Porn May Lower Rates of Sexual Violence, Reports Say

Aug 5, 2011 2:30 PM PST

NEW YORK — A recent article in Scientific American suggests that porn may help curb sexual violence by offering an outlet for erotic behaviors.

The article said that contrary to what many people believe, recent research shows that moderate porn consumption does not make consumers more aggressive, promote sexism or harm relationships. Instead, it said that exposure to porn might make some people less likely to commit sex crimes.

The article said the most common concern is that porn is harmful to women, relationship and socity and cites various sources to contradict that claim.

“There’s absolutely no evidence that pornography does anything negative,” said Milton Diamond?, director of the Pacific Center for Sex and Society at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “It’s a moral issue, not a factual issue.”

The article said that some experts believe that consuming porn may reduce the desire to rape by offering a safe, private outlet for deviant sexual desires.

“Rates of rapes and sexual assault in the U.S. are at their lowest levels since the 1960s,” said Christopher J. Ferguson, a professor of psychology and criminal justice at Texas A&M International University.

Referring to a paper published in 2006 by Northwestern University law professor Anthony D’Amato, the article further supports it claim that there may be a correlation between rape statistics and access to pornography on the Internet.

As access to porn on the Internet grew in some more restrictive countries such as Japan, China and Denmark, rape statistics dropped, the paper said. In places where there was little access to Internet porn, such as some states in the U.S., the instances of rape skyrocketed by 53 percent. In states where there was a lot of porn access, the cases of reported rapes dropped 27 percent.

“Pornography seems to be protective,” Diamond said, perhaps in lowering levels of sexual repression.

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