Men, Porn and Rape

Watching Porn Makes Men Rape, Sexually Violent and Aggressive, and Turns Men Into Child Molesters

Adult pornography is a voluntary arousal tool, like sexual fantasy (the imagination), erotic books, and sex toys (to name a few). Porn lacks the power to “make” anyone do anything they do not already want to do.

A common myth about porn used by people to create fear about watching porn is stating that viewing pornography awakens something in men that makes them into uncontrollable sexual animals. Many anti-porn pundits claim that porn makes men aggressive, and even go so far to suggest that porn makes men lose the capacity to determine right from wrong, and the consequence of this is that porn makes men helplessly into sexually violating monsters. There is no substantiation to these claims.

Portraying all men as sexually out-of-control

Yet because male sexuality is easily demonized, this seems to be an easy myth for people to readily believe. It also keeps sexual roles neatly in the men-as-perpetrators role, and women in the sexual-victims role, which is the most common underlying perspective at the heart of all anti-pornography arguments. The myth that porn creates rapists also relies on the belief that all porn being watched is porn that depicts sexual violence.

Researcher Milton Diamond released conclusive data about the impact of porn on sex crimes. CBS News reported on it (Researcher Finds Inverse Causal Nexus Between Availability of Porn and Sex Crimes) and in Diamond’s paper published in 2009 in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Milton Diamond reviewed a very broad number of studies that have explored the supposed ill effects of pornography. Subsequent to his extensive review, Diamond concludes (p. 312):

Indeed, the data reported and reviewed suggests that the thesis is myth and, if anything, there is an inverse causal relationship between an increase in pornography and sex crimes. Further, considering the findings of studies of community standards and wide spread usage of SEM [sexually explicit material], it is obvious that in local communities as nationally and internationally, porn is available, widely used and felt appropriate for voluntary adult consumption.

If there is a consensus against pornography it is in regard to any SEM that involves children or minors in its production or consumption. Lastly we see that objections to erotic materials are often made on the basis of supposed actual, social or moral harm to women. No such cause and effect has been demonstrated with any negative consequence.

In the study, Diamond looked at the relationships between porn and sex crimes in various parts of the world. He stated that when police suggest that sex offenders are porn users, this is meaningless, as most men are porn users. Having evaluated every piece of research he could find, Diamond concluded, “What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing.”

He found no data that suggested a correlation between an increase in the availability of porn and an increase in sex crimes. Many other researchers have come to the same conclusion, as seen in the links at the bottom of this page.

Men are probably tired of being portrayed as sexual children. Worse, they must be terrified at the thought that anyone might think of them as capable of rape or child molestation because they desire and enjoy adult pornography.

First and foremost: people who sexually abuse children are interested in children and pedophiliac imagery, not consensual adult porn. Those interested in sexualizing underage kids will be much more interested in watching movies that depict children being sexualized than video depicting adult sex.

There is still no proof of any correlation between male porn use and sexual violence

Much thought and investigation has gone into whether or not porn increases or reduces rape and violent behaviors. Unfortunately, unbiased proof connecting porn and rape has not been provided in items that are not opinion pieces, or are problematic on data or sources. A number of articles and data analysis pieces have been written with the intent to balance out this argument. Several articles and reports of note include:

* Reason Magazine: Is Pornography a Catalyst of Sexual Violence? (reason.com)

* CSPH: Effects of Pornography (thecsph.org)

* Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality: What Sexual Scientists Know About Pornography (PDF download, sexscience.org)

* US Government, The Commission on Obscenity and Pornography Report, 1970: Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (books.google.com)

* Reason Magazine: Does More Porn Make Society Better? (reason.com)

* Slate: How the Web Prevents Rape (slate.com)

* ScienceBlogs: Just how bad is porn? Revisited post (scienceblogs.com)

The highlights according to data? Pornography use is not indicative of high risk for sexual aggression, nor is there anything in peer-reviewed research to date even remotely suggesting that pornography causes sexual violence.

In fact, the data suggests that viewing pornography is not a direct cause of aggression against women. Rather, viewing pornography moderates the relationship between sexual promiscuity/hostile masculinity and sexual aggression.

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