno. People watch/read porno because they’re horny, not to get inspiration for kicking that shit out of someone.

(Blows bullshit horn loudly)

”…but they realize that had it not been for porn they would not have been led to commit the heinous crimes they did.”

Uh huh. The old “porn made me do it” defense. NEXT!

“People progress from Playboy to hardcore couple porn, to group sex, anal sex, BDSM, rape fetishes, etc., etc.”

Prove it. Let’s see some peer-reviewed studies to back up your claims. And anal sex was thrown in there because…?

So you don’t like porn. Fine, you don’t have to view it. But if you are so insecure in your beliefs that you feel the need to push your version of sexual morality on others who don’t give a rat’s ass what you think, then you have a fight coming. It really must be a terrible thing to live in such utter fear of one’s own sexual urges.

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. You are blaming porn for violent crimes?So when Cain killed able I suppose it was AFTER he watched a porno? Porn is morally wrong??? Maybe to YOU it is but to MILLIONS of others IT ISN’T. The problem I have with people like you are that you are trying to push your morality on the rest of the country. If you have a problem with porn tough shit trying to take it away is a violation of people’s rights. It’s just like tv and radio programs that people find offensive if you don’t like it TURN it off, plain and simple! As far as your “studies show” where are they?

Savannah –


I’m definitely not against good ol’ fashioned guy-on-girl-on-girl porno. In fact, I rather enjoy it.


However, I have to take a small issue with your last paragraph. If statisitcs really can be used to prove anything, why do people need to resort to claiming rapes and hate crimes are underreported instead of just manipulating the stats to get the numbers they want?

I’m sure all crimes are underreported in that not all of the crimes committed are actually filed as formal complaints with the police, but I have yet to see any hard data backing up the commonly sited claims that rapes and hate crimes are underreported. Perhaps you could point me to some source that explains how they arrived at that conclusion?


Just a small quibble. Please continue to do an otherwise excellent job defending this brand of entertainment for adults.

I have to take issue with all those “studies” of porn that show this or that. In order to be scientifically valid, a study has to have a control group. Otherwise there’s nothing to compare against. When you make the claim that “Men exposed to pornography are less likely to convict a rapist, they’re more likely to view rape as the woman’s fault, or that she wanted it, and they’re more likely to express the opinion that they might commit such acts themselves”, I have to ask, “Where’s the control group?”


Maybe you could find such a group in a country like Singapore or Iran. But if the study was conducted anywhere in the West, I find it very difficult to believe that you could find a representative group of average guys who had not been “exposed to porn”. Hence there is no control group, hence no validity to the study.


Next.


(And by the way, I did my graduation thesis on a comparison of pornography versus soap operas, and I’ve read probably about 10,000 pages of commentary on the subject of porn. Just so you know what you’re getting into if you decide to argue this further… :slight_smile: )

Man, you people astound me. Paul-Martin, IMO is not trying to “push his morality” to you amazingly intelligent individuals. He is only doing what you are doing - stating his opinion. And you, my fellow T-Forumites are judging him in return.

Wolverine: just cuz ALOT of people watch porn - doesn't mean it's "okay". What are we lemmings? No, we are adults. Adults who are capable, hopefully, to make our own decisions. Porn, again IMO, is boring. Seriously lacking in any kind of creativity - so, does this mean there is something wrong with me? Just cuz I don't like that crap. And it is crap. And YOU know it is. C'mon don't tell me that porn is an "art form". But this is a entirely whole different discussion.

And also statistics can be manipulated - hasn't anyone ever taken "debate" in school? If you did, you'd understand this. While Paul-Martin may have misconstrued some of his argument -I certainly didn't go for the "Natural Born Killers" argument either. I've heard that one before.

Both sides of THIS argument is base on opinion. Enough said. Oh, and read Vain's post, maybe you'll see another view.

Porn doesn’t cause crime, Twinkies do!

I do believe that Paul-Martin is trying to push his morality on those who watch porn he made sure to mention it in his “statement”, saying it is morally wrong. I suppose that you think less of people who watch porn because you too have said that it is wrong. Well I’ve got news for all the people who hate porn, think it’s crap, and think it’s “morally” wrong, don’t watch it. Just because you people think it is wrong DOESN’T make it wrong. If people don’t like porn that’s fine, but DON’T try and take it away because YOU don’t like it, THAT is wrong! If we took away everything that people found offensive we would have nothing left. What if people felt the same about comic books?

