Thursday, May 19, 2005

Predators and Pornography: A disturbing link

Penny Nance, in a recent National Review article, believes that there is a strong link between pornography and violent crime against women and children. She asserts: "More needs to be done to evaluate the connection between violent predatory behavior and pornography..." It is understandble why she did not cite any studies in her article. It may be that those studies come to a different conclusion.

Sex, Guys, and Cyberspace: Effects of Internet Pornography and Individual Differences on Men's Attitudes Toward Women.

Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, Vol. 11(1) 1999. pp 63-91.

"The results of two separate studies failed to show any detectable relationship between differential and substantial exposure to Internet pornography and men's attitudes women, acceptance of women as managers, likelihood of sexual harassment, or rape myth acceptance." (p. 84)

"..we were unable to document negative effects of experimental or self-regulated exposure to Internet pornography. Despite the fact that negative effects of Internet pornography have widely been feared... and despite the fact that such fears have served as the basis for recent legislation to restrict access to Internet pornography..." (p. 84)

"Our findins may also be considered as support for recent proposals to increase use of the Internet as a sex education and counseling tool... insofar as Internet-driven sexually explicit materials do not appear to necessarily produce negative effects, and their potential for producing positive effects on sexuality may reasonably be explored." (p. 84 - 85)

Child molestors do use porn to help desensitize and abuse children. Just as they use alcohol, drugs, kindness, and positions of trust and authority: Church Camp counselors, Softball Coaches, Boy Scout leaders, to name a few. If I read this study correctly, problems that arise from the abuse of Internet porn has more to do with pre-existing personality issues than with pornography itself. Pornography does not turn men into violent abusers of women and children anymore than a .44 handgun turned David Berkowitz into a serial killer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Newsweek Scandal

It would seem that the Newsweek story was not, ummmm, new. Other papers have been reporting about American interrorgators defiling the Qu'ran (I would normally have gone with "Koran", but since the other spelling annoys righties, I thought, why the hell not?). Why is Newsweek the bad guy? Maybe it's a way to take attention from the British memos that simply confirm what many of us suspected all along: GWB was determined to invade Iraq. No matter what. Ignore the man behind the curtain. And whatever you do, don't let the facts get in your way.

Molly Ivins

"As Riley used to say on an ancient television sitcom, "This is a revoltin' development." There seems to be a bit of a campaign on the right to blame Newsweek for the anti-American riots in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Islamic countries.

Uh, people, I hate to tell you this, but the story about Americans abusing the Koran in order to enrage prisoners has been out there for quite some time. The first mention I found of it is March 17, 2004, when the Independent of London interviewed the first British citizen released from Guantanamo Bay. The prisoner said he had been physically beaten but did not consider that as bad as the psychological torture, which he described extensively. Jamal al-Harith, a computer programmer from Manchester, said 70 percent of the inmates had gone on a hunger strike after a guard kicked a copy of the Koran. The strike was ended by force-feeding."