New Studies Suggest On Screen Porn And Violence Reduce Real Rape And Violence

from the more-research-needed dept

I'll be the first to say that this clearly needs to have more research done to support these findings, and there are plenty of questions raised by them, but Slate is reporting on two new bits of research that suggest that online porn reduces rape, and movie violence reduces real violence. The first study looked at the incidents of rape in areas where internet access was prevalent, and found a meaningful drop, even after controlling for "alcohol consumption, police presence, poverty and unemployment rates, population density, and so forth." The report looks at whether it might be other online content, but notes that the internet doesn't impact homicide rates in the same way. In other words, it's only rape that's decreased by internet access. The researcher also notes that it's probably not due to dating sites either, as the effect is most noticeable in those 15 to 19 years old, the least likely to use dating services. The second study finds that crime rates tend to go down following the release of violent movies. Not just following the release, but literally, during the period of night when movies are most popularly shown -- if there's a new violent movie, crime rates tend to drop. This follows throughout the night, and crime rates only pick up again the next morning. The theory here is that if violent criminals are at the theater, they're not out being violent. The reason it lasts well afterwards (the theory goes) is that the violent types are eating popcorn and drinking soda... rather than alcohol, while watching the movie. It's no secret that people have pointed out that these types of activities can often act as a "valve" to release anger, rather than bottle it up until it comes out in a more damaging way. While these two studies are hardly proof (and more research needs to back these findings up), it does suggest that perhaps there's some truth behind those claims.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:13pm

    Just more proof that porn and violent media is a good thing.

    Take that, Jack Thompson!

     

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  2.  
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    Kyros, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:16pm

    This is without doubt enlightening an duseful information...oh, and first post.

     

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  3.  
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    Jimmy C, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:20pm

    You're Kidding Me.

    Those damn europeans have had it right this whole time? What's next: catholic priests allowed to marry and suddenly we don't have any sex scandals? Crazy!

     

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  4.  
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    dorpus, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:25pm

    Funny

    I just read a report about a dad in Japan who beat the crap out of his 2 children because they erased his high scores on the gaming console. In that case, video games were a direct cause of domestic violence.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Funny

    That would be due to the fact that in Japan/Korea, video games are much more highly regarded one might say... And have become the lives of many people in those parts of the world. I'm not saying it doesn't happen in the Americas/Europe, but it seems to occur more often there.

     

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  6.  
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    AMP, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Funny

    1. The original post was about movies, not video games.

    2. I would disagree with this entirely. I think that the direct cause of the violence was the nut job father.

    3. Was the video game in question violent?

     

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  7.  
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    bodhiguy, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 5:06pm

    Funny

    Loving this one ! You mean our son who gets virtually straights A's in high school, with honors classes, and runs crosscountry half the year and track and field the other half....who also has never been in even the slighest of trouble and has a morality rating that , although in par with his friends, is off the charts...and who, don't worry lastly, has ever violent video game known to man mastered, is normal ?

    Golly, maybe the answer is to take everyone of the these religious moral crusaders on a space shuttle, send them to the moon...let them battle it out in a grand war of morality...just until the winner is left standing...bring him back to earth and upon landing...SHOOT HIM IN THE FRICKIN HEAD :-)

     

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  8.  
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    Captain Obvious, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 5:17pm

    So if we saturate the media with violence, criminals will be so busy keeping up with the latest "Psycho Dad" episodes, and overall crime rates will drop instead of just being temporarily paused?

    Violent movies and games are not a valve to release pent-up anger. At best they pacify you for the same reasons that heartbeats drop when watching TV - it's passive entertainment. Of course violent people will enjoy violent movies and won't be committing crimes while watching them. Since when does this pass for scientific results? It's basic logic.

    If you want to find out WHO all these people are, check crime rates during significant Nascar events or World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views (though the effect will not be as pronounced in poorer areas that can't afford $40 pay-per-view events. Use Monday Night Raw as a suitable replacement as needed.)

    Select whatever type of media or events are suitable to whoever you want to study, like 50-Cent concerts, asian cinema, new World of Warcraft add-on releases, whatever. Then you can actually tell us something useful, like who's committing most of the crimes so that we can tap their phones, or better, pre-emptively arrest all of them.

    If you have purchased a pay-per-view Wrestling event in the past 360 days, please report to your nearest Wellness (Detention) Center for Society Re-Education (Reprogramming).

