Maybe aliens made them do it

Friday, May 12th, 2006 · 114 Comments »

Experts are atwitter about that gang of St. Louis first- and second-grade schoolboys who sexually assaulted an 8-year-old female classmate. These boys are 6-8 years old. How could they get such an idea? I mean, it’s not like we live in a rape culture where women are assaulted every day and the victims of gang rape are typically depicted as sluts who asked for it. It’s not like the men who commit gang rape are routinely defended as fine upstanding young men just having a good time.

St. Louis school superintendent Creg Williams, who is here as part of a job-exchange program with the Andromeda Galaxy, asked, “How is it this kind of thing is even in the minds of young men?”

Well, Creg, it is hard to understand. Sexual assault is exceedingly rare here on planet Earth, and cases where groups of males attack lone females are almost unknown. But a number of people are offering theories on where the kids may have gotten the idea.

One intriguing idea is that it’s the fault of women’s liberation. Writing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Steve Giegerich notes that young children today may be exposed to a television show called “Sex and the City.” This program features adult women who enjoy sex and exert control over their own sex lives. School administrator Scott Taylor adds that there are also adult women who do this in real life — and some of these women are mothers. Perhaps even the mothers of the boys who committed this assault! Obviously when women behave as autonomous beings, that just sends a huge message to 6-year-old boys everywhere that females are objects to be exploited. Or something.

Okay, if that seems a little far-fetched, another theory is that kids act out the sexual abuse they themselves receive at home. That would make sense, except that experts say that a lot of young kids who act out sexually nowadays really aren’t the victims of abuse. Paul Tamiseiea, director of Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault in Kansas City, says:

“I’ve been with MOCSA for 17 years. When I first started out, the natural, logical assumption was that kids who acted out sexually were likely to have been victims themselves … but you can’t make that blanket assumption anymore. We’ve dealt with kids acting out and saying they saw it in Dad’s porn.”

Well, that’s just crazy talk there. What’s this “porn” Tamiseiea is yammering about? True, some men enjoying looking at tasteful erotica of empowered adults happily engaged in loving, respectful, consensual sex, but it’s absurd to think that any of that could give little boys the idea that female bodies are for raping. That’s silly!

This whole case is just mysterious as hell.

*****

Via Twisty.

Filed under: Various and Sundry · Tags:

114 Responses to “Maybe aliens made them do it”

  1. Alon Levy says:

    “I’ve been with MOCSA for 17 years. When I first started out, the natural, logical assumption was that kids who acted out sexually were likely to have been victims themselves … but you can’t make that blanket assumption anymore. We’ve dealt with kids acting out and saying they saw it in Dad’s porn.”

    In related news, school shootings are the direct consequence of violent video games and movies.

  2. Paul Tergeist says:

    This entire rape thing has rules. One must abide them. http://www.thebricktestament.com//the_law/rape/dt22_23a.html

  3. Paul Tergeist says:

    I have just done a survey of many nubile girls age 13 to 15. They think their job in life is to be sex objects so long as they choose who they will have sex with, and most of them think it will be Brad Pitt. I think that about sums up American society.

    Thay didn’t learn it from daddy. They learned it from places like this: http://www.bratz.com/

    They learned it from Britney.

    QUIT BLAMING EVERY GODDAMN THING ON MEN!

  4. Alon Levy says:

    Quit blaming everything on the media. Porn has nothing to do with rape. Britney has nothing to do with rape. The fact that American women don’t normally dress in burqas has nothing to do with rape. Video games with nudity or prostitution have nothing to do with rape. The whole “DOOM/porn/God made me do it” shtick is just an excuse people use to rationalize violence.

  5. appletree » Blog Archive » Reclusive Leftist on Culture and Juvenile Rape says:

    [...] As usual, Dr. Violent Socks has a more thoughtful and better-written take on the issue, which you should read. Here’s a random sample, ’cause I’m too freakin’ lazy to do the hard work of choosing an appropriate teaser: … television show called “Sex and the City.” This program features adult women who enjoy sex and exert control over their own sex lives. School administrator Scott Taylor adds that there are also adult women who do this in real life — and some of these women are mothers. Perhaps even the mothers of … [...]

  6. Violet says:

    Alon, is it your position now that male sexual violence is innate, not learned?

  7. gordo says:

    Shorter Paul:

    QUIT BLAMING ANY GODDAMN THING ON MEN!

  8. Alon Levy says:

    Is it your position that porn causes rape?

  9. Violet says:

    My position is that most human behavior is learned.

  10. Alon Levy says:

    And mine is that “the media made me do it” is a sorry excuse for anything, be it school shootings or school sexual assaults.

  11. Violet says:

    Alon, you don’t seem to be answering my question. Do you think violence, particularly sexual violence, is innate?

    If not, and you think it’s learned, do think that it’s only learned from certain sources and not others? And if so, why?

    The social workers in the article said that kids acted out sexual behavior they saw in pornography. You seem to think this is preposterous, but why? That’s what kids do: act out things they see. That’s what humans do.

    When I was a kid, we played cowboys and Indians. I’m pretty sure we got that idea from watching westerns; I don’t think humans are born with an innate urge to pretend to be John Wayne and Jeff Hunter.

  12. Alon Levy says:

    Alon, you don’t seem to be answering my question. Do you think violence, particularly sexual violence, is innate?

    No.

    The social workers in the article said that kids acted out sexual behavior they saw in pornography. You seem to think this is preposterous, but why? That’s what kids do: act out things they see. That’s what humans do.

    I could find you plenty of people who’ll say that Columbine is really the fault of video games. Some of them might even have credentials. But believing them would ignore countless studies that show that there’s no link.

    It’s legitimate to hypothesize that porn causes rape and conduct a study on that issue; it’s not legitimate to keep believing porn causes rape after the study and many others have failed to produce any significant positive correlation. Researchers have looked at porn consumption and rape in most if not all developed countries, and only found a positive correlation in one country, Japan, where there could easily be an intervening variable (reporting).

    If not, and you think it’s learned, do think that it’s only learned from certain sources and not others? And if so, why?

    Yes, because some things correlate to violence better than others. An overall violent culture seems to be a huge factor. Growing up poor seems to be another huge factor. The mere presence of television is a factor. But the level of media violence is not a factor.

    When I was a kid, we played cowboys and Indians. I’m pretty sure we got that idea from watching westerns; I don’t think humans are born with an innate urge to pretend to be John Wayne and Jeff Hunter.

    That’s why I don’t discount the theoretical possibility that rape could result from porn. But in the face of the data, I don’t think anyone can seriously assert that there’s a link. A lot of things that sound right in theory turn out to be false in practice.

  13. Violet says:

    But we’re not talking about porn causing rape; we’re talking about kids imitating behavior they see in porn videos. I’m unaware of any studies on the effect of pornography on 7-year-olds, but we don’t need studies to know that children learn everything, from language to racial attitudes, from what they see and hear. And we don’t need studies to know that children are sponges who soak up everything and incessant mimics who model every adult behavior they see.

    By the way, I don’t think these little St. Louis boys are rapists. They’re babies, and I don’t think they have any sense yet of boundaries or right and wrong.

    The trouble with the “countless” studies you mention that try to establish clear links between one cultural influence (pornograpy, video games) and criminal behavior is that there is no adequate control. It’s almost impossible to separate one cultural factor from others in modern societies. Most studies I’ve seen are severely flawed.

    But when we step back from the tangle of modern life and look at human cultures overall, such as with anthropology’s Standard Survey, then it’s easy to see that behaviors are culturally formed and perpetuated. There are real differences in the levels of violence between societies and real differences in how sexuality is expressed. Children absorb the cultural norms they’re exposed to and continue them.

    Actually, we don’t even need to be anthropologists to know this; we know it all the time. It seems to me that in their anxiety to avoid censorship, liberals get themselves into intellectually indefensible positions on this. They understand how important it is for chilren to be exposed to good values of tolerance and equality and rational thinking and all that, but then turn around and claim that kids are impervious to messages of violence and sexuality. Nope, those images don’t have any affect on those little minds at all! It’s terribly important not to say “nigger” around the little kids, but it won’t matter at all if they spend 8 hours a day watching bimbos get blown to bits.

    Which is not to say that I think we can know exactly how images of sex and violence affect children, or that these effects can be isolated in a study, or that children who see violent images automatically grow up to be violent criminals.

    As for the effect of pornography on male sexual violence, I have no idea. I’m sure that pornography affects males somehow (aside from the obvious), and I’m sure that the ubiquity of pornography in our culture affects everybody somehow, but I’m not sure how. I have some theories, but the methodological problems in designing studies to figure this stuff out are enormous.

    As for what rape correlates to, when you step outside modern patriarchal cultures and look at the standard survey, the best predictor of rape incidence is female status. High status = low rape. True enough that those societies are also typically low in violence, but not always. There have been very warlike societies with high-status females where rape was extremely rare.

  14. Alon Levy says:

    It seems to me that in their anxiety to avoid censorship, liberals get themselves into intellectually indefensible positions on this.

    What liberals? In the 1990s most of the mainstream left supported Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman’s anti-violence crusade. Sure, the ACLU always supports free speech, but it’s ultimately a fringe organization.

    They understand how important it is for chilren to be exposed to good values of tolerance and equality and rational thinking and all that, but then turn around and claim that kids are impervious to messages of violence and sexuality.

    When I see data showing that porn causes a single rape, I’ll believe you. Until then, I’m going to go with the evidence and call bullshit.

    As for the effect of pornography on male sexual violence, I have no idea. I’m sure that pornography affects males somehow (aside from the obvious), and I’m sure that the ubiquity of pornography in our culture affects everybody somehow, but I’m not sure how. I have some theories, but the methodological problems in designing studies to figure this stuff out are enormous.

    There are two ways to test the effects of pornography on consumers. The first is to randomly separate a group of men into two, expose one subgroup to porn but not the other, and compare. The one study that purports to prove a link uses this method, but because it told the men in the test group that they’d be exposed to porn and allowed them to choose to opt out, the test group and the control group were not strictly comparable.

    The second way is to examine porn consumption rates over time and in many modern societies, and look at correlates. In every Western country, the correlation between porn consumption and rape is weakly negative. A related technique is to examine time delays – see for example Stephen Levitt’s argument that the Roe effect reduced crime because the states that legalized abortion before 1973 saw their crime rates plummet a few years before those that didn’t. In the case of porn you don’t need to look at time delays, as most guys start looking at porn about the same age they start committing crime.

