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pornography. Pornography and violence. Introduction. The Meese Report.

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pornography

pornography

Pornography and violence

the meese report
The Meese Report

What is a harm? We do not wish in referring repeatedly to "harm" to burden ourselves with an unduly narrow conception of harm… And we certainly reject the view that the only noticeable harm is one that causes physical or financial harm to identifiable individuals. An environment -physical, cultural, moral, or aesthetic-can be harmed, and so can a community, organization, or group be harmed independent of identifiable harms to members of that community…

The Meese Report

the meese report1
The Meese Report

When clinical and experimental research has focused particularly on sexually violent material, the conclusions have been virtually unanimous. In both clinical and experimental settings, exposure to sexually violent materials has indicated an increase in the likelihood of aggression. More specifically, the research, which is described in much detail later in this Report, shows a causal relationship between exposure to material of this type and aggressive behavior towards women.

the meese report2
The Meese Report

The assumption that increased aggressive behavior towards women is causally related, for an aggregate population, to increased sexual violence is significantly supported by the clinical evidence, as well as by much of the less scientific evidence. They are also to all of us assumptions that are plainly justified by our own common sense. This is not to say that all people with heightened levels of aggression will commit acts of sexual violence. But it is to say that over a sufficiently large number of cases we are confident in asserting that an increase in aggressive behavior directed at women will cause an increase in the level of sexual violence directed at women.

The Meese Report

the sexual violence argument
The Sexual Violence Argument

At least some forms of pornography harm women by causing an increase in sexual violence.

If (1), then it is prima facie permissible for the government to censor some forms of pornography.

[So] It is prima facie permissible for the government to censor some forms of pornography.

the harm principle
The Harm Principle

The Harm Principle (NC Version): Sociopolitical coercion is permissible only if it prevents harm to others.

The Harm Principle (NSC Version): Sociopolitcial coercion is permissible if and only if it prevents harm to others.

The Harm Principle (NPFO Version): Sociopolitical coercion is permissable only if it is prevents harm to others and is prima facie obligatory if it prevents harm to others.

the sexual violence argument1
The Sexual Violence Argument

At least some forms of pornography harm women by causing an increase in sexual violence.

If (1), then it is prima facie permissible for the government to censor some forms of pornography.

[So] It is prima facie permissible for the government to censor some forms of pornography.

the harm principle1
The Harm Principle

The Harm Principle (Narrow Version): Sociopolitical coercion is permissible only if it prevents the coerced subject from harming others.

The Harm Principle (Wide Version): Sociopolitical coercion is permissible only if it prevents harm to others in some way or other.

the sexual violence argument2
The Sexual Violence Argument

At least some forms of pornography harm women by causing an increase in sexual violence.

If (1), then it is prima facie permissible for the government to censor some forms of pornography.

[So] It is prima facie permissible for the government to censor some forms of pornography.

social experiments
Social Experiments

…undertook a 50-state correlational analysis of reported rape rates and the circulation rates of eight pornography magazines: Chic, Club, Forum, Gallery, Genesis, Hustler, Oui, and Playboy. A highly significant correlation (+0.64) was found between reported rape rates and circulation rates.

Larry Baron and Murray Straus (1989)

Four Theories of Rape in American Society

social experiments1
Social Experiments

Queensland, [at that time] the most conservative state, has maintained the strictest controls on pornography and has a comparatively low rate of rape reports. By contrast, South Australia, the [then] most liberal state in relation to pornography, has seen escalating reports of rape in the early 1970s... By 1985, South Australia had five times the rape rate of Queensland.

Spencer Gear (1990)

“The Power of Pornography”

criminal interviews
Criminal Interviews

…that 56% of the rapists and 42% of the child molesters implicated pornography in the commission of their offenses.

Gene Abel, Mary Mittleman, and Judith Becker (1985)

“Pornography and Sexual Violence”

…30% of rapists had encountered “hard” pornography as presdolescents vs. 2% of non-rapists.

Michael Goldstein and Harold Kant (1973)

Pornography and Sexual Deviance

lab tests
Lab Tests

This study examined the relatively long-term effects of repeated exposure to violent and nonviolent pornography on males' laboratory aggression against women… Subjects were randomly assigned to the sexually violent, sexually nonviolent, or control exposure conditions. Those assigned to the sexually violent or sexually nonviolent conditions were exposed over a four-week period to ten stimuli including feature-length films and written and pictorial depictions, whereas control subjects were not exposed to any stimuli. About a week following the end of the exposure phase, subjects participated in what they believed to be a totally unrelated experiment in which aggression was assessed within a Buss paradigm. Exposure to the violent or nonviolent pornographic stimuli was found to affect laboratory aggression… Likelihood of raping ratings was found to predict laboratory aggression.

Neil M. Malamuth and Joseph Ceniti

“Repeated Exposure to Violent and Non-Violent Pornography”