Savannah.,
I have reasearched and studied sexual offenders for some time now, and contrary to your comments, their crimes are about SEX do to their very nature…sure, there are some things to do with power and control, but if you think for real that PORN does NOT contribute to violent crime you are sadly sadly mistaken…
If you want, i can reference you some good studies that show that it does stimulate the fantasy life of many offenders, which then facilitates the acting out of these fantasies.

Peace
out
Vain
68

To Demo Dick and Wolverine: You want some studies? Here, read these pages and peruse the sources when you’re done. They do a better job of explaining than I can. Remember to remove any spaces in the URLs.

http://www.enough.org/ justharmlessfun.pdf

http://www.forerunner.com/ forerunner/X0388_Effects_of_Pornograp.html

http://www.waterfordchurch.com/ articles/porn.html

What really burns me is that instead of coming up with good arguments to refute me, you typecast me as some sort of wacko who’s pushing my morality on people. I’ve seen porn, too much of it. I knew it was wrong, but I never thought it was all THAT wrong until I took a look at myself and what I’d become. Slowly but surely my attitudes and outlooks had changed and I was spending more and more time looking at porn. Thankfully I managed to stop myself on the slippery slope and turn things around. It took time and some self control to get back on track. I could easily see other people, especially those without the religious upbringing I’ve had, falling into this trap and not being able to get out, and that’s not something that I want to see happen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, pornography is wrong. But I know I can’t stop people from looking at it, that’s a choice other people have to make. I have friends who look at porn, both gay and straight. I don’t denigrate them, nor have I denigrated anyone on this board who looks at porn. I’m just trying to open people’s minds a little bit. Judging from the judgemental and ad hominem attacks I’ve been getting, I’ve been less than successful.

To char-dawg: I believe the studies are discussed in the pages I linked above. If not, I’ll keep trying to find them.

To Patricia: Thanks for the support. With all the scientific data on each side, the argument is still, as you said, pretty much based on opinion. The only real way to prove a causal relationship would require the subjects of a study to be allowed to rape, which for ethical reasons would be unfeasible.

“What really burns me is that instead of coming up with good arguments to refute me, you typecast me as some sort of wacko who’s pushing my morality on people.”

No, it was you who failed to come up with a good argument in the first place. You simply pulled the “studies have shown” game, and expected that to be that. I need to see more. Speaking of which, your links are dead. And I am interested in tracking down the source studies, considering that Social Research Methodology was a specialty of mine in college (you’d be amazed at how two polar arguments can be constructed from the same data set if the viewer doesn’t know the criteria necessary to support causation). I’ve done everything I can think of to pull up those pages, but no dice. Can you perhaps double check for me?

“But I know I can't stop people from looking at it, that's a choice other people have to make.”

The problem here is there are people who would take that particular freedom away from everyone if they could. You’ve stated that you think porn is wrong. If you could instantly outlaw it, would you? If not, then why, if you think it is wrong?

Truthfully, before we go any further in this thread, we need to agree on an operational definition of the variable. When you use the word “porn”, are you including forms that are already illegal, i.e. child-porn, rape films, etc.? Or are you just talking about “legal” porn (Playboy, hard-core films, etc.)? You’ve included both in your previous statements. Until we agree on what porn means there is no point in discussing its effect on society.

And I must admit, I personally find porn terribly boring. But insidious? A cancer to society? Not until I see a lot of evidence to refute the research that myself and others have already done.

What I’ve done on this thread is no more and no less than anyone else has done, stated my opinion based on the information I’ve read. This isn’t my area of expertise, nor do I have the time to spend searching for studies to back up my assertions. As for the links, they work fine for me, I’m using IE 5.5. If it’s not a browser issue, try deleting any spaces or %20’s in the URL after you cut and paste. For the PDF document you need Acrobat Reader, you can download it free from Adobe.

In case you still can’t view the pages, I’ve cut and pasted them below. I can’t cut and paste from the PDF document unfortunately, but that one has the most footnotes. The pertinent sources for the forerunner page are:
1 Pornography and Violence Against Women, 1980. 2 “Pornography, Sexual Callousness, and the Trivialization of Rape,” Journal of Communication, 1982. 3 “The Effect of Erotica Featuring Sadomasochism and Bestiality of Motivated Inter-Male Aggressions,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1981. 4 Rape and Marriage, 1982. 5 “Where Do You Draw the Line?” 1974. 6 “Legitimate Violence and Rape: A Test of the Cultural Spillover Theory,” 1985.

