Could Porn Be Good For Society?

Mar 10, 2010 by Miranda Marquit weblog
Image source: cambridge.gov.uk

(PhysOrg.com) -- The arguments against pornography are many, ranging from insistence that porn degrades women and is morally reprehensible to the assertion that pornography viewing is the cause of sex crimes. However, over the years, there have been numerous studies done on this subject. And, reports The Scientist, it appears that there are links between sex crimes and pornography. Just not the sort of links many of us might have expected. Instead of causing sex crimes, porn might actually contribute to reducing their incidence.

Here is what The Scientist reports on the matter:

Over the years, many scientists have investigated the link between pornography (considered legal under the First Amendment in the United States unless judged “obscene”) and sex crimes and attitudes towards women. And in every region investigated, researchers have found that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased.

While that is far from a ringing endorsement, it does at least seem to indicate that pornography isn't contributing to sex crimes. While some naysayers may point out that most offenders in prison have been exposed to porn, the fact of the matter is that nearly every male -- and a good number of females -- is exposed to pornography at some point. It stands to reason that most offenders have viewed porn. But other studies found that being punished for porn use might contribute to someone becoming a rapist, and not the porn use itself. Indeed, continues The Scientist, a repressive religious upbringing might be more of a factor in rape than porn:

Looking closer, Michael Goldstein and Harold Kant found that rapists were more likely than nonrapists in the prison population to have been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster, while other research has shown that incarcerated nonrapists had seen more pornography, and seen it at an earlier age, than rapists. What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing. Richard Green too has reported that both rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males.

This sort of assertion is bound to raise a few eyebrows and even cause a little controversy. Especially when taken alongside studies that seem to indicate that porn doesn't result in feelings of misogyny. Additionally, while there is anecdotal evidence that porn users are abusive toward their female partners, there is no evidence that pornography use is the cause of these actions. Perhaps there are other factors, such as alcoholism or violent tendencies, that are bigger influences.

In any case, while such studies do not prove that porn is actively good for society, they do seem to imply that isn't actively bad for us.

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More information: Milton Diamond, "Porn: Good for us?", The Scientist. Available online.

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User comments : 47

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Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2010
If you want to determine what flavor of a new media technology will be widely adopted, watch the porn industry.

VHS vs Betamax, porn industry backs VHS and VHS wins.

HD DVD vs Blu-Ray, porn industry backs blu-ray and blu-ray wins.

Tried and true metrics to determine what format people will buy.
finitesolutions
Mar 10, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
El_Nose
1 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2010
actually the porn industry went with HD DVD if you remember 2004-2007 blu rays was an expensive medium and very few studios released porn on blu ray.

The only reason I remeber this is me and my roommate had an argument over blu-ray vs HDDvd - he choose HD-DVD because the porn industry went with it so he bought a HD player and I went with a playstation 3 because I felt blu-ray was going to win out by sheer number of options the format allowed to the producers and consumers - especially the mandate for a local harddrive to update software and firmware.
Sky_Marshall
5 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2010
I agree with this article, it makes sense.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2010
actually the porn industry went with HD DVD if you remember 2004-2007 blu rays was an expensive medium and very few studios released porn on blu ray.

Yes but which format did the industry support? Official support was announced for Blu-ray not HD DVD.
slaveunit
5 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2010
It needs to be remembered that at the time VHS/Beta was being decided the only other format was film. So the ability to comsume porn was highly restricted but the demand was there so it played a decisive role. With blue ray/hd war peeps could already watch tape/dvd so combined with the high cost to convert no such decisive playing field was established, in short it was too close to call. By the way this article confirms hat I already though strict religious upbringing creates criminals, hypocrites and socially disfunctional individuals great article more research and more popularisation too please
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2010
By the way this article confirms hat I already though strict religious upbringing creates criminals, hypocrites and socially disfunctional individuals

I have no idea how you came to that conclusion. I even re-read the article to make sure I hadn't missed something.
x646d63
Mar 10, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
GaryB
5 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2010
Well, that's a load off my ... mind.
dirk_bruere
3 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2010
The reason BluRay won is simple.
A customer goes to buy a player:
"Can I have one of those dvhdvdd... er... Bluray players please"
RobertKLR
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2010
Geeks and cyberporn ...
Dr_Yoinkel_Finkelblatt
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 11, 2010
The real question is what effect watching porn has on us both in the short and long term psychologically. While it may decrease incidence of crimes by giving people who would act criminally an outlet, what are its effects on depression, anxiety, quality of relationship etc... I'm no puritan, but it would be interesting to find out.
xamien
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
This makes a lot of sense and I agree with what some other people said about this, in that the repression makes sense and points to clear needs to avoid repression in our society. However, it also makes sense that porn in itself should be examined for the psychological repercussions (whatever those may be) to the individual, the local community, and society as a whole.
Would it not make sense that ideally, we are an educated, un-repressed, well-adjusted group of individuals with a healthy sense of our sexuality and no, if not minor, need for pornography in the first place?
rproulx45
5 / 5 (6) Mar 11, 2010
The largest consumers of online porn, worldwide? The Middle East and coming* in second, the Bible Belt States of the US, and has been for years. The two area are very very similar in many respects. Conservative,hot summers, religious, and just a little bit crazy around the edges.