     

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  9.  
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    Nick, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 5:18pm

    ;-)

    Uber pwnage. Take that Jack Thompson.

    -Nick
    Candles | Perfumes

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    qyiet, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 5:43pm

    If you have purchased a pay-per-view Wrestling event in the past 360 days, please report to your nearest Wellness (Detention) Center for Society Re-Education (Reprogramming).

    Actually.. that idea has some merit

     

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  11.  
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    Eric, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Re: Funny

    The analogous example to western culture would probably be to fanaticism over football or baseball.

     

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  12.  
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    20 $ cookie, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 6:16pm

    Ok.. really lets think about these facts though,
    Where there is internet acess, we are talking about middle class to upper class citizens. That doesnt mean the % of rape or volence is any lower in reality. It just shows that with money and education, there is less violence and rape. If the areas were just educated, rather than looking at porn and playing violent video games, im sure things would be diffrent. Because lets face it, everyone has played a violent video game, and more than half of teen boys have seen pornography, probably more than that.

     

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  13.  
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    Zarquon, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Funny

    don't blame games, blame stupid/crazy people.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Frank, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 6:22pm

    Why is it so many researchers can't understand the elementary difference between association and causation?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Halb, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 6:30pm

    Demographic studies are useless

    This seems to be the classic demographic study, which means the "facts" derived are basically useless.

    For example, just because Internet access is available in an area does not mean people are using the Internet to view pornography.

    To establish a cause and effect relationship, you must not just note coincident timing. If you tested a group of known rapists and/or criminals and see if their criminal habits changed when exposed to violent movies or pornography, then perhaps there would be matter to discuss.

    Most people who make factual assessments from pseudo-science studies like this are just looking for excuses to support their preconceived notions.

    Secondly, ethical journalism always provides the source of survey results. Slate, I presume, merely republished these results. Who was the researcher and the financial sponsor of the research?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    ok, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 6:36pm

    So any study shows something causes problems you make fun of, but the ones that show they don't get good reviews?

    Yeah, thats unbiased.

     

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  17.  
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    u no, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 6:45pm

    Ture

    as a teenaged boy living in a male dorm room, I would think closer to 95% of teen boys have seen porn. Also, studies like these can be twisted to say whatever it is the ones conducting the study want them to say. Just like the post above me said.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike (profile), Oct 30th, 2006 @ 7:26pm

    Re:

    Where there is internet acess, we are talking about middle class to upper class citizens. That doesnt mean the % of rape or volence is any lower in reality. It just shows that with money and education, there is less violence and rape

    Except that the study controlled for all of those things... So your point doesn't hold. It found that even when you controlled for those things, the number of rapes went down.

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 30th, 2006 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Demographic studies are useless

    This seems to be the classic demographic study, which means the "facts" derived are basically useless.

    Perhaps.


    For example, just because Internet access is available in an area does not mean people are using the Internet to view pornography.


    Absolutely true, though the report does try to explain how it came to its conclusion.

    To establish a cause and effect relationship, you must not just note coincident timing. If you tested a group of known rapists and/or criminals and see if their criminal habits changed when exposed to violent movies or pornography, then perhaps there would be matter to discuss.

    Indeed, which is why more research is needed.

    Most people who make factual assessments from pseudo-science studies like this are just looking for excuses to support their preconceived notions.

    See comment above.

    Secondly, ethical journalism always provides the source of survey results. Slate, I presume, merely republished these results. Who was the researcher and the financial sponsor of the research?

    You can find the links in the Slate article.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 30th, 2006 @ 7:30pm

    Re:

    So any study shows something causes problems you make fun of, but the ones that show they don't get good reviews?

    This is a good review? I say repeatedly that more research needs to be done and that there are questions raised by them.

    However, the reasoning makes sense. The reasoning in the other studies didn't make sense. Is it because of bias? Perhaps. But no one seems to be coming up with a convincing explanation for these results otherwise.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Jason, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 7:47pm

    It's true. When I get homicidal, I just go fuck shit up on a video game, killing every living organism the game designers put in for me. It is quite relaxing. I derive psychotic pleasure from doing it. Same goes for the porn. When I'm in the mood, satisfaction is a mere mouse click away....with none of the BS that goes along with a real woman. Thank God for technology.

