Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is porn good for America? Seems so.



Porn is good for America, good for women and a lot more fun than church. Okay, I overstate my case, but just slightly.br /br /The Internet has brought about an explosion of porn. It has reduced the costs significantly—actually for most people they can access all the porn they want for a few cents per day.br /br /The would-be censors, religious nutters and radical feminists, all decried porn as the incubator for sex crimes. Alas, more rational people saw porn, not as a tool for incubation, but for masturbation. The net result would be the diminution of desire not its inflammation.br /There are two different sets of assumptions used in analyzing the impact of erotica on people. The censorship side claimed that porn got men “sexed up” and thus encouraged them to rape women, children, vulnerable poodles and random chipmunks. In their view individuals who viewed porn did not have their sexual desires inflamed until them watched Debbie Does Dallas or Danny Does Dallas, depending on one’s tastes in such matters. Once inflamed the porn-addict would then lurk in the dark until a victim came along.object width="480" height="385"param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/T-TA57L0kucamp;hl=enamp;fs=1amp;color1=0x234900amp;color2=0x4e9e00"/paramparam name="allowFullScreen" value="true"/paramparam name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/paramembed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/T-TA57L0kucamp;hl=enamp;fs=1amp;color1=0x234900amp;color2=0x4e9e00" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"/embed/objectbr /br /Normally this censorship crowd would assume that man (that is all humans, not just men) was morally corrupt and inclined toward sin. This, they said, was the natural state of humanity even absent the presence of any porn. A turned ankle, or bulging crotch, was all that was needed to turn the most innocent of people into a raving sex maniac.br /br /What these people didn’t want to do was actually appraise human sexuality accurately. Few people watch porn to get inflamed. The opposite is far more likely. Humans have sexual desires that are largely driven by biology. Pornography is used as substitute for the real thing. Instead of going out hunting for a sexual partner the horny viewer can take matters in hand.br /br /Men, more so than women, tend to find visual depictions of sex exciting. And men, more so than women, tend to be involved with real sex crimes—by which I mean the violation of the rights of another person, not merely violating some piece of Puritanical legislation. If pornography acts as a substitute then wide access to porn should reduce the number of sex crimes over what they would have been in a regime of censorship.br /br /Some years ago the studies I read on sex crimes indicated that men guilty of serious sex crimes had less exposure to pornography than other men, saw the porn much later in life, and tended to have very conservative values in regards to sex. I joked at the time that the government, instead of banning pornography, should be disseminating it for free. Well, as usual, the market beat the government to the task.br /br /The Internet has made porn virtually free of charge. Whatever you want you can find and you can indulge until your blow-up sheep explodes. The net also meant that individuals, who previously could not afford or access pornography, now had it at hand instantly. This includes some of the horniest members of our society, who politicians had previously banned from the material, adolescent males. The randy teen at home, who couldn’t quite hide his magazines where mother wouldn’t find them, discovered that the Internet meant he didn’t have to store anything in view. And, with encryption protecting his stash of erotica from mother, his solitary vice could remain undiscovered.br /br /We do know that since the rise of Internet pornography the level of sexual violence has declined significantly. This would seem to indicate that the masturbation theory was more correct than the incubation theory. But that need not be the case. There could be other factors involved. Prof. Todd Kendall, at Clemson University, has authored a paper exploring the role of the Internet in regards to rape rates. He says, of his study, “this paper considers a major decline in the price of such materials, brought about by the growth of the world wide web, and of the graphical browsers used to access it. Using state-level panel data on the rise of the Internet, I find that Internet access appears to be a substitute for rape. Specifically, the results suggest that a 10br /percentage point increase in Internet access is associated with a decline in reported rapebr /victimization of around 7.3%.”br /br /Kendall says that his study showed:br /blockquote• States that adopted Internet usage quicker saw greater reductions in rape rates than states that didn’t.br /br /• This reduction is heaviest in states “with a higher ratio of male to female population, suggesting that men are substituting pornography for rape when potential mates are in low supply.”br /br /• The reduction remains even when “controlling for a wide variety of other factors.”br /br /• The impact of the net on other crimes is non-existent. That is net usage doesn’t reduce property crimes or violence but it does reduce sex crimes.br /br /• He found “a significant negative effect of internet access on rape arrest rates among men ages 15-19—a group for whom pornography was most restricted before the Internet. “br /br /• He found evidence “between internet adoption and several other measures of sexuality, including teen birth rates, prostitution arrests, marriage and divorce rates, and HIV transmission.” /blockquoteWe have to understand that the Internet led to a sexual explosion—so to speak. Kendall writes:br /br /blockquote style="font-style: