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Cheers - AE

Friday, 20 March 2009

Another reason why net censors are useless.

I noticed this on Thoughts On Freedom the other day. It's brief but very interesting so forgive me if l quote it almost in full:
In the midst of all the hooplah generated by Commissar Conroy’s Communist Censorship Crusade, I thought it useful to remind people of the scientific data which has examined the relationship between online access and pornography viewing, and instances of sexual assault.

The data seems fairly unambiguous: after controlling for all external factors, a 10 percent increase in Net access yields about a 7.3 percent decrease in reported cases of sexual assault. No other category of crime experienced similar decreases, the logical conclusion being how porn might serve as a substitute for rape.

So. There you have it.

Via Reason who also note that “Just about every social indicator that one might anticipate being affected by the mainstreaming of porn (divorce and abortion rates, sex crimes, sex crimes against children, teen pregnancy, etc.) has for about 15 years generally been moving in a positive direction. That of course would be the very period during which pornography became widely available on the Internet.”
I've always had very big doubts whenever the ban-the-filth brigade claim that porn is some kind of kick start to the process of becoming a sex offender, but until now I've never seen any figures to suggest (and I don't quite buy it as "proof") that it actually has the opposite effect. Found it plausible, yes, but not seen anything to support the idea. However, I've played some violent videogames (also touched on by the ALS here) and not killed anyone, and I've seen some hard core German bondage porn without turning into a sexual predator. Perhaps that's just me. Perhaps I'm an exception because splat gore shoot 'em up games aren't really my thing and my lovely wife is enough that I don't feel the need for porn. Or maybe it's the other way round and deranged fuckheads who kill and/or rape etc also happen to like violent games and/or heavy duty porn, which is tough for the majority of porn users and gamers who'd never do anything like that. Or maybe there really is something in the idea that it's a substitute and that taking their porn or violent games away from certain people will make them more likely to commit violent and/or sexual assault.

As I said, I don't accept it as proven by any means. All I really know for sure is that my own experience with porn and die-die-die games is that either I must have some saintly resistance to their corruptive properties, which is an idea that would have most of my friends and family howling with laughter, or, as with guns and so-called "gateway drugs" the corruptive properties are massively oversold.
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