     

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  22.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 9:33pm

    Oh Good

    If I weren't about to finish school anyway (in Oz), it might be worth sending my admin a link to this page. still, I'd probalby just get banned for spaming him. :D

    Interesting survey, but I think more research is needed.

     

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  23.  
    icon
    MadJo (profile), Oct 31st, 2006 @ 2:13am

    Re:

    Violent movies and games are not a valve to release pent-up anger. At best they pacify you for the same reasons that heartbeats drop when watching TV - it's passive entertainment. Of course violent people will enjoy violent movies and won't be committing crimes while watching them. Since when does this pass for scientific results? It's basic logic.

    I disagree that video games can be considered passive entertainment. It is very active. With TV and movies indeed all you do is watch, but with video games it's YOU how controls the character. So you can't possibly call it passive entertainment.

    BTW, I love the Die Hard movies (just to take an example), but I can not be considered a violent man, not by a long shot.
    I also like to play first person shooters as a valve to shoot away any frustrations I might get at work. But I've yet to fire a real gun, and I don't intend to change that any time soon.

    Which is safer? Acting out frustrations on a bunch of pixels or on a live person?

    You can't tell me, that I'm alone in this!

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    halb, Oct 31st, 2006 @ 4:21am

    Are criteria is so low...

    This discussion is about whether a frustrated person is doing better by spending time masterbating or fantasizing about killing those he hates, or by actually acting out his passions.

    I would rather have responsible members of society who spend their time investing in greater causes (fighting poverty, caring for their children, curing diseases, caring for elderly neighbors, wisely governing, etc.). That too would reduce rape and violent crime.

    Sitting in a room privately satisfying your animal passions does nothing positive for our society. In fact, we seem to be losing a generation of young people to the lure of this nonsense.

    Give me a civil society where young men and women have loftier goals and want more from their lives. Violent movies and pornography are certainly not the way to obtain that.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Been There, Oct 31st, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Violence in Japan

    Japan has some of the most violent animation on TV and in their magazines. As I recall, there is even a comic character called "Rape Man" who is the hero. You can imagine what he does.

    And yet, in Japan, violence is much much lower than here in the States.

    No surprises, when you supress things, people act out.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    AAM, Nov 15th, 2006 @ 7:50pm

    This article intrests me. I am a strong supporter of free speech, and it is good to finally see some people conducting studies that show violence and inapropriate material in the media leads to a decrease in violence and such behavior in the actual world.

    All I hear are agruments on how things like violent video games and movies corrupt our youth, and I'm tired of it. If enough people see statistics like these, we can sleep soundly at night knowing our rights are protected and our streets are safer.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    AAM, Nov 15th, 2006 @ 8:06pm

    Psyche! I don't believe these statistics at all, well, maybe a little, but not as I said before.

    Heres the deal. DON'T RELY ON ANY STUDY LIKE THIS. And I mean this for both sides of the argument. People spend way too much time trying to relate morals to media. They are two tottally separate things, and we don't know how the human minds works completley to make such strong assumptions and corellations.

    I am prefectly okay with saying this argument is probably as biased as the arguments against violent media. But whatever the statistics say, people are different.

    There are many posts above where people admit to using these things as a "valve" for stress. Others say that doing things like these are not productive and don't help you in the long run. Either way it doesen't matter. It a question of personal freedom.

    I play plenty of violent videogames, but not becuase I need to vent stress or am angry at the world. If I was, I still probably woulden't use violent media as an outlet for my rage. I play games and watch movies purley for entertainemnt. Regardless of how much fun I have blasting heads in video games, watching geysers of blood spew in Kill Bill, and whacking it looking at dirty pictures on the internet, I still am the same person before and after, and my world view does not change. The only reason I may feel relieved of stress is purley becuase it is a relaxing activity I enjoy doing, not unlike reading a book or doing tai chi or something.

    As stated before, people react to and "use" different forms of media in different ways. Artcicles packed with statistics and massive studies don't have as much merit and signifcance as they are said to by liberals and evenagelical christians alike.