    I’m unaware of any studies on the effect of pornography on 7-year-olds, but we don’t need studies to know that children learn everything, from language to racial attitudes, from what they see and hear. And we don’t need studies to know that children are sponges who soak up everything and incessant mimics who model every adult behavior they see.

    No, but we do need studies to tell us which adult behaviors they model more. For example, we can’t know a priori that children absorb language from their peers more than from their parents. For another linguistic example, mass media is known to have zero effect on language acquisition and language change, despite what many people believe.

    As for what rape correlates to, when you step outside modern patriarchal cultures and look at the standard survey, the best predictor of rape incidence is female status.

    The anthropological approach is useful as a general study of cultural history, but not as a guide to social policy. Like it or not, any social change has to be built on a modern kernel with patriarchal roots. Pretending otherwise is like pretending that because James has displaced John as the most common English name, expressions like “Jack of all trades” will change to “Jim of all trades.” To be relevant to social policy, you need a sociological approach, which tells us that the number one correlate of rape in modern societies is murder.

    By the way, I’ve just recalled that the NCVS reveals that the United States’ rape rate has fallen 50% since 2000. Do you have any idea why (I’m asking informatively, not rhetorically)? I certainly don’t, seeing as how murder rates have barely changed.

  15. Violet says:

    What liberals?

    Liberals who oppose censorship of movies and television (and now the internet). There has always been a contingent of liberals who oppose anti-sex, anti-violence censorship on free speech grounds.

    In my youth, the battle was over TV violence and then, later, explicit lyrics in songs. While the conservatives would argue that kids were affected by movie and TV violence and sex, liberals would dig in and claim that they weren’t.

    When I see data showing that porn causes a single rape, I’ll believe you. Until then, I’m going to go with the evidence and call bullshit.

    I don’t understand this response, since I’m not saying that porn causes rape. That’s a simplistic argument, and I’m not being simplistic. What I’m discussing is the fact that humans are affected by the culture they absorb, including what’s on TV, in the movies, and on the internet. Of course children are affected by what they see.

    If we didn’t believe that, then we’d never bother with education or with trying to inculcate liberal values. I mean, we talk all the time about how children absorb the patriarchal view of women from the surrounding culture, just as they absorb racism and bigotry and religion and everything else. I’m only pointing out that it’s absurd to pretend that children do all this absorbing, but sex and violence they don’t absorb.

    Re the studies you cited: I’m aware of them, and they’re all deeply flawed to my mind. They use unacceptable proxies, lack sufficient controls, fail to separate pornography from other cultural influences. Most sociological studies are impossibly simplistic.

    The way to think about pornography is as part of the larger picture of how women and sexuality are modeled in our society. It’s complex, but it’s worth thinking about. Pat conclusions in either direction are unwarranted. To say that pornography has no affect on the men who use it is to suggest that in this one area of human life, humans don’t behave like humans!

    The anthropological approach is useful as a general study of cultural history, but not as a guide to social policy. Like it or not, any social change has to be built on a modern kernel with patriarchal roots…to be relevant to social policy, you need a sociological approach, which tells us that the number one correlate of rape in modern societies is murder.

    Well, I disagree here because we have to look outside modern patriarchal cultures in order to understand how patriarchy models behavior. Non-patriarchal societies are the control. I think the understanding gained from a larger study of human culture is a valuable adjunct to modern sociology.

    By the way, I’ve just recalled that the NCVS reveals that the United States’ rape rate has fallen 50% since 2000. Do you have any idea why (I’m asking informatively, not rhetorically)? I certainly don’t, seeing as how murder rates have barely changed.

    I didn’t think it had fallen 50%, but I’m aware it has fallen. That’s probably due to the drop in the rate of child sexual assault. Rape of children is a huge component in the combined rape rate, and that is definitely dropping. Sociologists have been trying to sort out how much of it is a real drop and how much is an artifact, but the consensus seems to be that there has been a real decline in this behavior. Possibly attributable to greater social awareness of and disapproval of pedophilia.

  16. CR says:

    I think it has dropped for the reasons Miss Vilet said and also maybe ????because we have that 3 strikes law.

    I don’t like to think of how a study would go about finding out how porno affects little kids. I’d have to make a big fuss. I agree with everything Miss Violet is trying to say. Every single little thing so far.

    And I’m sorry that some liberal persons feel the need to make everything one way or the other sometimes. Some contraversial things in society are legal and probably should be, but they still have insidious affects on little kids, and grown ups too. No doubt about it. Study or no study.

    And the saddest part is that it doesn’t have to go that way.

  17. CR says:

    When we were little everyone would pretend to be Bruce Lee or Rambo or somebody and use the same words they would use, and kick the bejesus out of each other. And pretend to shoot at each other and pretty much act the fool. Now the little ones like to imitate South Park and Family Guy and I see it with my little nephews. And pretend to be “Ganstas” and what not. Some little ones who are having Grovers Bad Day can take it too far. Little girls I baby sit like to be like Britany Spears and so on. Pretending to be pin up girls and imitate stuff like that. I don’t need a scientific study to show me what my eyes can see. Even if one came out that said “who you gonna believe? This scientific study or your lie’in eyes?” No offense to scientists- they are the savours of the world- and mean well at all times. But these inexact studies, while useful- are not always the be all and end all.

    Also, alot of troubled folks in the world. People are sensitive. Expecially when they are little. They are impressionable. I think people are driven mad by greif. And some of the rougher things in this world like pornography, drugs, divorce, violence, cruelty- it adds up to rapists, criminals of all sorts, Columbine and any number of devient behaviour that in turn can perpetuate itself.

    Not ever a good idea to sexualize children. Grown ups need to cool it. And stop visiting their bullshit on the younger generations. They will figure it all out just fine. No need to rush it.

  18. Paul Tergeist says:

    http://sciammind.com/ “Human see, Human do. Ppg 22.

    Thanks to Gordo@7. I was longwinded.

  19. Paul Tergeist says:

    http://discover.com/issues/dec-05/features/people-altruism/

  20. tevez says:

    My position is that most human behavior is learned

    You have no children, I take it.

  21. CR says:

    Gee Mr. Paul, that was quite a filibuster. Are you winded?

  22. CR says:

    Tevez, can you please say a little more about your meaning? I am a slow and do not always catch what the point is they are trying to get across.

  23. Alon Levy says:

    I didn’t think it had fallen 50%, but I’m aware it has fallen. That’s probably due to the drop in the rate of child sexual assault. Rape of children is a huge component in the combined rape rate, and that is definitely dropping.

    If I’m not mistaken, the survey only considered sexual assaults of adults. The question was “Have you been raped in the past year?”, which presumably wouldn’t get the rate of child sexual assault.

    The way to think about pornography is as part of the larger picture of how women and sexuality are modeled in our society. It’s complex, but it’s worth thinking about. Pat conclusions in either direction are unwarranted. To say that pornography has no affect on the men who use it is to suggest that in this one area of human life, humans don’t behave like humans!

    I don’t say porn has no effect on users – I say it does not have a desensitizing effect, and in particular has no causal connection to sexual assault. The effect could be some sort of stress release that makes men less violent in real life – the stress-release effect is in fact better documented than the desensitization and imitation effects.

    I don’t understand this response, since I’m not saying that porn causes rape. That’s a simplistic argument, and I’m not being simplistic. What I’m discussing is the fact that humans are affected by the culture they absorb, including what’s on TV, in the movies, and on the internet. Of course children are affected by what they see.

    I don’t disagree that kids absorb culture… I disagree about where they absorb it. “I saw it on dad’s porn” is a powerful excuse, just like “the movies made me do it,” which is why people use it. I don’t know about school rape statistics, but I know that school shootings are far rarer than the media portrays them as. A school shooting grabs headlines, which is why the media talks about it ad nauseam; but in reality, you’re twice as likely to be stricken by lightning than to be shot at an American school. So it may just be a case of overhyping a sporadic event, just like with Columbine.

    Now the point of that is that once you discard sporadic case, the abuse argument becomes more powerful. Then there are a few additional robust explanations, such as the violence-in-the-neighborhood or overall-violent-culture theories, which are also fairly good at explaining why the US has 6 times as much murder as Europe and 4 times as much rape.

  24. Paul Tergeist says:

    Apparently tevez is under the impression that animal behavior is inherited rather than learned and suggests that the proof of this is instantly observable if one has children.

  25. Paul Tergeist says:

    These boys were 6-8 years old and cannot have understood anything about ‘sex’. They should not be charged with a crime, they should be taught to respect other people. Or paddled until their asses burn. But of course that would be child abuse so, since they cannot be corrected by the school and their parents don’t care, they grow up with no sense of right and wrong.

    What kind of country charges 6 year-olds with sex crimes and what kind of strange ratiocination makes anyone think they can make this into a de facto sex crime against the FATHERS? Next you will be after the government to prosecute poodles which hump your ankle with sex crimes or blame their owners IF they happen to be male.

  26. CR says:

    Thanks Paul, I’m following now.
    I agree that these are little tiny kids who don’t understand what even happened.

    and to Alon, Oh, I do believe that porno definately has a desensitizing affect. I know, “show me the scientific proof”. Don’t have any. Just know what I know. The stress relief part, probably true. But there are lots of ways to relieve stress that don’t make any trouble the way porno does.

  27. Alon Levy says:

    The stress-relievers are typically the things that involve doing similar things to virtual things. Examples include violent computer games and wrestling, and probably other things that are considered desensitizing.

  28. Paul Tergeist says:

    I must be the most naive person in the world. I have never had the urge to rape anyone, I have never seen a porn flick, read a porn magazine or surfed for porn and I have never read the Rolling Stone. I am not an athiest. I BELIEVE there is NO God whereas an athiest merely doesn’t believe in one. The idea of religion is ridiculous to me.

    I admit that in the distant past when I read newspapers I occasionally read my horoscope, but only to disprove whatever it said. It never said anything specific enough to disprove.

    On the other hand I have fought in a war and have investigated crime scenes. I have had a decent education in the muddy art of psychology. And, all-in-all, I have enjoyed my life so far except that my complete disdain for money had left me without any savings or investments, but with an elegant sufficiency upon which to live when compared to over 50% of the human race.

    I have been married and have 1.5 grandchildren. But during allmost sixty years I have never realized that most men are rabid predators. And I don’t believe it. I think there is a fringe group of feministas who think men are horrible rapists and a fringe group of men who think women are bloodsucking vampires. I think MOST people fall into a MOTR category, have neither been raped nor have raped anyone and are not psychotic about it.

    And I think that attributing “male rapist” motives to a 6 year old child or trying to blame their fathers is pandering.

