Friday, February 08, 2008

Some "Free Speech" Is Not Free

A blog-o-pal is currently in Iraq, with the JAG Corps. We've disagreed about this topic, so just to keep him awake nights, I'll post a bit from this erudite essay (quoted by Hat-Lady). And so you know: Grim is not a porn-pusher--but is of the opinion that porn is sorta neutral. I think that he agrees that porn most certainly should be unavailable to children.

...pornography hard-wires inflammatory images of rapes, perversions, sexual tortures and other sociopathic acts into countless minds. It has a huge influence on our sex-crime and sex-disease statistics.

More than 900,000 women were raped in the last decade (police say pornography use is all but universal among rapists, often just before the crime). Last year, some 19 million Americans got VD, including 8 to 10 million of our teenagers, who are major consumers of pornography. Twenty-five percent of our teens contract VD before they get their high school diplomas. (Less than one percent did so in 1950, when the authorities enforced our obscenity laws.) One of every five children over 12 now tests positive for genital herpes.

--Dr. Dennis Jarrard, former head of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Free Speech, eh? Keep that in mind if/when one of your daughters is raped--or picks up VD.


Lois said...


3rd way said...

I agree that pornography is far too easily accessed on the internet.

Unfortunately for Dr. Jarrard the statistics don't support his claims. The rates of sexual violence have decreased as pornography has become more easily accessible.

Pornography might cause more promiscuity, but claiming it causes sexual violence simply can't be proven.

Dad29 said...

The Northwestern Law Prof does not account for UN-reported rapes.

Remember that back in the dim, dark 1960's, there was such a thing as "statutory rape."

That particular category has diminished in frequency, and since the Perfesser has his "theory," I'll create one, too:

That the availability of abortion (and birth control pills) for girls under the age of 18 has substantially reduced the CAUSE of rape reports--the babies which result from rape.

I'm on just as solid a ground as is the NWU lawprof.

3rd way said...

The claim that pornography leads to rape seems pretty far fetched when you look at those statistics, and look at when pornography became widely available. An 85% decrease in rape is huge number.

I don't think statutory rape is significant enough to offset that large of a decline.

Prohibition is not always the best policy.

RAG said...

I've seen statistics tossed around on this subject for more than two decades. At the end of the day, it is, at a minimum, degrading to women and some of it certainly diminishes respect.

Grim said...


I'm actually not with the JAGs, but with 3ID's Div HQ. Your confusion is entirely natural, however, as two of my co-bloggers are JAGs -- Joe with the Army, and Joel with the Marines.

The statistic that "pornography use is all but universal among rapists" needs quite a bit of clarification.

Rapists are almost always men, so to get an accurate comparison, we'd need to know exactly what the rate of pornography use was for all men. That would be the kind of knowledge we'd get with rapists, i.e., if the police raided your home, would they find anything in it -- including on your computer or its internet history -- that they could classify as "pornography"?

I'll go farther, and say that rapists are statistically unlikely to be happily married; so let's say, "the rate of porn use among single men." As for it being used "often just before" an attack, I assume they mean something like "the same day," rather than "two minutes before." So we'd need to know how many of these single men "use" pornography on some or most days.

My guess, which comes from having read a bit about the profitability of the porn industry, is that "all but universal" would be as apt a description for American single male use of porn, as it would be for rapist use.

That is to say, it's a statistic that would appear on first face to be like, "most rapists appear to masturbate." That may be true, but to what degree is it telling? Most single men do, I should think, sinful or not.


On a separate note, I'd like to add that rape is hardly unknown in places where there is no pornography, like Pakistan. The use of pornography among rapists there is probably close to zero; but rape still exists, and in fact would appear to exist at a higher rate than we have here in America.

Taken with the first objection, then, that would appear to suggest that porn use is symptomatic of being a young American male, rather than being a rapist. I'm open to evidence to the contrary; but it'd need to address those points.