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The Forum > Article Comments > Pornography has its benefits > Comments

Pornography has its benefits : Comments

By James McConvill, published 29/9/2006

An increased availability of pornography has led to a more peaceful community, so letís embrace it rather than censor it.

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While it is possible there is something in this, let's not forget that rape is not about sex, it's about power and violence. I struggle to understand the close link made here between (presumably) non-violent, consensual pornography and rape.
Posted by wavingcat, Friday, 29 September 2006 10:13:24 AM
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No doubt this issue will be hijacked by some Parents Group on morning television but it would make a nice change to have it openly debated. Why are certain politicians so up in arms over pornography? Is it simply the pressure from Christian lobby groups or do they truly believe access to pornography leads to exploitation of the soul?

Pornography comes with the territory of being a hormonally charged young boy/girl and finding the most explicit image without hundreds of pop-ups crashing the family computer was all part of the challenge. It was simply a phase I, like many others, went through and produced no harm but simply provided an outlet for adolescent confusion and urges best kept to oneself until an adequate blood supply was diverted to the brain.

Regardless of whether further regulations are imposed, porn will always be available whether from behind the toilets at lunch or from the dodgy newsagent down the road. Viewing porn merely fills in time before we are in a position to make it ourselves.
Posted by Proust, Friday, 29 September 2006 10:24:34 AM
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Please! The study shows an illusory correlation between an international trend for reduced rape and an international trend for increased internet usage. The correlation is no more causation than the study that found a correlation between stork populations and baby births in a country. The study also shows that areas where they can't afford internet have higher crime rates. Why is that surprising? To draw links like this is a joke when we all know that rape is a power crime. Using this type of reckless research as an excuse to perv at porn is science gone mad.

That is like considering Ted Bundy's comments scientifically valid when he said that an addiction to pornography had led him to commit his crimes. He claimed that, after he could no longer satisfy himself with violent pornography, he acted out his fantasies in real life and he had found that every other violent sexual offender he talked to had found the same thing.

Credible research has supported the idea that rape is about power. Yet some people will suggest otherwise for their own purposes. In the first case to perv. In the second case as an excuse for misdeeds.

For trivia sake I note that I stumbled across a study on pornography in a psychology journal once (while looking for something else) that found that people of both genders in current sexual relationships displayed reduced sexual satisfaction with their partner after a period of current exposure to pornography. I am always reminded of that when 'adult' shops advertise claiming that they will 'spice up' a relationship. There is obviously the possibility of irony. (I have been told that almost all sales at those places are pornography.)
Posted by mjpb, Friday, 29 September 2006 11:41:42 AM
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Mjb - you say that "you've been told these stores stock pornography" indicating you haven't been to one, and you mention a study that you glanced at in passing.

These statements are a tad telling - are you perhaps ashamed of open sexuality? You argue against his using one study, then do the exact same thing.

I disagree with McConvill in most instances, but I'd agree with most of what he says here, though putting it in libraries is probably a little too far.

Plus, I'm not so sure about his statistics - he says the web porn providers make more than all the US media networks. This I find hard to believe, especially considering the media networks themselves own a pretty big chunk of the porn industry - especially Fox (surprise surprise). But sweeping statements like this don't take these kind of elements into account. Also, drawing a correlation between the increase in porn and the reduction in crime simply on basis of causation is a bit of a stretch - there's plenty of other influences there too.

Overall, he's right though. Beazley's effort to wipe out international porn is just plain stupid. It's not possible (how the hell do we prosecute a venezuelan porn king for instance?) and it's just another example of Beazley trying to out-Howard Howard.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Friday, 29 September 2006 1:14:48 PM
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The ABS report also says this:

"Response rates for sexual assault in 2005 are lower than in previous years. This is most likely due to changes made to the survey methodology, which included combining the sexual assault questions with the main survey form, and some changes to the structure and wording of the screening questions. Due to the low response rates for sexual assault only limited data is available for 2005."

Mr McConvill didn't mention this fact, perhaps because it would mute his thunder.

As for Prof. D'Amato's 'research paper', it's a polemic that neither contains nor cites any research or scholarship whatsoever and the scanty statistical nonsense contrived therein is laughable.

Although Mr McConvill's libertarianism on this issue does seem consistent with his previous remark in this forum that "a little bit of racial discrimination can go a long way", it is jarring in many ways when put beside his view that "the use of torture can be a useful and reasonable means of obtaining information", again previously expressed in this forum.

If Mr McConvill believes that unconstrained access to hardcore pornography in "homes, schools and public libraries" is desirable for the reason he suggests, he should make a better case, perhaps by providing proof that sexual attacks are actually inhibited by viewing hardcore pornography.

In the meantime he should refrain from tossing his specious excuse for an argument onto a public forum so as to "get it out of his system".
Posted by amitarian, Friday, 29 September 2006 1:24:49 PM
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Hi James,

Thank you for discussing the topic.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You mentioned:
"According to the ABS data, between 1995 and 2005, there was a drop from 0.6 per cent to 0.3 per cent of persons aged 18 years and over who were victims of at least one sexual assault. That is a 50 per cent reduction."

Applying principles of mathematics and accepting the figures you have provided to be accurate, that would be a 0.3 per cent reduction (not 50 per cent, as you mentioned) in sexual crime rate over a period of 10 years. This reduction rate of 0.3 per cent is of insignificant value, according to the dynamics of statistics.

Besides, the link (Australian Crime & Safety Survey) you have provided leads to a graph (Crime Victimisation Rates) which demonstrates an increase in sexual assaults occurred between 1998-2005.
Posted by Nayeefa, Friday, 29 September 2006 1:28:25 PM
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