For the waterfordchurch page, the pertinent references are: Boron, R. A. (1974). The aggression-inhibiting influence of heightened sexual arousal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 318-322. Boron, R. A. & Bell, P. A. (1977). Sexual arousal and aggression by males: Effects of type of erotic stimuli and prior provocation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 79-87. Boron, Larry & Strauss, Murray. (1987). Four theories of rape: A macrosociological analysis. Social Problems, 34(5), 467-487. Carter, Daniel Lee; Prentky, Robert; Knight, Raymond A.; Vanderveer, Penny L.; Boucher, Richard. (1987). Use of pornography in the criminal and developmental histories of sexual offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2(2), 196-211. Christensen, F. M. (1989). Pornography is Not Harmful. In Lisa Orr (Ed.), Sexual Values: Opposing Viewpoints (pp. 135-138). San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press. Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. (1970). The technical report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. New York: Bantam. Dietz, P. E., & Evans, B. (1982). Pornographic imagery and prevalence of paraphilia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 139, 1493-1495. Dobson, James. (1989) Pornography Promotes Violence Against Women. in Lisa Orr (Ed.), Sexual Values: Opposing Viewpoints (pp. 135-138). San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press. Donnerstein, Edward & Linz, Daniel. (1984, January). Sexual Violence in the Media: a Warning. Psychology Today, pp. 14,15. Eidsmor, John. (1984). The Christian Legal Advisor. Milford, MI: Mott Media, Inc. Gray, S. H. (1982). Exposure to pornography and aggression toward women: the case of the angry male. Social Problems, 29, 387-398. Malamuth, N., & Spinner, B. (1980). A longitudinal content analysis of sexual violence in the best selling erotica magazines. Journal of Sex Research, 16, 226-237. Linz, Daniel. (1989). Exposure to sexually explicit materials and attitudes toward rape: A comparison of study results. The Journal of Sex Research, 26(1), 50-84. Malamuth, N. M., & Ceniti, J. (1986). Repeated exposure to violent and nonviolent pornography: Likelihood of raping ratings and laboratory aggression against women. Aggressive Behavior, 12, 129-187. McCarthy, S. J. (1980, October). Pornography, rape, and the cult of macho. Humanist, pp. 11-20. Marshall, W. L. (1988). The use of sexually explicit stimuli by rapist, child molesters, and nonoffenders. The Journal of Sex Research 25(2), 267-288. Press, Eric. (1984, March 18). The War Against Pornography. Newsweek, pp. 58-66. Rathus, Spencer, A. (1991). Essentials of Psychology (3rd ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Scott, Joseph E. & Schwalm, Loretta A. (1988). Rape rates and the circulation rates of adult magazines. The Journal of Sex Research, 24, 241-250. Sears, David O., Peplau, Letitia A. Freedman, Jonathan L. Taylor, Shelly E. (1988). Social Psychology (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. U. S. Department of Justice. (1986). Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography Final Report July 1986. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office. Zillman, D. (1971). Excitation transfer in communication medicated aggressive behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1, 419-434. My definition of porn would include all types of porn, legal as well as illegal. I don’t view it as a freedom or a right, and would see nothing wrong with banning it. In my mind its effects on society are similar to marijuana. It eventually leads to progressively more self-destructive behavior. Unfortunately, I don’t think pornography could be banned, mostly because the prevailing attitude in society today is that it is harmless. Unless societal attitudes revert to where they were decades ago I can’t see any progress on the anti-pornography front.

It interesting that some people accuse others of “pushing their morals” on others simply by typing it on a keyboard. And yet when the other places his own statement on a board (such as this) it isn’t “pushing it on others”. This is a forum for expressing your thoughts and (on the other steroids or nutrition boards) for helping out one another as we expand our T-knowledge. Is it “pushing it on someone” if one person thinks “3-4 reps at 5 sets”, while another proclaims, “8-12 reps at 5 sets” etc? Frankly I see no reason to feel that one is being somehow “forced” when all one can do is type it out on this forum for display. Besides, what else can one do as there will always be a division on this issue. Adults will make their own decisions as well as stand accountable for them; whether they help or not. Take care…

All of the studies that you have quoted are bogus bullshit manufactured by impotent prudes, religious zealots and man-hating women. The Masters and Johnson Institute, a genuine research center of human sexuality, has reached conclusions totally opposite to yours. You are a fraud!

Does anyone know of great gay s&m videos, or of John Holmes earlier gay work? I hear the camera work is breath taking.

I have either skimmed or read in depth every one of the reports you listed with a date before 1987, as well as the 1991 one. Haven’t seen the ones from 1988-1990.


That said, I can state with quite a bit of certainty that none of them satisfy the criterion I put forth above. None.