  29. Alon Levy says:

    I am not an athiest. I BELIEVE there is NO God whereas an athiest merely doesn’t believe in one. The idea of religion is ridiculous to me.

    Then you are an atheist, only a strong one. People who just don’t believe in god are weak atheists; people who believe there’s no god, like me, are strong atheists.

  30. Michael says:

    The way to think about pornography is as part of the larger picture of how women and sexuality are modeled in our society.

    I agree porn is part of how women are molded in society. It is a minor factor, though, compared to Teen People and the other constant barage of sexist portrayal of women by women for women. Just look at the aisle at the supermarket. Porn only takes to an extreme what the beauty/fashion culture peddles constantly every day, largely by women for women.

    I think porn is like any art, low art though it may be. Crazy people can use any art to commit crazy acts, from music, to video games to porn. None of it is the fault of the art.

    Men are not the only gender who look at porn, either.

  31. Infidel says:

    Very young children are molesting a very young child for a childs reason.
    It may be psycopathic childrens reasoning.
    It may be normal childrens reasoning.
    But unless they were put up to it or coerced, they thought of doing it and did it.
    Sometimes a kid gets singled out for torment by a group of kids.
    All the time kids play games like tag or hide and seek where the one is pit against the many.
    Was it a game?

  32. Paul Tergeist says:

    to 29: Aloha Alon. I always referred to myself as a strong athiest until I read this article by Penn Jilette, so I plug it every chance I get.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557

  33. Infidel says:

    Devout athiests are all something. When I find out I’ll put them in a box and label it. Then I’ll just bring out the box, you’ll see what’s in it by the label.

  34. Paul Tergeist says:

    The words you are looking for include ‘freethinkers’, ‘scientists’, ‘realists’. There is an additional term…’Brights’ which I don’t like even though I are one.

  35. Infidel says:

    I’m looking for words of praise. A Mbuti immigrant child might have played “surround the hump” back in his home town. The Mbuti children are exposed to open sex.

  36. Infidel says:

    If the praise is for my God all is right with the world. If the praise is for me somebody probably wants something but at least they’re trying to schmooze it from me rather then beating me up and taking it, so all is right with the world.

    “Sex is very open, since the Mbuti live non-private lives. Children engage in sex play from an early age.” -VS-

  37. tevez says:

    Tevez, can you please say a little more about your meaning?

    Once a person has children, his or her belief that “most human behavior is learned” erodes very quickly, particularly if s/he has multiple children with differing characteristics (different sexes, intellectual aptitudes, energy levels, attention spans, etc.).

    So I surmised that Ms. Socks has no children. Call it a hunch.

  38. Infidel says:

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  39. CR says:

    Yes, Happy Mothers Day to all the Mothers on this blog. That’s interesting you say that Tevez because my Mother also said that too. She had three children. Two girls and a boy. And she observed this also with her grand children. She said that the little ones are what they are and you can almost tell when they are babies how it’s going to be. They are already showing personality traits right off the bat. Right when you bring them home almost. Paul, you have munchkins too. What do you think about that? What is your intuition saying to you? I have no children. I cannnot tell. But I know alot about canines because they are my hobby, and they seem to show traits right off the bat. Is there one of those scientific tests out there anybody knows of?

    but I don’t know how this applies to the little fellows we were talking about on this thread. I think they were imitating things. but some kids choose to imitate different things. I think these little guys were exposed to either by porno, or society or their other little pals, or parents, some things they don’t have a grasp of and did some things without understanding what they were doing. I don’t think it is neccessarliy a sign of what they will be doing when they get older.

    I do wish grown ups would be more careful about what they are doing. Not only with porno- but with other things too. As we get older we develop more pests within ourselves as we deal with our experiences. And unfortunately we visit those pests on little ones. We don’t always mean too. but we can be like bulls in a china shop sometimes. We have to have our booze or our porno or our fights with our spouses or our secret sexual affairs or steal that car or take our drugs or bitch to the four winds – we gotta have our freedom of speach. Or any number of other things pesty grown ups feel the need to be doing. Trouble is sometimes the little ones do and can reaact and pick up this stuff. and their little sensitive minds find ways to deal with it. And then they become grown ups and start the pests all over again. It doesn’t have to go that way. Sometimes i think underreacting to things is better than over reacting.

  40. CR says:

    since no one is talking about the little girl. I just wanted to add that this little girl is going now to have pests that she’s going to have to deal with when she gets older. How she deals with them will be a journey for her. But ultimately it will be up to her. It doesn’t have to be a life debilitating thing. No one can take anything away from you. Only you can. I wish her well.

  41. Paul Tergeist says:

    Maybe aliens made them do it.
    -V

    Maybe they have Zulu ancestors. In fact, it is quite likely. So, based on what we know of Zulu culture from a previous thread, and assuming that behavior is mostly learned and partially inherited, we can derive a testable theory about rape along racial lines from this group of SIX YEAR OLDS.

  42. Paul Tergeist says:

    to 40: I recall that we pulled ponytails in first grade. I also recall that, if you got caught by the girls they would kick the dogshit out of you. I’m still afraid of any group of girls wearing oxfords.

  43. gordo says:

    CR–

    I’m not a mother, but I’m going to try to have a happy Mother’s Day anyway. Once I’ve achieved that, I’ll call my mother and wish her a happy day. You gotta take life one step at a time, and you gotta take care of yourself, right?

  44. Violet says:

    Infidel, I happen to think that sex play is different from gang-rape play. The reason the little girl complained is because she was being forced. The Mbuti engage in mutual sex play, little boys and girls coupling up and trying out sexual positions.

    If you think gang rape is just fun sex, then you’re probably on the wrong blog.

  45. CR says:

    Happy Mothers Day Mr. Gordo, and thank you. Yes, it does seem to work out easier that way.

  46. Infidel says:

    Porn is a major factor in a boys life.
    Paul, in 28 you said, “I have never seen a porn flick, read a porn magazine or surfed for porn” Porn played no role in your life. I don’t think you niave, but if you’ve never read, seen, or surfed…wow! More power to you.
    Paul, you often enlighten with links. Where would I begin?!

  47. Violet says:

    Discussions of pornography usually frustrate me because they tend towards gross generalizations.

    Michael defends porn as low art, and Alon defends porn as a stress-relief mechanism. It may be both of those things in some cases.

    My own feeling is that the simple desire to look at images of naked humans and of humans engaging in sex is not, in itself, problematic. Humans are generally very interested in sex; it’s an aspect of our species. I’m not troubled by the fact that men enjoy looking at naked women. I’m not troubled by the fact that some women enjoy looking at naked men. I’m not troubled by the fact that images of people making love are fascinating to many.

    But pornography is a good deal more multivalent than this. It’s not just images of naked people or images of lovemaking. I’m not a porn user myself and my exposure to the stuff has been limited, but here are my random thoughts on the pornography I have seen:

    In the 70s I was exposed to Playboy, and it upset me immensely. What was upsetting was the unmistakable message that women weren’t part of the human community. The human community was comprised of men, who did all the thinking, talking, and doing. Men discussed art and politics and ideas. Women in the pages of Playboy existed solely as wet fuckholes. That was it. They might as well have been animals. As a female, I was freaked out by it. Is that what men want? Not just to strip women of their clothes, but of their minds/souls/humanity? If so, why? Is that truly intrinsic to male sexuality, or is it the patriarchy in action?

    The rise of internet porn has brought with it a trend towards ever more extreme acts of degradation. The demand now seems to be for simulated gang-rape, for women being forced into “double-penetration,” for women being gagged to vomiting by fellatio, and so forth. Homemade porn movies of recent years include a drugged old woman in a nursing home being raped, a female receiving a garden hose enema at gunpoint, and young teenagers being raped by men whom they address as “daddy.” Aside from the issue of crimes being committed in the filming of these videos — which is a real issue — what does this material say about the men who consume it? What does this material say about the society that produces it?

    There are a flood of reports nowadays from women who say that their lovers are pressuring them to perform acts from porn films, acts the women don’t want to perform. Anal sex and various other things. I don’t know how common this is, but obviously it is happening, and that’s not surprising given that humans of all ages want to imitate things they’ve seen and liked. At the very least, this puts stress on women to do things they don’t want to do, and I have trouble seeing this as healthy. If I had a man who was obsessed with getting me to act out some mess he’d seen in a porn film, he would not be my man much longer, I guarantee. But most women are simply not as independent as I am, and young women especially are already under a great deal of psychological and social pressure to please men.

    Feminists who like pornography say that woman-friendly porn exists, and I believe them. But why is so much porn created by and for men so…nasty? Nasty as in seemingly drenched with hostility towards women, with a desire to degrade and humiliate?

  48. Infidel says:

    “The Mbuti engage in mutual sex play, little boys and girls coupling up and trying out sexual positions”

    That’s fine. It is an example of little boys and girls in the absence of mass media influence, or unintended distibution of industrial strength pornography mutually engaging in and demonstrating interest and knowledge of adult sexuality. I am not drawing conclusions or equating. I am exploring the implications of two cultures. I am juxtaposing one cultures problems with anothers play. Both involve children and sex(rape not actually being sex but violence that mimics sex). I greatly value your guidance and expertise.
    I apologize to the Mbuti.

  49. CR says:

    Ho Ho!!!!!! Paul, my athiest friend is going to love that link. Thank you! I am so happy! It is exactly the sort of thing he will get a kick out of. Made my day!!!!

  50. CR says:

    Thanks Infidel, I missed it before. Sometimes I don’t click on links because it’s too much readage. Makes my eyes cross. But I will click on them all now after this. My friend thanks Paul and you. He’s a happy camper.

  51. Violet says:

    I am exploring the implications of two cultures. I am juxtaposing one cultures problems with anothers play.

    The Mbuti have a close-knit healthy society with good gender balance and a happy sexual attitude. Children model the sex they see, which is what children always do. In their case the sex they’re seeing is healthy, and their own sexuality is molded in a positive way by their early exposure to it.

    Modern western society is approximately 4 zillion times more complex than the Mbuti’s and is full of sexual violence and female oppression (which the Mbuti lack). In our modern world I agree with CR that we need to be careful about what children are exposed to.

  52. Infidel says:

    “why is so much porn created by and for men so…nasty?”

