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.