*pun intended...
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
The reason BluRay won is simple.
A customer goes to buy a player:
"Can I have one of those dvhdvdd... er... Bluray players please"

With how many people purchase Linski rooters, I'm sure that wasn't a concern. Funny though.
DeeRoods
Mar 11, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
pcunix
5 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
Please define porn. To some, simple nudity is porn - though millions of people who go to clothing optional beaches and resorts would disagree.

Some insist that any depiction of sex is porn but I'm sure others would agree with me that it isn't unless there is an element of violence.

I would never think that sexuality with violence or depiction of sex with children could be "good" in any sense, but I strongly agree that repressing nudity and sexuality is harmful.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
Please define porn.

Physical penetration with intent for physical stimulation or gratification depicited via a "media" medium.

That's the standard defining line between porn and art according to law, penetration.
jimbo92107
4 / 5 (4) Mar 11, 2010
"What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing."

Wow. That statistical bombshell is a MUCH bigger story than saying porn is harmless. The headline should have been "Strict, Repressive Religion Produces Sex Offenders."
thudo_novo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
it was always an evident fact repression degenerates the human capacity, it causes you to think you are wrong, end it makes you stay inside, traped, without going out to the world and having fun among the ones like you or not, fuck the religion, do what you love, do what you are, love what you are. thats what masters tought us since the beggining...
hylozoic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2010
Why say 'porn', when to be curt we mean observing other conscious agents engaging in sexual activity? Yes, fixed-medium mass distribution recordings of said phenomena seem to be the most common manner by which one engages in such observation, but I would like people to analyze the experience in an ethological manner (IE comparing different modes of said experience). Those results would be of interest...
superhuman
3.7 / 5 (9) Mar 12, 2010
All males are potential rapists as rape was a valid reproductive strategy for millions of years. This is why porn is certainly beneficial - it helps defuse violent sexual urges of male population.

It's somewhat similar to hunger - most people would never eat human flesh if they had an alternative but prolonged starvation would induce many to change their mind.

Likewise most men would never rape as long as they have an alternatives and porn is one such alternative.
Jeswin
1 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2010
Yes porn acts as this displacement for men (not even men studies have shown that there is also a correlation between women and porn as well) but isn't there a point when too much porn simply is not good for you?
Thrasymachus
5 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2010
There's also a point where too much water and food aren't good for you. Most people, when they get enough water, food, or porn, stop eating, drinking or watching.
Nartoon
not rated yet Mar 13, 2010
Physical penetration with intent for physical stimulation or gratification depicted via a "media" medium.

That's the standard defining line between porn and art according to law, penetration.
-------------------------------
Penetration of what? You don't even need penetration for porn.
frajo
2 / 5 (4) Mar 13, 2010
All males are potential rapists
All? You obviously are craving for attention. Therefore you knowingly omit that subset of male human beings who can, for various reasons, not be sexually active.
Children, handicapped, for instance.
You are knowingly extremely unfair to a large group of people. That's why I rate your comment "1". And I've taken notice of the guys who rated your comment with "5" thereby showing the same unfairness.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2010
Penetration of what? You don't even need penetration for porn.

If you need me to define penetration, you need to talk to your parents.
NameIsNotNick
5 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2010
All males are potential rapists
All? You obviously are craving for attention. Therefore you knowingly omit that subset of male human beings who can, for various reasons, not be sexually active.
Children, handicapped, for instance.
You are knowingly extremely unfair to a large group of people. That's why I rate your comment "1". And I've taken notice of the guys who rated your comment with "5" thereby showing the same unfairness.

I think you are being intentionally dense... the point of the post was valid even if it wasn't stated with perfect clarity. I have rated your comment 1 only because there is no zero. It is, of course, a meaningless gesture... but perhaps it will annoy you, making it worthwhile.
otto1923
5 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2010
Porn separates sex from conception and redefines it as a hobby, pastime, recreation, or some sort of athletic endeavor: and therefore optional. This allows the introduction of alternative, non-procreative practices as well as contraception.