italic;"By many accounts, pornography was crucial in the development of the Internet,br /fueling demand for streaming video and credit card acceptance applications. Due to the decentralized nature of the internet, definitive statistics on internet content are necessarily error-prone. However, there is no doubt that the rise of the internet has led to significant increases in the consumption of pornography in the U.S. By October, 2003, Nielsen Net Ratings surveys indicated that one in four internet users admitted to accessing an adult web site within the month, spending an average of 74 minutes on such sites, and these figures do not include time spent on “amateur” porn sites nor downloads from peer-to-peer services, such as Kazaa, on which 73% of all movie searches in a recent survey were for porno films. According to Ropelato (2006), 12% of all internet websites, 25% of all search engine requests, and 35% of all peer-to-peer downloads are pornographic./blockquotebr /This explosion is most clearly seen among teens. Prior to the Internet it was far more difficult for teens to view sexually explicit material. Adults had no such problems. They could purchase the material rather easily. But teens could not. Kendall explains:br /blockquotespan style="font-style: italic;"While the fall in the pecuniary price of pornography due to the internet may have/span span style="font-style: italic;"been constant across all groups of users, the fall in the non-pecuniary price has likely/spanspan style="font-style: italic;" been highest among the young, who typically live with their parents. Before the arrival of the internet, these consumers’ access to, and ability to discreetly store, sexually explicit materials was thus highly restricted. The privacy in consumption and storage allowed by electronic distribution increased the availability of pornography to younger age groups significantly. According to the internet traffic measuring service comScore, 70% of 18 to 24 year-old men visit adult sites each month. Statistics from Ropelato (2006) find that the 12-17 age group is the largest demographic consumer of internet pornography, and that 80% of 15-17 year olds admit to multiple exposures to hard-core pornography on the internet. By comparison, in most states, children under age 18 are prohibited from entering adult film houses or renting pornographic videos./spanbr //blockquotebr /This is the nightmare scenario of the prudes and puritans. They predicted that widespread porn access by adolescents would lead to an explosion in teen pregnancy, increased abortion rates, higher VD rates, etc. In truth, as teens have become more adept at accessing pornography the reverse has happened. Teen pregnancy is down, abortion is down and VD rates are down. Teens today are more sexually active when it comes to porn and masturbation and less active when it comes to sex with others. Pornography did not increase teen sex, at least not sex with other people. It delayed sexual experimentation.br /br /The Internet has changed sexual attitudes and sexual behavior. I suggest that young people today are more liberal (in all senses of the word) in regards to sex. But they are more conservative in their physical expression of sexuality. They may send each other nude photos or masturbation videos but they are less likely to actually have sex. They are using virtual sexuality as a substitute for real life sexual encounters. And that means lower rape rates, lower pregnancy rates, and lower VD rates.a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_78ZrJuZ3q5g/Sl5CwPXrv_I/AAAAAAAACR4/hoNq62c4Ntg/s1600-h/sexting.gif"img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 396px; height: 400px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_78ZrJuZ3q5g/Sl5CwPXrv_I/AAAAAAAACR4/hoNq62c4Ntg/s400/sexting.gif" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5358794003144490994" border="0" //abr /Popular website for teens with webcams are well known as places where teens put on “private” sex shows for others. Sites that cater to adults are forced to constantly police their web services because adolescents are frequently sneaking onto the site and putting on sex shows for the entire world to see. As shocking as that might be for many adults they should consider that these teens are often using this as a substitute for actual sex. There is a trade off involved. Even teen males have limits to the number of orgasms they can seek in a day. And an orgasm achieved one-way means they are less likely to seek the same thing another way.br /br /Kendall’s study backs up what numerous other studies have shown. Access to erotica reduces sexual crimes. The presence of pornography means that rape is less likely, not more likely. While Kendall doesn’t discuss “sexting” per se I have to note that the same theory, applied to “sexting,” would indicate that the practice makes teens less likely to have sex with another person not more. Sexting is where teens send each other erotic photos or videos of themselves.br /br /The impact of the new technology on sexuality is interesting, especially for teens who grew up with it. I would argue that the following appears to be true:br /br /1. Teens are more liberal in attitudes about sex today than before.br /2. Teens are less likely to have physical sex with another person today than before.br /3. But teens are also more likely to engage in technologically induced masturbation. Less sex doesn’t mean fewer orgasms.br /br /The evidence calls into question the idea that censorship helps reduce sex crimes. Erotica, if it were a substitute for actual sex, would actually reduce sex crimes. Censorship, by removing the substitute, would thus encourage the very crimes that it was meant to prevent. Think about it.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/23782041-3088290995890448353?l=freestudents.blogspot.com'//div

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