    LOOK AT ME! Attention getter. And it sells. One upsmanship. You’ve got a mule, I’ve got two mules and a snake. Maury!, Maury!, UNCUT VERSION. (Step right up–Tom Waites-) Pay more attention to your penis and the thrills will be enhanced, your pleasures will be mind shattering! Its new! Improved! Be the first on your block. Depressed- here’s a pill, Flacid- take this, Ugly, Fat, Stupid. Here, just $99.95. The bloody movies of Tarenteno, Peckinpaw slow motion spewing blood and chunks of innards. We eat this crap for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we get rich, we go back to the drawing board and see whats beyond what we’ve done. One thing though- before the movies, before the fictional books, before depiction of human behaviour did we test the boundries in fact? Are pornographers doing a service by expressing our sick curiosities for us in controlled scripted performance for money? Fuck no.

  53. tevez says:

    why is so much porn created by and for men so…nasty?

    Because you can’t stand out unless you’re extreme.

    It’s true in all walks of life; why should porn be different?

  54. Violet says:

    If that were all there was to it, then there would be an equal demand among women to see porn films of men being raped and humiliated. But there isn’t.

  55. tevez says:

    If that were all there was to it, then there would be an equal demand among women to see porn films of men being raped and humiliated. But there isn’t.

    To elaborate:

    IMHO, evolution has given men two biological impulses that are less (or, I suspect, not at all) present in females:
    (1) The desire to stick one’s penis into anything one finds attractive (women, men, farm animals, etc.);
    (2) The desire for physical domination of another human.

    Most men are not criminals; they channel #1 into consensual sexual activity, and they channel #2 into athletics, video games, heavy metal music, arguments on blogs, whatever.

    But for some men #1 and #2 get intertwined, and when that happens men have sexual desires that most people consider sick and disgusting. And demand creates supply.

    As for why #1 and #2 get intertwined (nature vs. nurture), I don’t know, but my life experiences lead me to believe nature is a far, far bigger factor. I have no evidence (except the anecdotal) to back that up, though, so if we disagree, no problem.

  56. Alon Levy says:

    If that were all there was to it, then there would be an equal demand among women to see porn films of men being raped and humiliated. But there isn’t.

    Once you realize that women are taught they’re not supposed to enjoy sex, everything falls into place. Women are more embarrassed to watch porn than men, so there’s very little porn for women. Women are more ashamed to pay for sex, so there’s very little female consumption of prostitution. It goes on and on – sexist notions change female behavior here a lot more than they do male behavior.

    Another point is that men tend to be a lot more picky about the gender of people they see in erotica than women. That’s the reason BDSM porn overwhelmingly portrays submissive women, even though most men’s BDSM fantasies are submissive: men just don’t like being turned on by men. I don’t know that a similar crypto-homophobia is found in women.

    There are a flood of reports nowadays from women who say that their lovers are pressuring them to perform acts from porn films, acts the women don’t want to perform.

    So the men who pressure women to do things are jerks. Don’t blame the fact that they see things, God forbid. Besides which, the flood of reports seems to ignore the fact that the media is often just an immediate cause of things. For an analogy, people might rob a bank and take its employees hostage in homage to Dog Day Afternoon, but it’s doubtful that they wouldn’t have done anything similar if Dog Day Afternoon hadn’t been made.

    In the 70s I was exposed to Playboy, and it upset me immensely. What was upsetting was the unmistakable message that women weren’t part of the human community.

    With minor modifications, you can similar things about many other pulp crap, such as action movies. I don’t know about you, but I find it disturbing that in almost all action movies, the solutions to problems boil down to bigger guns, faith is seen as better than reason in deciding what to do, and minority ethnic groups are either token side characters or the enemy.

    So given that, I’d go with the shallowness explanation – modern society is shallow, especially American society, so most media it produces, erotic or not, make me support quality-based censorship. The reason most porn sites make me cringe is probably the same reason most American movies make me cringe: they’re just plain bad. Part of it is the degradation of everyone who’s not a confident, physically strong white American male.

  57. Violet says:

    Once you realize that women are taught they’re not supposed to enjoy sex, everything falls into place.

    I just don’t think that even begins to explain why women don’t have a taste for degrading porn. Women my age and younger are generally unashamed of enjoying sex, and many are enthusiastic consumers of pornography and erotica. But there simply isn’t a demand from women to see men being raped, humiliated, degraded, injured, etc.

    Tevez argues that this is instrinsic to men.

    So the men who pressure women to do things are jerks. Don’t blame the fact that they see things, God forbid. Besides which, the flood of reports seems to ignore the fact that the media is often just an immediate cause of things. For an analogy, people might rob a bank and take its employees hostage in homage to Dog Day Afternoon, but it’s doubtful that they wouldn’t have done anything similar if Dog Day Afternoon hadn’t been made.

    I can’t sort out what your rebuttal is here. It’s a fact that the ubiquitous consumption of exxxTreme internet porn is leading to more and more men demanding things of women sexually that were very rare a few decades ago. Yes, those men are jerks. But are you saying that the influence isn’t there? That the phenomenon doesn’t exist? Or that even more sexual pressure on women isn’t a bad thing?

    With minor modifications, you can similar things about many other pulp crap, such as action movies.

    Except that men don’t masturbate and achieve orgasm to action movies. Men like to say that their deepest desires are something most women (excluding open-minded prostitutes) don’t understand. In the pages of pornography presumably they find their deepest desires realized. Rather unsettling if you’re a female to see that men’s deepest desire is apparently to degrade and humiliate you.

  58. Alon Levy says:

    It’s a fact that the ubiquitous consumption of exxxTreme internet porn is leading to more and more men demanding things of women sexually that were very rare a few decades ago. Yes, those men are jerks. But are you saying that the influence isn’t there? That the phenomenon doesn’t exist?

    I’m saying the influence isn’t there, because you need to account for the possibility that the two things are correlated because the same thing has caused both. In this case, it’s easy to argue that the liberalization of sexual mores in the last 40 years has caused porn to have to become more extreme to sell and men to want more extreme things to be turned on.

    Except that men don’t masturbate and achieve orgasm to action movies.

    What’s your point?

    I just don’t think that even begins to explain why women don’t have a taste for degrading porn. Women my age and younger are generally unashamed of enjoying sex, and many are enthusiastic consumers of pornography and erotica. But there simply isn’t a demand from women to see men being raped, humiliated, degraded, injured, etc.

    Well, it ties in well to observations like the anecdote about the group of women who hired a gigolo and made sure that they’d look really good to him. The primacy of pleasing men still lives among most women.

    An alternative explanation is maturation of pornography. There’s been porn for men for many decades, so modern straight male porn has to become more and more extreme to sell. It’s not as if society has become more accepting of rape since the 1960s, when there wasn’t much rape porn; it’s just that then, there were a lot of inhibitions involved, plus showing pictures of skinny naked women was enough of a big thing for more extreme things to be unnecessary. Today’s straight-female porn may be in the same situation, so that in 20 years of so, it’ll freely depict men torturing each other for women’s pleasure.

  59. txfeminist says:

    Alon, you might find the work of Dr. Diana Russell interesting. She is an expert in the study of violence against women.

    You asked for a source that would explain a causative theory of pornography and rape behavior. I think what she has to say is extremely interesting, and you might too.

    http://www.dianarussell.com/causation.html

    “A THEORY ABOUT THE CAUSATIVE ROLE OF PORNOGRAPHY

    Sociologist David Finkelhor has developed a very useful multicausal theory to explain the occurrence of child sexual abuse (1984). According to Finkelhor’s model, in order for child sexual abuse to occur, four conditions have to be met. First, someone has to want to abuse a child sexually. Second, this person’s internal inhibitions against acting out this desire have to be undermined. Third, this person’s social inhibitions against acting out this desire (e.g., fear of being caught and punished) have to to be undermined. Fourth, the would-be perpetrator has to undermine or overcome his or her chosen victim’s capacity to avoid or resist the sexual abuse.

    According to my theory, these conditions also have to be met in order for rape, battery, and other forms of sexual assault on adult women occur (Russell, 1984). Although my theory can be applied to other forms of sexual abuse and violence against women besides rape, the following formulation of it will focus on rape because most of the research relevant to my theory has been on this form of sexual assault.

    In Sexual Exploitation (1984) I suggest many factors that may predispose a large number of males in the United States to want to rape or assault women sexually. Some examples discussed in this book are (1) biological factors, (2) childhood experiences of sexual abuse, (3) male sex-role socialization, (4) exposure to mass media that encourage rape, and (5) exposure to pornography. Here I will discuss only the role of pornography.

    Although women have been known to rape both males and females, males are by far the predominant perpetrators of sexual assault as well as the biggest consumers of pornography. Hence, my theory will focus on male perpetrators.

    A diagrammatic presentation of this theory appears in Figure 1. As previously noted, in order for rape to occur, a man must not only be predisposed to rape, but his internal and social inhibitions against acting out this rape desires must be undermined. My theory, in a nutshell, is that pornography (1) predisposes some males to want to rape women and intensifies the predisposition in other males already so predisposed; (2) undermines some male’s internal inhibitions against acting out their desire to rape; and (3) undermines some male’s social inhibitions against acting out their desire to rape.”

  60. Infidel says:

    I was going to add something to that but it would be apparent from what I said that I watch pornography and mastrubate.
    I googled mastrubate in order to check my spelling and got 2,700 hits in .34 seconds- there are cartoons!- but I’m at work right now so I’ll wait til I get home(“Illegal Forbidden Site”)

  61. Alon Levy says:

    At first glance, Russell’s causation pages seem to be long on theory and anecdotes, and short on data. The studies cited measure rape fantasies, which are known to have nothing to do with real rape (well, at least that’s what Wikipedia says in its article about rape).

    Better-correlated factors, such as desensitization, don’t measure up to scrutiny – the one desensitization study that proves a causal effect uses a methodology that makes prayer studies look respectable. At the same time, studies based on social trends have found a weakly negative correlation; if you want, I can produce multiple references.

  62. tevez says:

    Tevez argues that this is instrinsic to men.

    Just to be clear, I am NOT arguing that all men want to see women raped and humiliated. I’m arguing that two primal impulses (desire for sex and desire for physical domination) are intrinsic to men. Most men find healthy, socially acceptable ways of gratifying these desires. But some don’t.

  63. Infidel says:

    We are default rapists with either an ability to cope or not? I don’t doubt it, I’m just loathe to think of myself that way. I think about me and all the males I’ve known- yeah, there is that possiblity, still…rapists- can’t you put a little distance between me and that. Can’t you add another primal impulse or two, maybe testosterone level or blood sugar- something abnormal so I’m not a rapist to begin with and only avoid raping to stay healthy and please society?

  64. CR says:

    I hope I don’t hurt anyones feelings by what I want to say. If I do, please let me know and I’ll back away.

    First to Infidel, no embarrasment. Millions of guys and a few girls are on line doing exactly that right as we speak. And even if they are not, it’s a natural thing and is good for your body.