Not only that, but the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography’s 1986 Final Report, which is probably the most famous of all of the ones listed, had two of the researchers (both women, as it happens) resign in protest over the final version. They wrote a very strong open letter to the government in which they accused the Meese Commission of grossly distorting the evidence in a blatant effort to tease the results into something that they (the commissioners in particular and the then-Republican government in general) were comfortable with.


I’ll say it again: you can quote all the studies you like, but there aren’t any out there (at least there weren’t as of 1991) that are really scientific. And I fail to see how one could realistically gather a control group in modern American society.


Until you adequately address this issue, please don’t throw any more “studies” into this discussion.

I’m with char-dawg on this one. I’m familiar with a good portion of your cites, and none of them were exactly earth-shattering in the field of Sociology and human behavioral studies. But, they provide ample fuel for the Religious Right’s argument, mainly because laypeople are easily impressed. I however, am not.

Make no mistake about it folks, Paul-Martin has made one of the most simple, and erroneous arguments here: the slippery slope. Contrary to his argument, a normal, well- adjusted person is perfectly capable of viewing legal pornography without ending up in a schoolyard wearing a long coat and nothing else.

P.S. Using Opposing Viewpoints as a source study is pretty laughable. It is an entry level text for college students, designed to teach how one constructs an opposing argument by presenting, well, opposing viewpoints, one after the other. It is unwise to use it as a source study since it CONTRADICTS ITSELF. This shows me that you’ve basically taken a compilation of studies that someone else has put together to support their own position and regurgitated them here.

Porn – noun – 1.(legal variety) graphic sexual acts performed by one or more consenting adults, captured on film for the express purpose of sale to other adults. 2. (illegal variety) graphic sexual acts performed by anyone not of legal age, performed with any non-human animal or performed without the consent of any of the parties involved.

Now that I have defined porn, I detest porn, in almost every shape and form. I can’t stand Playboy, and that’s about as ‘tame’ as porn gets. I don’t like the magazines, I don’t like the movies, I don’t like any of it and refuse to let it into my house. I find it disgusting, degrading, and flat out insulting.

HOWEVER, porn, in the hands of an adult who is mentally stable and has a healthy view of women, is NOT dangerous. Legal porn is not exactly an ‘art form’ nor is it ‘freedom of expression’ BUT if you don’t like it then shut it off. Blaming –legal- porn for violent crime is like blaming Dungeons and Dragons for some kid getting into devil worship.

Yes, I agree that porn is not exactly a healthy portrayal of women or sex, but neither is 50’s era television, so I don’t watch either of them.

Take a young man who’s father beats his mother, who grows up listening to her scream in pain from the next room, or even watches it in the same room, then add in violent porn where women are beaten then raped and yes, you could be laying the seeds for a violent sexual offender. Take another young man who has a stable home and two loving parents, who never sees porn, who falls in love with the first girl he dates, who then cheats on him and cruelly grinds his heart into the dirt and yes, you could be laying the seeds for a violent sexual offender. Both of these young men have to CHOOSE to act out their violent urges against women. They are not puppets driven by some mysterious puppeteer to commit crimes.

Violent sex offenders who ‘blame’ porn for their actions are right up there with fat people who blame the junk food industry for making them eat too much shitty food. It is called transference I believe, and it is a bull shit argument. Only you can decide what impulses you will carry out. I’ve wanted to strangle my sister many times, and I’ve seen people being strangled in movies and on TV, so if I kill her one night when she pisses me off can I blame it on seeing it on TV and say that those programs are to blame? Yeah, right, whatever.

Anyway, as for rape being one of the most under-reported crimes, all you have to do is talk to a few counselors. I did peer counseling at the college I went to - and yes this is just my experience but I know many other peer counselors who have the same story to tell – I worked for the counseling center for 4 years, and every year I knew at LEAST 10 women who were raped and did not report it. My junior year the number was almost 20. So, I personally know of over 40 never reported rapes, and I know other counselors who have similar experiences. I was raped as well, so add mine to that total, because I didn’t report it either.

Rape is a bizarre crime, where the victim is often blamed as much – if not more – than the criminal. ‘She was dressed like she wanted it’ or ‘She came home with me, of course she wanted it’ or ‘If she didn’t want it why was she in that bar?’ or ‘She got drunk and then got raped, she sure is stupid’ or ‘she was walking home alone, she set herself up’ These are pretty standard arguments, all based on the weird notion that the man involved just couldn’t stop himself from violating a woman because of something she did. Sure, there are things any woman can do to help prevent the crime, but ultimately, the criminal has to CHOOSE to commit the crime and that is 100% on his head.