    Besides, most of the problem is just the huge generation gap combined with the ever increasing rate at which technology is falling into the hands of "impressionable" youngsters.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    johnrichard, Feb 6th, 2007 @ 2:50am

    art&crafts

    Manufacturer of Wooden Handicrafts,Indian Handicrafts,

     

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    Two Way Radio Battery

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    Alinco Radio Batteries

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  31.  
    identicon
    Alan, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 7:44pm

    I have an opinion or is it fact from an expert

    Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (retired) is an expert on the psychology of killing. He now teaches psychology at Arkansas State University, directs the Killology Research Group in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and has written On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (Little, Brown and Co., 1996). http://www.killology.com/bio.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Alia, Oct 23rd, 2007 @ 6:20am

    Porn reduces rape fallacy

    The problem with the notion that porn reduces rape or violence against women is that most pornography is rape or violence against women. They are not mere images pulled out of thin air. Someone had to perform the acts for you to watch, and unfortunately according to almost all of the research on pornography, the (mostly) women and children in it are not there because they really want to be. Concepts of choice and consent are very ambiguous when there is addiction, poverty, coercion, child abuse etc. One example is Linda Lovelace, who appeared in a movie that is considered a porn 'classic', but which is in fact a filmed record of her sexual assault.

    Another problem with the idea that porn reduces rape is that it completely misunderstands what rape actually is. Rape has nothing to do with sex or sexual release. It is the violent, brutal exercise of power of one human being over another. Free speech has never been entirely protected. Your right to free speech and expression ends where it violates the rights of another human being, particularly the right to be free from violence and worse.

     

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  33.  
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    justin gooding, May 1st, 2008 @ 8:24am

    request more info

    your absolutaly right about violent media decreasing arrest rates. I'm doing research on this topik and i would like any info you can give me.



    Thankyou ^^

     

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  34.  
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    kolli, Jun 15th, 2008 @ 8:24am

     

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  35.  
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    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Porn reduces rape fallacy

    wow you sound like my mom, MOST porn is made in the united states, and MOST rape movies or other bdsm type stuff IS consentual since MOST of the time after the movie is done they do the talk about how everyone is having fun and it was a job yada yada yada...don't bring your bs examples when most of that bad shit happens in countries like turkey where women are traded as slaves anyway so rape doesn't really take presidence.

     

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  36.  
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    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:09pm

    Re:

    i agree except about the part where you don't change based on what you do/see. if you went without those things, don't you think you would be a different person, i think if porn became illegal (pfff ya right never gonna fuckin happen) rape would sky rocket. i myself would probably do it even though i think it is bad, in the end biological imperitive crushes everybodies will. why do you think we have so many parodies of the caveman clubing the women over the head and dragging her into the cave lol.

     

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  37.  
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    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Funny

    ...ever thought about the fact that if kids disobey in asian countries they get beat no matter what, aduh.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Funny

    and you, the post was about the internet AND movies, internet has porn AND video games so technically video games count, the study thing was only assuming porn was the "outlet"

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:17pm

    Re:

    ill assume you were being sarcastic about that last part (if not ur pretty fucked in the head) but about the games, violent games are very much releases for anger, you can yell at the enemy as much as you want but after your done skull fucking them you go back to your life and avoid the pesky business of figuring out the best price for an uzi for your next staff meeting.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:22pm

    Re:

    dude you dont have to be rich to play video games or watch porn, you can steal internet from neighbors and steal consoles or computers from other people, which would explain stats if there were any that showed a spike and then sudden drop in crime hahahhahaa...but seriously i know lots of poor people that have comps and consoles, especially comps since most schools require typed shit, and if you are refering to "the ghetto" or something like that, return to the top of this statement lol.

    p.s. do your really think there is a "gangsta houze" that is tech free, you must be insane, they'd go nuts without their grand theft auto

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Are criteria is so low...

    dude you must be a fogey because there is no fing way you are from this century, perhaps this world. human beings ARE animals no matter what you believe it is a fact we are just smarter then the rest of the animals on this planet. SOME people thought drinking alcohol was "nonsense" and try as they might nobody stopped drinking, the only reason prohibition was repealed is because the idiot religious fanatics forgot that their "sacrement" was also alcohol aduuuuhhh. if you from the U.S. you might also have noticed that the "war on drugs" seems to be going on well into the 30+ anniversary range, makes sense to waste all that effort instead of using it ont hose things you mentioned right, oh wait it doesn't.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    WolfChieftain, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:40pm

    Re:

    by the way did you notice in your first post you called it "inappropriate materials" ...that sounds pretty biased to me, who says it's inappropriate, oh i believe that was you jsut there biaassseeed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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