    Paul, I admire that you don’t look at porno. I don’t either. And know alot of people who don’t. I have seen porno before. In a past life, from a long time ago I appear in two illegal magazines that I am aware of. But that is a very yucky story and not repeatable. I hope you will believe me that it was against my will. But you don’t have to. I understand. (God I’m glad i’m A Nonny Mouse!)

    The thing is that the viewing of porno does alter your consciousness and sensibilities even in adults. Just like any other thing you expose yourself to. You can’t help it. The mind works that way. Porno is a little like a drug. You have a physical reaction that is pleasurable, and it is a strong reaction. The problem is that the continued use of it changes something inside you. And you begin to get farther and farther away from yourself. You can loose yourself to a place that you don’t like about yourself. A place where honour is not to be found. And for this reason many people do not entertain porno. They instintively know that is not the sort of person they want to be. They will accidently see a page and quickly move away. They are invited to see it and they decline. They don’t want to cultivate something in their brains that they view as being dishonourable or even unhealthy- even degenerate. That is not to say that they think having sex is dishounorble. Contrary. Maybe they like having sex so much they would rather do it than look at others doing it. Or they are just not the “Cosmopolitan sort” so to speak. call them Old fashioned – or romanticists, if you want. Or maybe they know so much about the porno industry because they are policemen or something that they have developed a distaste for it. Whatever the reason some people don’t want to expose themselves to porno- I admire it and respect it tremendously. And apprecite it more than I can say.

    Porno does cause desenstivity. Your guys posts about it made that point loud and clear. Without meaning to, you were showing how it does. The fact that long time users of porno require creepier ways to be excited. And the fact that no one seems to care. Long time users of porno are to normalized to it so much that they don’t even feel anything about it. Sex with animals is a joke, for example. Or any number of curious ways people think up to sexually excite themselves. “Cosmopolitan” Folks- as I call them. Seems a little high maintainance to me. To complicated- just to become sexaully aroused.

    To Alon, I see in your posts regarding these things something. I noticed on the prostitution thread, you had basically reduced the prostitution industry to a cold business trans action. Ignoring the human part of it and the deep problem invovled unless you were pressed. The abortion thread you said that folks protesting outside of abortion clinics were exorcising their free speach rights- very legal. Ignoring the indecency of it, unless pressed. On rape threads, you did alot of minimizing with all the statistics, but acknowledged that rape is a pain in the ass- only in passing though. Most of your energy was placed on minimization. On this thread you minimize the affect of rude media on little ones, defend the porno industry, ignore the original purpose of the thread. I can tell that you are sensitive. But in your posts, after getting through all the facts and figures and five dollar words and high fallutin’ talk, you sound like you play for the other team ( don’t mean gay- I mean the guys who make trouble team). Even Paul, for all his rough and tumbleness sounds more sensitive on the inside to these issues. I noticed he had nothing to say on some issues. I dont know- maybe personal reasons. but It was noticed by me- and I respected that.

    Do you play for the other team Alon? Or is it coming out differently than you mean it to? Am I misunderstanding you? I asked this because I respect your thoughts. Read your posts with great interest. Think to myself- that fellow wasn’t looking out the window in school or drawing pictures in his notebook during class. I am trying to understand you. Not your mind- seen that part already. I’m looking for your heart. Right now it is hiding behind alot of cold intellectualism- and seems desensitzed and far away. If you don’t like to answer, I understand. YO don’t have to explain anything to me or anybody. Who the hell am I anyway. A big shmoe. I just thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

  65. Violet says:

    I’m saying the influence isn’t there, because you need to account for the possibility that the two things are correlated because the same thing has caused both. In this case, it’s easy to argue that the liberalization of sexual mores in the last 40 years has caused porn to have to become more extreme to sell and men to want more extreme things to be turned on.

    Okay, but I think this is unnecessary when the reports are of men saying, “honey, let’s do what they did in (insert name of porn film).” We’re not talking about crimes and theorizing about hidden factors; this is pretty straight-up stuff. Guys ask their girlfriends to do things from porn videos.

    Today’s straight-female porn may be in the same situation, so that in 20 years of so, it’ll freely depict men torturing each other for women’s pleasure.

    I just don’t buy your thesis, which seems to me that the only reason male porn differs from female porn is that men are less inhibited, and that male porn has already been on the shelf for decades and needs to differentiate itself with extremism to stay fresh. Hey, that seems to be the argument of all the males on this thread.

    As a female, I say that’s bull. You’re ignoring the fact that we live in a culture where female submissiveness and male domination are idealized, where rape is ubiquitous, where women are routinely degraded and brutalized in real life. Yet in your minds there’s a Chinese wall between the larger culture and porn? You are unable to see that at the very least, pornography is a reflection of larger attitudes and impulses?

    It’s like ancient Roman sociologists devising a study to see if the popularity of gladitorial combat has any effect on Roman attitudes towards human life. So they decide to do a survey to see if Romans who go to the games a lot beat their slaves more frequently than Romans who don’t go to the games. They find no correlation, and conclude that the games have no impact… meanwhile, THEY’RE SOAKING IN IT.

  66. Violet says:

    Sorry, CR, we cross-posted.

    I like your comment very much.

  67. Michael says:

    I have a problem with the (unspoken) notion that the world would be a better place without pornography. For many pornography IS a reflection of healthy sexual relationships. By this I mean that what I enjoy looking at, in terms of erotica, is consensual, adult men and women having sex. There is nothing about that which demeans women. Nothing, zero, zip.

    I am not implying this is true for all pornography. Much porn is degrading towards women, no question about it. But one could argue that it is just bad art, just like there is bad literature and bad movies. It doesn’t make the medium bad. The overwhelming popularity of porn for all genders is proof, in a way, that, in general, porn makes a positive impact on society. By this I mean if people enjoy it, it is positive (perhaps in the same way a Big Mac is positive.)

    Pornography probably is a reflection of larger attitudes and impulses. Those impulses are ancient — have sex, watch others have sex.

  68. Infidel says:

    “You’re ignoring the fact that we live in a culture where female submissiveness and male domination are idealized, where rape is ubiquitous, where women are routinely degraded and brutalized in real life.”

    Routinely?
    Rape Ubiquitous?
    If female submissiveness is idealized why not ignore it. If so and so hits their 714th home run why not ignore it. What harm is there in ignoring men’s domination being idealized. Isn’t that a good thing-better than say idealizing the idealizing of mans dominance?-sort of nuetral.
    Patriachy is ubiquitous okay, it underlies everything. To use the Romans it’s like slavery. If rape is ubiquitous, murder would have to be, are you ignoring that?

    How dare you…”all the males on this thread”…us. We demand an apology.

  69. Violet says:

    From the Russell paper Txfeminist cited:

    “The laws of social learning (for example, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, and social modeling), about which there is now considerable consensus among psychologists, apply to all the mass media, including pornography. As Donnerstein testified at the Hearings in Minneapolis: “If you assume that your child can learn from Sesame Street how to count one, two, three, four, five, believe me, they can learn how to pick up a gun” (Donnerstein, 1983, p. 11). Presumably, males can learn equally well how to rape, beat, sexually abuse, and degrade females.

    “A simple application of the laws of social learning suggests that viewers of pornography can develop arousal responses to depictions of rape, murder, child sexual abuse, or other assaultive behavior. Researcher S. Rachman of the Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, London, has demonstrated that male subjects can learn to become sexually aroused by seeing a picture of a woman’s boot after repeatedly seeing women’s boots in association with sexually arousing slides of nude females (Rachman and Hodgson, 1968). The laws of learning that operated in the acquisition of the boot fetish can also teach males who were not previously aroused by depictions of rape to become so. All it may take is the repeated association of rape with arousing portrayals of female nudity (or clothed females in provocative poses).

    “Even for males who are not sexually excited during movie portrayals of rape, masturbation subsequent to the movie reinforces the association. This constitutes what R.J. McGuire, J.M. Carlisle and B.G. Young refer to as “masturbatory conditioning” (Cline, 1974, p. 210). The pleasurable experience of orgasm–an expected and planned–for activity in many pornography parlors–is an exceptionally potent reinforcer. The fact that pornography is widely used by males as ejaculation material is a major factor that differentiates it from other mass media, intensifying the lessons that male consumers learn from it.”

  70. Infidel says:

    These kids though. They aren’t even jacking-off yet and they’re already surrounding and molesting. That isn’t reinforcement, that is right out of the starting gates.

  71. CR says:

    Micheal, demeaning of women is not bad art. Porno is not art.Pornographers are not artists. And people who look at porno are not art appreciators. but it sounds all on the up and up when it’s put it that way. The porno industry is a heartless and dark industry.

    Now I’m getting snarky. See what happens???? You go ahead and kick my butt with your rebuttal. I asked for it. I feel like I’m striving after the wind again. I’m all pooped out now. Guys argue so much better than girls sometimes. It all sounds so intelligent and logical. It’s not, it just sounds good. And i’m not clever enough with the wordage to be able to change anyones mind. Have a field day.

  72. Michael says:

    The porno industry may in fact be heartless and dark. I suspect it is. Pictures of naked people doing fun things is not. That is the point I am trying to make, I guess. For example, there is a lot of amateur porn where couples film themselves and post it. Is this degrading to women? No.

    There may be something wrong with the porn industry but there is nothing innately wrong about porn.

    Further, I’ll state the obvious, the dark and heartless sex industry would not be much of an industry if it were not for the willing participation of women. I do believe there are women who are victims in the sex industry but there are also women who are entrepreneurs in the sex industry.

  73. Violet says:

    Guys argue so much better than girls sometimes. It all sounds so intelligent and logical.

    No, they don’t argue better. They devalue female experience and dance around with faux facts, ignoring the subtle reality of human experience.

    Mary Daly is a great theologian and feminist thinker, and she has written very eloquently about the pitfalls of masculine discourse.

  74. Violet says:

    Further, I’ll state the obvious, the dark and heartless sex industry would not be much of an industry if it were not for the willing participation of women. I do believe there are women who are victims in the sex industry but there are also women who are entrepreneurs in the sex industry.

    Michael, that’s the patriarchy.

  75. Infidel says:

    Feral children would not, I think, get together in a group of 12 at age 8 and brutalize a little girl.

    This societies children did.

    I’d call it anti-social behaviour, but that’s my society. I wouldn’t call it cultured action, not my culture, but I’d be in denial.

    They may have been watching Billy Jack, I think there’s a scene in it where a dozen bad guys surround some girl and rape her. This doesn’t have to be about industrial pornography.

