Sadly, he has either missed or purposely ignored what Jack Straw and his Ministry of Justice have recently concluded, and that is that pornography is profoundly harmful to society, and that there is now ‘a substantial body of mutually corroborative evidence of the harm of effects of extreme—or other—pornographic material’
The research reaffirms previous findings that there is ‘clear and consistent’ evidence that ‘exposure to pornography puts one at risk for developing sexually deviant tendencies, committing sexual offences, experiencing difficulties in one’s intimate relationships and accepting rape myths’.
Unfortunately, Cramner—who then goes on to wonder whether the state should, in fact, regulate internet porn—has made a fatal mistake: he believed something that Jack Straw said. The fool!
As Timmy explained, a while back, one has to look at the motivational status of porn.
It lies in the old distinction (for those bright people, economists, at least it is old) between complements and substitutes.
For example, think of the upcoming plans to ban "violent" pornography. Is such a complement? Does viewing it make people more likely to go and commit violent sexual crimes? That’s the argument used in favour of the banning, certainly. But what if the opposite is true? That it is in fact a substitute? That viewing such material replaces the desire to physically act out the fantasies?
Well, can we answer that question? Yes, we can; or, rather, Strange Stuff can.
The available data is quite explicit. The availability of porn does not lead to sexual violence, it actually decreases the incidence of it.The incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85% in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults.
Not good enough? How about in the land of tentacle sex?Within Japan itself, the dramatic increase in available pornography and sexually explicit materials is apparent to even a casual observer. This is concomitant with a general liberalization of restrictions on other sexual outlets as well. Also readily apparent from the information presented is that, over this period of change, sex crimes in every category, from rape to public indecency, sexual offenses from both ends of the criminal spectrum, significantly decreased in incidence.
Most significantly, despite the wide increase in availability of pornography to children, not only was there a decrease in sex crimes with juveniles as victims but the number of juvenile offenders also decreased significantly.
So the evidence shows that if you make porn more freely available, then the incidence of sexual crimes decreases. In essence, porn is a substitute for doing the deed, not an incitement.
By extension, one can say that it is likely that, if you make porn less freely availble, the incidence of sexual crime will increase. Thus, most worryingly, if you criminalise violent porn, for instance, you may well get more violent sex crimes.
The government's legislation on this subject is stupid in the extreme, as Dizzy pointed out some time ago*. But then, in terms of drafting deeply flawed and illiberal legislation, NuLabour are the masters.
Of course, the legislation—which is being campaigned against by Backlash—was not the result of careful and considered study, but of a highly emotive campaign by a bereaved woman.
A mother whose daughter died at the hands of a man obsessed with violent internet porn has won her fight for a ban on possessing such images.
The government has announced plans to make the possession of violent porn punishable by three years in jail.
Mrs Longhurst said: "My daughter Sue and myself are very pleased that after 30 months of intensive campaigning we have persuaded the government to take action against these horrific internet sites, which can have such a corrupting influence and glorify extreme sexual violence."
I wonder who is going to point out to Mrs Longhurst that her success may, on all the evidence, have precisely the opposite effect to the one that she intended?
And who is going to point out to Cramner that believing a word that Jack Straw—or any one of the rest of these authoritarian NuLabour charlatans—says is a recipe for disaster?
* I would link to the article at Dizzy's place but unfortunately he uses the fucking shit, useless, crappy, Google Adsense Search bar which finds precisely fuck all. Seriously, guys, don't use it: it's even worse than Blogger's native search bar.