This Just In: Porn Isn’t Bad

“We can kid ourselves, but in the end it’s probably porn that people want.” Thomas McInerney

Here’s another reason to love America’s Hat: (From CNet) Researchers at The University of Montreal report that

“…pretty much all men consume pornography, mostly online, averaging 20 to 40 minutes a week, and without resulting “pathological” behavior.”

Funded by the The Interdisciplinary Research Center on Family Violence and Violence against Women, one of the researchers (Simon Louis Lajeunesse) states that,

“Pornography hasn’t changed their [the men’s] perception of women or their relationship which they all want as harmonious and fulfilling as possible,” Lajeunesse says. “Those who could not live out their fantasy in real life with their partner simply set aside the fantasy. The fantasy is broken in the real world and men don’t want their partner to look like a porn star.”

This contradicts the assertions by everyone from the Family Research Council to Naomi Wolf. It’s a rare topic that gets those two to agree.

When the researchers set out, they wanted to compare the perceptions of women between men who viewed pornography and men who hadn’t. They couldn’t find any men for the control group at the University of Montreal. I bet they could, if they looked for subjects in various religious sects (The Amish would be a great place to start) but then you’re screwing up your control sample. A bunch of Amish men aren’t representative of the general population. Porn, it seems, is ubiquitous.

As I said, a number of groups and organizations have long argued that porn deems women, contributes to an impossible body image standard, increases rape, increases violence towards women, and probably is also the reason we don’t have peace in the Middle East.

Consider this: Rape in the US has decreased by 60% since 1993 (according to RAINN). Internet access has risen from 2.3% of households in 1993 to 72.4% in 2008 (according to the World Bank). The Internet has made porn significantly more accessible, yet rape has decreased significantly. I am certainly NOT arguing that more porn = less rape (though I think the correlation should be studied), but such a drastic increase in the availability of porn should correlate to an increase in violence against women if porn is as dangerous as some have claimed.

Further, consider this: How much more porn is available now (and how much more explicit has porn become) since 1900? My unscientific guess is tons. Yet how much better are women treated now than they were in 1900? At least now I can vote. And wear pants.

H/T: Violet Blue

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