  76. Violet says:

    The overwhelming popularity of porn for all genders is proof, in a way, that, in general, porn makes a positive impact on society. By this I mean if people enjoy it, it is positive (perhaps in the same way a Big Mac is positive.)

    I don’t think that’s a particularly useful definition of “positive,” since by those lights the Roman circus was also positive. Lynchings were positive, public hangings were positive, bear baiting was positive, pogroms were positive (though the degree of positiveness would have varied with the ratio of happy Christians to unhappy Jews).

  77. CR says:

    Yep, ladies are buying into it.They beleive they are important only by way of men’s sexual reaction to them. There wouldn’t be a porno industry without them. Ladies contribute to their own demeaning and objectification. They are the biggest contributor. I don’t blame the men. They do whatever they can get away with. And it is the ladies that draw the line. Sadly the world is what it is. Happily, some men don’t go by this. They draw their own lines. They don’t buy into it- any more than some females do. They have their own compass. They make their own rules, their own laws. and refuse to be influenced by a rough, media driven society, their confused family, or their baser intincts or anything. They make their own world. They are masters of their castle.

    “Are amatuer videos are demaeaning to women? No?”

    Alot of them are. Most of them are, I’ll even go so far as to say. You never know the sordid little story behind those videos. It’s rarely pretty. It’s complicated mess of psychology, of disfunction, of confusion, desperation, greif, loss of ones self, heartbreak, drugs, subtle or overt influence by others, and alot of things that are very sad. It rarely has a happy ending in real life without a huge struggle.

    The thing is that people who support porno are very divorced emotionally from it. Is that an effect of looking at too much porno? It makes you rough? or do only rough people likes to suppost it? and there’s alot of rough people in the world.

    what the Sam Hill am I still going on about this for? Maybe I’m doing boring work today and have nothing better to do. Watching paint dry. looking at the grass grow. I’m glad I own the company or I’d have to put myself on leave.

    best wishes,
    Micheal, I can feel your good intensions.

  78. CR says:

    But if everybody jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? Is your compass go by what everybody else is doing? That’s a mob mentality. Lots of trouble there.

  79. Violet says:

    what the Sam Hill am I still going on about this for?

    I feel your pain. What jumps out at me is that men who defend porn are in such massive denial that logic goes out the window. Porn has no effect on anybody! It’s just like the movie Billy Jack! Whacking off to rape videos from age 12 has nothing to do with how men feel about sex or women! Women in porn videos are all happy and want to be there! Porn is art!

    Jesus Christ.

  80. CR says:

    Dear Miss Violet, I was going to hand over my rose coloured glasses to some of the fellows on this thread. I have found an extra pair. But you did it for me.

    but of course! The people in the porno industry are all a bunch of well adjusted, happy go lucky, open minded, artistic, Cosmopolitan type people who just love sex and want to share it with theo world. They suffer no remorse later in life. They have no issues with it later. Reccommended to all. Fun for the whole family. Love to entertain the folks and enjoy the service they provide. And I’m just an old fashioned so and so. And I can go to hell.

  81. Infidel says:

    The kids could have been watching the movie Billy Jack. They could have decided to emulate the bad guys.

    I think at 6,7,8 they would know what they’re doing is bad.

    They surrounded, so it was a coordinated plan, not spontaneous.

    They didn’t surround and torment. They moved in and molested.

    The object of their actions was to molest. To surround, move in, and molest.

    So it was probably a movie that incited these children to do what they did.

    Find the movie and you’ll find “the instructions” on how to do what they did.

    The “reason” they did what they did is different. I agree a ‘desire to dominate’ could very well have been the motive. Perhaps the physical education program had been cut from that particular school due to budget cuts. Now whos at fault?

  82. Violet says:

    For example, there is a lot of amateur porn where couples film themselves and post it. Is this degrading to women? No.

    As CR said, you don’t know the story behind the video. The rate of abuse in amateur porn may be even higher than in professional porn.

    You might try reading the stories of women and girls who have reported on their experiences: being blackmailed, emotionally or financially, by their men into appearing in videos; “couples” that actually consist of a girl and her stepfather or real father; naive young women humiliated and wounded by their star turns in some guy’s amateur video.

    I’m not saying all pornography is like that, but a great deal of it is. It’s just not credible to discuss this issue without seriously engaging in the full, complex, often ugly reality of pornography.

  83. Michael says:

    OK, last attempt and then I’ll disappear back from whence I came…

    I’m trying to point out that, say, 1% of porn is “good porn” which portrays consenting adults doing things they enjoy. I have this bizarre fantasy that some women in the world actually enjoy doing horny things, some of which are taped and shared among like-minded adults. I know women that enjoy viewing these sorts of things, too — IT’S NOT JUST MEN WHO ENJOY PORN.

    I’m a male who is very, very sympathetic to the feminist cause and yet apparently I’m no better than the worst pornographer out there. I don’t get it. Wait, I do: you guys are so wrapped up in your “women as victims of the patriarchy” schtick that you don’t get it anymore. I’ve granted you the 99% and you still can’t give me 1 goddamn percent. For example, I admitted the porn world is probably “heartless and dark”. The response? The implication that I said it was “well adjusted, happy go lucky, open minded, artistic, Cosmopolitan type people who just love sex “. If you have to utterly misconstrue my argument to make a point, you have no point.

  84. Violet says:

    I’ve granted you the 99% and you still can’t give me 1 goddamn percent.

    Then I think we’re misunderstanding each other. I’ve said from the get-go that pictures of naked people aren’t in themselves bad, and I realize that woman-friendly porn exists. Most porn, however, is not woman-friendly. We probably agree with each other.

    As for the patriarchy, we are all of us co-opted by it — you, me, everybody. Patriarchy isn’t a bunch of men ordering women around, but a system of values and social norms.

    I took issue with your statement that amateur couple porn is not demeaning to women. Some of it is not, I’m sure, but some of it is not as consenual and wholesome as it appears. I think that’s worth pointing out because a lot people who consume amateur porn have never read the individual stories from women about how those videos came to be. There are some very ugly stories out there.

    As for mine and CR’s responses — that was not just to you but to all men who defend porn. The way it seems to me is that in general men who defend porn are incredibly resistent to acknowledging either the power of pornography or its negative aspects. That makes conversation difficult. I’m willing to acknowledge (as I have in this thread) that there can be “good” porn and that interest in sexual imagery is not in itself bad. I feel frustrated that on the other side of the debate, porn users are often so unwilling to really look at the dark side.

  85. CR says:

    Micheal I’m sorry to have misconstrued your point. I took it that was the point you were making. Harmless adult fun. I understand that it is not very fun to look at porno if you don’t have on your rose coloured glasses. If one thinks of the porno industry as a whole, the whole reality of it, then the brain gets in the way of the lower chakra ( Shakra??- however you spell that). The images take on a different meaning. And that meaning isn’t a horny thing.

    I could concede the 1% to you, but I’d need an example of good porno- and I can’t think of one right now. You can. Violet can maybe. And I’m sure lots of other people can. If good porno is a couple who is consenting who likes to take pictures of themselves having sex then blasting them up on the interent or selling them to porno magazines is an example? Even then I will not concede. Somebody in that picture most likely gonna regret that little indecretion somewhere down the line.

    When I talk of porno, I’m not talking about the 1% if there even is a 1%. I’m talking about the wrecked relationships, broken hearts, lonliness, and all the other unhappy troubles that come with the 99%. I don’t care about the exceptions to the rule too much becuase it is not something to base a conversasion on. Unless one is talking about the 1%, which this thread was not until you like to bring it up. And that seems to be a common mode of arguement with the porno supporters. Now the whole bigger picture is lost once more ( as with so many of these threads). So I concede? – no. Not today. I am much harder character than Miss Violet maybe.

    I don’t see any good in porno. I simply can’t find one good thing about it. I don’t think it makes the world a better place. I think it is one of those things that makes the world a little lousier. Like that damn fool with his sign in the other thread. It doesn’t help people or society to be it’s best self. It doesn’t do anything postive for anybody. So yes, I can see a world without porno- or the need for porno as a better world.

    This of course is not realistic, it is idealistic. That’s why I said in my orignal post that it probably should be legal, becuase I’m not such a hard head as to beleive anyone would go for a world without porno. But it would be nice if at least folks who do it would be more careful and descrete about it. But they get so normalized and desensitized that they just go blasting it all over the place. They forget about the kids and the old people and the folks trying to mind their own business and keep things clean and spot on. I liked it in the old days when it was in the closet or under the bed and sold out the back door in a brown paper bag. And folks who indulged in it kept it away from their wife and kids. And didn’t trouble them with their bullshit. I liked that world better. It wasn’t porno free- but it was in it’s proper place. Now that stuff is in my inbox- unsolicited. And my 11 year old nephew’s inbox- the bastards. I don’t like that world.

    I need not explain myself or defend myself about sex. Another old thing that porno enthusiasts do. Make the person feel like they are not interested in sex- and put them on the defensive.

    As for what Violet said. She said it better than I ever could. But the conceding part. No. You’ll have to try harder to change my mind. If that’s what you are trying to do.

    Sorry to be so tough with everyone on this one. We all have our things. This one is another one of mine. I am a very hard character when it comes to this. I have my reasons- Nothing comes just out of nowhere. I’m sure I have hurt some people feelings. Please do not listen to me. My opinions are my own- and I matter not at all.

  86. Violet says:

    CR, I just want to say that I second everything you said.

    The 1% of good porn — I havent seen it either. Everything I’ve seen personally is bad, and all the effects I’ve seen personally are bad. But people tell me there’s good pornography, and some of those people are lesbian feminists, so I’m inclined to grant the point. I also think that it is not unhealthy to enjoy the human form — I think beautiful men are, well, beautiful — and I guess it is possible there is some pornography that is like that. I haven’t seen it, but I’m willing to believe it’s out there.

    I need not explain myself or defend myself about sex. Another old thing that porno enthusiasts do. Make the person feel like they are not interested in sex- and put them on the defensive.

    I’m glad you said this, because I noticed this too. I’m not sure porn defenders even conciously realize they’re doing this, but it’s a passive-aggressive way of putting the burden on the person who dislikes porn. By implying that people who don’t like porn don’t like sex, they don’t have to examine too closely how porn really functions.

    For myself, anyone who’s been reading me for a while knows that I like sex and I like men. I’m a very physical, sensual person. But pornography, to me, is not sexy. All the porn I’ve seen is ugly and off-putting. It’s the antithesis of sex and love and passion.

