What If The Science Supports Doing Something We Don’t Like?

What If The Science Supports Doing Something We Don’t Like?

Matt HealeyWednesday,1 October 2014

The Snap

Yesterday I wrote about the declining rate of sex crimes in the U.S. It bears repeating that declines are good, but even one case is too many. So to that end, I asked why don’t we use science and look back at some of the things that may be contributing to the decline is the rates of sexual crimes and do more of that?

The Download

While that sounds like a good idea, if we look into the data and find things we do not like, then if we are really committed to an evidenced-based approach we need to do more of something we don’t like. So with that I give you this hypothesis – what if porn becoming more available is contributing to the decline in sex crimes? I ask because if you read this paper, “The pleasure is momentary…the expense damnable? The influence of pornography on rape and sexual assault” you will come across the following chart:


It shows that the rate of rapes is declining as the number is hardcore porn titles produced has increased. So if you assume that a greater number of titles is due to increasing demand and thus is resulting in increased consumption, then it is safe to assume that there is a correlation between consumption of porn and a decline in rape. This is kind of the opposite of the conventional wisdom. So, while correlation is not the same as causation, it is safe to say that if we wanted to investigate ways to further reduce sexual attacks on women, this might be an avenue worth investigating.

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