Porn reduces sex violence

First, Christ is Risen!  Happy bright week.

OK.  Porn = less violence.  That’s what the Internet says.  Must be true.

According to Stanford professor Todd Kendall, when Internet adoption goes up, sex violence goes down.  Now, I’ll hedge my bets right away and say that no matter what this doesn’t change anything about the necessity of killing sexual addiction.  Even if true, it doesn’t make porn ok.  That said, I don’t buy Dr. Kendall’s argument.

I find myself somewhat tired at the moment and uninterested in going into a long post, but I’ve seen this punted about so much that I want to make a few quick points.

  1. As Dr. Kendall himself points out, his conclusions contradict previous experiments.  He thinks his experimental situation is superior.  Perhaps…
  2. Dr. Kendall only considers the US.  This trend of “Internet up, rape down” does not hold true in other countries also getting on the broadband express.  Many of the countries that have the greatest broadband adoption also have rising or flat rates of rape per capita.
  3. Dr. Kendall doesn’t measure pornography consumption over time.  He measures access to broadband internet and makes inferences from that.  Really what his study says is that greater access to the internet substitutes for violent sexual crime.  He assumes that means if you have porn you don’t need to go out and rape someone.
  4. Kendall’s study says something very narrow, but it doesn’t at all account for a wider context of the reality of increased pornography.  For instance, perhaps some potential rapists find the internet a “safer” outlet for their aggression, but that is because there is a massive rise in the availability and production of ultra-aggressive rape or rape-like porn.

The majority of porn you’ll find on the internet flirts with being rape films.  Actually, most goes right over the border without looking back.  My personal experience is porn is mostly soft-rape.  It may be stylized.  It may present the women (or men) as being consensual or somehow getting pleasure from the act, but nevertheless it’s about someone taking pleasure from another person’s suffering.

So we’ve traded some rape incidence for a societal shift in sexual norms toward sexual violence.  Overall, bad trade.  Put another way, we’ve traded having a few men who exhibit overt, physical sexual violence, who can be prosecuted, for an entire society of men who hide mental/spiritual sexual violence, and who are considered “normal.”  Well, played society.  Well played.

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