  87. CR says:

    Art in general is very sensual. I think that’s why people like it, collect it and do it them selves. I am also a big fan of some artist’s work that is sort of erotic and very sensual. I like it alot.
    Also, understand why you conceded the point. You live in a bigger world than me maybe. And know lots of different kinds of people. Gotta give your loved ones and friends some leighway. The female freindly porno, the lesbian porno and so on. Can’t go for it myself because lesbian or not- female freindly or not- I’m shaking my head right now back and forth. It’s all the same to me. Like you, I’ve heard about good porno- but haven’t actually seen it. Like the Chupacabra or Sasquatch.

    For myself, anyone who’s been reading me for a while knows that I like sex and I like men. I’m a very physical, sensual person.

    I can see that as plain as day.

  88. CR says:

    Don’t pull punches, I didn’t. You never know. Maybe somebody ( like me) can change their mind or learn something. No harm done.

  89. Michael says:

    Whew, thanks for the rational responses. I was mad and I should have worded that far better. So thank you.

    I suspect we largely do agree: I absolutely acknowledge the generally seedy, damaging and exploitative nature of the porn business. I’m not shying from that point at all. My objection is and has been that erotica (which is the much less scary word for pictures of naked people having sex) is not in and of itself evil, in fact it can be quite good.

    I’ll also admit that men find much, much, much more value in erotica than women. Something in there is so deep it almost seems genetic. The lack of “good” porn from your perspective is because you see the reality of the pictures. Men see the imagery of the pictures, in an idealized sense. It’s not that they can’t see the reality, they don’t want to.

    While, yes, I personally do admit to occasionally looking at erotica, I think what I am saying here is true of virtually all men. Sometimes we like sex to be shallow.

  90. Alon Levy says:

    It’s like ancient Roman sociologists devising a study to see if the popularity of gladitorial combat has any effect on Roman attitudes towards human life. So they decide to do a survey to see if Romans who go to the games a lot beat their slaves more frequently than Romans who don’t go to the games. They find no correlation, and conclude that the games have no impact… meanwhile, THEY’RE SOAKING IN IT.

    No, it’s not. The ancient Roman sociologists investigate further. They compare slave-murder rate in provinces of the Roman empire that have gladiator arenas and in provinces that don’t, and see that even after controlling for most factors, provinces with arenas have higher rates. They look at correlations between slave-murder and frequency of games over time, and see that every time there’s a game, the slave-murder rate spikes. They look at periods when there’re restrictions on games and see a decline in slave-murder.

    Except possibly for the moratorium bit, these effects have been documented for the American death penalty, whose brutalization effect is fairly well-documented, but weak enough that Amnesty’s official position is that there’s no correlation. The stress-release effect of media violence is yet weaker, but the desensitization effect just doesn’t exist. So sociologists can and do find brutalization where it exists.

    From the Russell paper Txfeminist cited:

    A thousand theories about how people are affected by the media won’t save a position without data. Sometimes people use “presumably” as a weasel-word, just like “practically” and “virtually.” In Russell’s case, it’s because it’s really a presumption, which happens to have no supporting facts.

    Porno does cause desenstivity. Your guys posts about it made that point loud and clear. Without meaning to, you were showing how it does. The fact that long time users of porno require creepier ways to be excited. And the fact that no one seems to care. Long time users of porno are to normalized to it so much that they don’t even feel anything about it.

    I’ve looked at porn about three times in my life – once by accident, and twice to see what it was all about. Let me just say that there isn’t going to be a fourth time. And even if there was, I should note that pro-censorship feminism revulsed me years before I even thought of looking at porn.

    In fact I don’t think it’s just me who’s like that. The stereotype I know of a male ACLU liberal is someone who doesn’t use birth control and has a child every time he has sex, and still only has two children.

    Do you play for the other team Alon? Or is it coming out differently than you mean it to? Am I misunderstanding you? I asked this because I respect your thoughts. Read your posts with great interest. Think to myself- that fellow wasn’t looking out the window in school or drawing pictures in his notebook during class. I am trying to understand you.

    Hey, you don’t have to apologize for asking – I come off that way a lot. My ex-girlfriend said that similar things about me, so I guess it’s true. I can give you my political life story if you care to hear it, which will probably explain everything. But for now let me just say that unlike most leftists, I view the personal approach as sort of oppressive, because if personal experience is what counts, then the elite decides whose personal experience counts more. Plus I’m very much a realist, so I’ve learned to look at things via a realistic lens. I find it keeps discussions far more productive, since I can talk to people who disagree with me without causing a flamewar. It doesn’t mean I don’t rail against things like torture and homophobia, but it does mean I have a pretty detached view of things (which, I’ll argue, helps me see them a lot more clearly).

    Lynchings were positive, public hangings were positive, bear baiting was positive, pogroms were positive (though the degree of positiveness would have varied with the ratio of happy Christians to unhappy Jews).

    Learn to distinguish things that offend you and things that kill you. Pogroms hurt me; Nazis who publish Holocaust-denying books don’t. I don’t have the right to tell Nazis not to march somewhere just because I don’t like seeing them around, and you don’t have the right to tell pornographers not to produce stuff just because you don’t like seeing porn around.

    I feel your pain. What jumps out at me is that men who defend porn are in such massive denial that logic goes out the window. Porn has no effect on anybody! It’s just like the movie Billy Jack! Whacking off to rape videos from age 12 has nothing to do with how men feel about sex or women! Women in porn videos are all happy and want to be there! Porn is art!

    The porn is art line is a bit misguided. I don’t know of any serious person who wants to ban Michael Bay movies. Now I know that most pornography makes Michael Bay look indistinguishable from Stanley Kubrick; but I just don’t see any rational way to say that porn is inherently bad because of its quality without making a similar argument about Bad Boys 2.

    The people in the porno industry are all a bunch of well adjusted, happy go lucky, open minded, artistic, Cosmopolitan type people who just love sex and want to share it with theo world. They suffer no remorse later in life. They have no issues with it later.

    It’s not up to anyone to tell people, “Don’t do this even though you want it.” It’s none of your FSM-damned business what people choose for themselves, as long as they really choose it.

    I feel frustrated that on the other side of the debate, porn users are often so unwilling to really look at the dark side.

    SSM opponents feel really frustrated that gay rights activists don’t acknowledge all the horrible social effects of gay marriage. “Why don’t you acknowledge I might be right?” is the cry of every crank. Trust me on this – you sound like Pharyngula’s endemic troll Charlie Wagner with this.

    As for mine and CR’s responses — that was not just to you but to all men who defend porn. The way it seems to me is that in general men who defend porn are incredibly resistent to acknowledging either the power of pornography or its negative aspects.

    See above about theory and data.

    But pornography, to me, is not sexy. All the porn I’ve seen is ugly and off-putting. It’s the antithesis of sex and love and passion.

    Yeah, it is. I have a feeling if I get to write an erotic story it just won’t be published, regardless of how good it is – there’s just no market for stories about a loving couple engaging in hot monkey sex. But blaming porn for it is misguided, just like blaming Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis for the USA’s fetish for violence is misguided.

  91. Violet says:

    Learn to distinguish things that offend you and things that kill you.

    Alon, dear, learn to read: I was responding to Michael’s definition of a social positive as anything that people enjoy.

    “Why don’t you acknowledge I might be right?” is the cry of every crank. Trust me on this – you sound like Pharyngula’s endemic troll Charlie Wagner with this.

    Pornography is complex = religious crank. Why yes, I will trust you on this!

  92. Violet says:

    It’s not up to anyone to tell people, “Don’t do this even though you want it.” It’s none of your FSM-damned business what people choose for themselves, as long as they really choose it.

    CR isn’t saying that it is. Don’t you see the difference between discussing the complex, potentially harmful effects of something, and wanting to run people’s lives so they don’t do it?

    For that matter, I’m not advocating censorship and never have. Yet you keep referring to it as if we’re debating whether pornography should be outlawed.

  93. Alon Levy says:

    CR isn’t saying that it is. Don’t you see the difference between discussing the complex, potentially harmful effects of something, and wanting to run people’s lives so they don’t do it?

    You don’t have to change the law to run people’s lives. Moralizing about how people shouldn’t do X because the moralizer doesn’t like it is often more harmful, if only because the moralist’s chances of changing the law are nil. You don’t have to ban gay sex to cause homosexuals to be ashamed of their own sexuality, for example.

    Pornography is complex = religious crank. Why yes, I will trust you on this!

    Oh, give me a break. You know that’s not what I’m saying. I acknowledge porn is complex; I don’t acknowledge it’s connected to rape in any way, because there’s no evidence for that (no, asserting that it has to be so isn’t evidence – by the same argument I can assert that mass media is obviously slowing language change).

    For that matter, I’m not advocating censorship and never have. Yet you keep referring to it as if we’re debating whether pornography should be outlawed.

    The thing is, the way you talk about it sounds a lot like how some stealth homophobes and anti-choicers talk. “Oh, I’m not advocating banning baby-murder yet, but we should provide alternatives and that’s what my pregnancy crisis center is for.” “I know the homosexualist agenda can ruin people’s lives, so I’m dedicating mine to helping people become straight again.”

  94. Violet says:

    Michael said:

    The lack of “good” porn from your perspective is because you see the reality of the pictures. Men see the imagery of the pictures, in an idealized sense. It’s not that they can’t see the reality, they don’t want to.

    That’s an interesting insight. I’m going to think over that one.

  95. CR says:

    Hi Alon, Thanks for the response. It’s true that detachment is good sometimes. I don’t know that it makes you see things more clearly. But it keeps you from getting emotional. And that’s useful in discussions.

    I do make moral judgments about many issues. I think that’s okay. I also see that everyone else-(including you) is too on all these threads. For or against some things based on moral judgements about the degree of harm.

    Personal experiences, and the experiences of others are very helpful to me. I can learn more from people who have actually been in a war than from someone who have never been in one. If I’m trying to understand about what war is like. I have never been a soldier. And if I was a soldier, I surely would want to take orders from an experienced older, successful soldier than from a theorist who has no experience.

    I don’t know who the elite are. Some people are elite because they earned it. and their judgement deserves respect. But it’s a bit of a challenge trying to figure out who earned it and who didn’t. That I have not been able to figure out.

    I don’t know what FSM is. But I don’t think it’s good.

  96. Infidel says:

    Like Violets’ tulips? Women see the reality of the pictures. Men see the imagery of the pictures, in an idealized sense. Or Violets’ dogs. Men see the imagery of the pictures, in an idealized sense while women see the reality of the pictures. Or just with pornography. Seeing the imagery of the pictures, in an idealized sense put together with “the fact that we live in a culture where female submissiveness and male domination are idealized” and aliens made them do it.

  97. Alon Levy says:

    Personal experiences, and the experiences of others are very helpful to me. I can learn more from people who have actually been in a war than from someone who have never been in one.

    Of course… and obviously I do my best to learn from other people’s experiences, when I can. But on most issues – certainly on every issue I debate – personal experience is of limited value. For example, a rape victim knows more than me about the trauma and the fear, but not necessarily about how national rape rates or breakdowns of rape by the gender of the perpetrator and the victim.

    If she’s willing to share, I’ll learn from her about how she coped, who she chose to blame, whether she reported it and why or why not, how it affected future encounters with men, and so on. Her experience alone isn’t general enough to base policy on, but talking to 10 or 20 victims is good enough to formulate guidelines for things like crisis centers. But if I want to look at how ubiquitous rape is, how the justice system treats rape cases, and so on, I’ll have to go to the cold equations of social science.

    I don’t know what FSM is. But I don’t think it’s good.

    FSM = Flying Spaghetti Monster, also known as the one true religion. Among the FSM’s creeds are that the FSM created the world and planted fake evidence for evolution, and that global warming is a direct result of the decrease in the number of pirates in the last 200 years.

  98. Dubhe says:

    It’s not like the studies are that hard to find. You just have to, you know, stop masturbating to internet porn long enough to type in the google search.

    Media doesn’t affect people? Holy shit! Someone had better get every big corporation on the phone right now before they waste any more money on booking Superbowl commercials!

  99. CR says:

    I am laughing. I felt very sad yesterday about all this. It was taking up space in my head. And there isn’t alot of room in there. Thank you for everything. It had a happier ending than all that. Maybe next time we’ll find ourselves playing on the same team. I look for it.

    Going back up my banana tree to ruminate and munch on some bananas. Mental image of noisey chimp with hurt feelings scrurrying up tree to comfort self by munching leaves and licking wounds. Does anyone else watch those Jane Goodall documentaries? Well, anyway…. Pffff!

  100. Violet says:

    Dubhe, thanks for that link. That’s an excellent compilation.

  101. CR says:

    Thanks too Dubhe- was feeling lonely.

  102. Sam says:

    Thank you, Violet and CR. Especially you, CR, for post 64 and for being brave enough to keep on keeping on as long as you could stomach it.

  103. Michael says:

    In a holistic sense, as I’m sure has been said, you can’t necessarily delegate the “blame” for why things happen to Teen People magazine, Grand Theft Auto, Marilyn Manson or pornography. It’s the integrated whole and it is not particularly surprising that it preys on our every weakness. Yet decency is far more common by a long shot. I am always amazed by the intense sense of fair play that humans have. The exceptions stick out like sore thumbs, as in the incident in the original post.

    As to the harmful effects of pornography, I know they are very real. It’s sort of like illegal drugs — the benefit is arguable and the risks are high. Yet I believe we should legalize drugs. In the end we have to trust people to make good choices. I’m not going to say drugs are “bad” and I’m not going to say porn is “bad”, even though both ruin homes and lives.

  104. Alon Levy says:

    It’s not like the studies are that hard to find. You just have to, you know, stop masturbating to internet porn long enough to type in the google search.

    I did do a Google search; the first few links I found were all anti-censorship (I searched porn rape rate japan studies).

    Most studies you quote don’t mention rape rates. The ones that do totally ignore the fact that crime rates rose in the 1960s across the board; sociologists have already accounted for the rise. Furthermore, there’s no explanation of how despite the fact that porn has become more extreme in the last 15 years, the American rape rate has taken a nosedive since 2000, dropping almost 50% even as assault and robbery rates have dropped only a few percent and murder rate has remained nearly constant.

    When Dworkin and MacKinnon got Canada to censor porn in 1992, there was no discernable change in the sexual assault trends. Denmark’s legalization of porn was followed by a spectacular decline in sexual assault rates even though non-sexual crime rates skyrocketed. MSNBC has references to numerous studies about the correlation between porn and rape in several countries, none of which has found a positive link. Solomon’s Refuge has even more links to studies that find a negative or zero correlation between porn and rape. I could go on and on about it – for instance, Singapore’s reported rape rate is a bit above Japan’s, even though here porn is strictly controlled whereas in Japan it’s about as ubiquitous as air.

    So, maybe it’s time you cut down on the quasi-religious moralism and realize you don’t have a leg to stand on.

  105. alyx says:

    The Dworkin/MacKinnon ordinance was about providing prostituted women with legal recourse for damage done to them by pimps and pornographers, not censorship, but hey, keep floggin’ that puritan feminist strawwoman if it makes you feel like a big man!

    All this talk about what porn *is* is just semantic knit-picking. When a young college guy talks about a wicked-mad porn film he saw the other night, he ain’t talkin’ about D.H. Lawrence.

    “zero correlation between porn and rape.”

    Because porn workers never get raped.

    My life has been a lot better since I gave up the products of the multibillion dollar female-meat-processing industry; no wondering, Did that girl in the video choose to be there? Under what circumstances? Did she have a home, family, other existence prior to this bullshit?

    That’s what turned me off in the end: We just don’t know.

  106. Alon Levy says:

    The Dworkin/MacKinnon ordinance was about providing prostituted women with legal recourse for damage done to them by pimps and pornographers, not censorship, but hey, keep floggin’ that puritan feminist strawwoman if it makes you feel like a big man!

    The ordinance involved an obscenity law that got many gay-themed stores closed or downsized and at one point caused Dworkin’s books to get stopped at the border.

    Because porn workers never get raped.

    Overall the correlation between porn and rape is negative. Do with it what you want – but stop ignoring it, because it only makes you the mainstream feminist movement’s laughing stock.

    My life has been a lot better since I gave up the products of the multibillion dollar female-meat-processing industry

    And my life has been a lot worse since I started treating puritans seriously. What’s your point?

  107. alyx says:

    *The ordinance involved an obscenity law that got many gay-themed stores closed or downsized and at one point caused Dworkin’s books to get stopped at the border.*

    Prove it.

    *Overall the correlation between porn and rape is negative. Do with it what you want – but stop ignoring it, because it only makes you the mainstream feminist movement’s laughing stock.*

    Hey, that’s a bit personal, don’t you think? Anyway, I’m not talking about porn causing rape. I’m a media student and don’t accept the argument that viewing porn will automatically make men go out and rape women. Try reading what’s there, kid!

    What I’m saying is that porn *workers* are often raped, or are filmed performing rape-like sex acts. The acts visited upon a female porn star’s body are physically painful and they aren’t wanted, they’re *tolerated.* Watching women get fucked while employing the kind of dissociative techniques we associate with war vets and abused kids may not be classed as ‘rape’, but it’s a bit too fucking close for my liking.

    And quit ignoring whatever doesn’t suit your argument: I’m talking about the effect on the female porn *workers*. Not *viewers*. But you don’t want to address that, do you?

    *And my life has been a lot worse since I started treating puritans seriously. What’s your point?*

    Then don’t take yourself so seriously, sweetie :P

  108. Alon Levy says:

    And quit ignoring whatever doesn’t suit your argument: I’m talking about the effect on the female porn workers.

    That isn’t the subject of this thread.

  109. Violet says:

    That isn’t the subject of this thread.

    By comment 47, if not earlier, we were talking about the effects of pornography in a more general sense.

  110. Mandos says:

    I was given to understand that the ordinance was for women who believed they had been harmed by porn in general, not just victims of the labour conditions of the porn industry. If it had been the latter it would have been an unobjectionable labour law. Because it’s the former (women who’ve been harmed, treating porn like a psych drug, etc), it starts looking like a somewhat sophist end run around against charges of censorship, first amendment issues, etc.

    If it isn’t the former, then why the vitriol against the ACLU (see Nikki Craft’s site), “first amendment fundamentalists”, etc?

  111. Violet says:

    Denmark’s legalization of porn was followed by a spectacular decline in sexual assault rates even though non-sexual crime rates skyrocketed.

    That’s a famous case of misreporting; ten years later, the Denmark police realized they’d made a mistake and in fact rape rates had skyrocketed following the legalization of porn. Of course it’s hard to know if that was just part of the overall rise in crime, but the point is that the famous “Denmark effect” was exposed as an error some 20 years ago.

    There have been localities like Oklahoma City and someplace in Australia where the rape rate seemed to go in lockstep with the changes in pornography (up with porn legal, down with porn banned), despite a completely different trend in other crime.

    I personally don’t think any of those studies prove a correlation, but I believe you are mistaken to say that the correlation between rape and pornography has been disproved.

  112. Alon Levy says:

    That’s a famous case of misreporting; ten years later, the Denmark police realized they’d made a mistake and in fact rape rates had skyrocketed following the legalization of porn.

    So did other crime rates – in fact the overall crime rate increased by 300%.

    There have been localities like Oklahoma City and someplace in Australia where the rape rate seemed to go in lockstep with the changes in pornography (up with porn legal, down with porn banned), despite a completely different trend in other crime.

    Was it reported or survey rape?

    Since the bulk of opposition to pornography is conservative, it’s likely that increased consumption of porn and increased rape reporting are linked via an intervening variable of liberalism.

    Or are you saying that legalization was followed by a rise in rape and subsequent criminalization was followed by a fall?

    I personally don’t think any of those studies prove a correlation, but I believe you are mistaken to say that the correlation between rape and pornography has been disproved.

    There are a few econometric studies that show a negative correlation between executions and murders. There are many others that show a positive or zero correlation. That doesn’t mean that the deterrence effect may or may not exist; it means we can assume it’s a myth until proven otherwise. The “until proven otherwise” part underlies every scientific theory, natural or social, so I omit it unless it’s absolutely necessary to make my case clear.

    To put it in different words: if porn was on trial for causing rape and I was on the jury, I’d vote to acquit given the evidence I’ve seen so far. And the industry wouldn’t even have to bribe me…

  113. Violet says:

    Or are you saying that legalization was followed by a rise in rape and subsequent criminalization was followed by a fall?

    Yes.

  114. Alon Levy says:

    Hmmm… Well, in that case, I’ll have to invoke the Bell Curve defense. In a nutshell, there are numerous studies about whether the white-black IQ gap in the US is genetic or not. Most find that in situations that get around entrenched racism and other environmental problems, the gap disappears. But there are a few that find that on the contrary, even after accounting for environmental factors, whites’ IQs are significantly higher than blacks’. The trick here is to know that if, say, 20% of the studies find an effect that 80% of similarly set-up studies don’t, then the effect can be said not to exist.