Porn shows us exactly what the proper object of male lust should be- females who are over-sexed, over-developed, and over 18. It gives us the idea that we should be able to find alternatives to the less than spectacular mates we are currently with, and so postpones and destabilizes long term stable relationships leading to large families. Porn thereby directly aids in reducing population growth. It also increases the percentage of single adults who spend more time and money trying to impress members of the opposite sex, thereby increasing consumerist throughput considerably.

Answer? Absolutely it is good for western society at this particular point in its development. It is a valuable demographic tool and always has been.
otto1923
5 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2010
All males are potential rapists as rape was a valid reproductive strategy for millions of years.
Rape, coercion, force- both sexes want to procreate. It is the main function of this elaborate genetic transport container which is us. Women tend to have orgasms during rape, which would lend one to believe that it might have some favorable evolutionary function, and why for instance some moslems will tend to blame females for allowing themselves to get into situations where they might be assaulted.

But it is absolutely anathema to modern western society and the idea that females can live and function without males to support and protect them. And so it becomes another aspect of our domestication: those males who cannot treat females with dignity and respect as equals are severely punished and restricted for it.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2010
Answer? Absolutely it is good for western society at this particular point in its development. It is a valuable demographic tool and always has been.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Porn is what will solve the overpopulation problem.

Marjon, if you're reading, it was you who brought the statstics of developing countries being in a retrograd population spiral. If you look at the statistics, the countries with the most overt and open sexuality are the ones who are in the deepest decline when you remove immigration from the mix. ie: The UK, France, and Japan.
otto1923
not rated yet Mar 13, 2010
Aw jeez not the troll-
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Mar 13, 2010
@SH
I couldn't have said it better myself. Porn is what will solve the overpopulation problem.
Am I detecting a little sarcasm here? Porn is part of the formula which began to be instituted at the beginning of the 1900s, to change western societies from the expanding, colonizing, pioneering cultures of QUANTITY into selective, competitive cultures of discerning QUALITY. Quantity emphasized stable, fecund family units and absence of internal social conflict through mainly religion. Quality emphasizes the discernment of capability through social conflict and free access to temptations of all sorts. Porn, drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc are all ways of destabilizing relationships which would otherwise result in more than the 2.1 children per family the world can sustain. There is plenty of opportunity for those level-headed, ambitious, individuals with relatively undamaged brains to get ahead while the less fortunate are self-destructing.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Mar 13, 2010
Sure there is plenty of procreating, most unintended, through casual sex. But as I've pointed out before there have been over 1 BILLION abortions throughout the world since this all began. In some countries upwards of 50% of all conceptions are aborted. This is also a mechanism of quality selection; only those children which are conceived by people who want them and are willing to care for them, by and large, are kept. These children are more apt to become stable, productive, undamaged adults themselves. Sounds cruel, cold? Not compared to any of the possible alternatives. And miraculous divine intervention is not one of them.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2010
the point of the post was valid even if it wasn't stated with perfect clarity.
The only thing which was perfectly clear in the aforementioned comment was the shoddy thought, the cowboyesque manner of "write first, think later", the insulting of handicapped people, and the sick, invalid rhetorics which mention the potential to do harm but omit to mention the potential to do good.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Mar 13, 2010
You've got to remember too that the definition of 'porn' itself has changed considerably. Charlies Angels, if viewed from the religious perspective of the 18th century, would have been considered titilation and therefore 'porn'; and it no doubt still is in fundamentalist parts of the globe. Mores were changed by intent via the 'slippery slope' method to transition from quantity to a quality emphasis of demographic manipulation.
Buyck
3 / 5 (2) Mar 14, 2010
Could Porn Be Good For Society? No !

Please "stop the pornification" of the society! Let us life like humans based on love and respect. Not on violence and sick based capitalism that porn is!

Its all based on making money not on making a better society!
Buyck
1 / 5 (2) Mar 14, 2010
Could Porn Be Good For Society? No !

Please "stop the pornification" of the society! Let us life like humans based on love and respect. Not on violence and sick based capitalism that porn is!

Its all based on making money not on making a better society! Its harms the society clearly how many sex addicted people like Tiger Woods and many more are in therapy?! Relations brake up and so on... porn is bestial and hase nothing to do with humanism. We are developed humans not beasts.
mlange
not rated yet Mar 14, 2010
"a repressive religious upbringing might be more of a factor in rape than porn"

Well, duh! Repression has never worked and will never work.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Mar 14, 2010
@SH
I couldn't have said it better myself. Porn is what will solve the overpopulation problem.
Am I detecting a little sarcasm here? Porn is part of the formula which began to be instituted at the beginning of the 1900s, to change western societies from the expanding, colonizing, pioneering cultures of QUANTITY into selective, competitive cultures of discerning QUALITY.

I actually agree with you. Porn does help curb the base need for rampant procreation and ensure quality rather than quantity based reproduction.
otto1923
not rated yet Mar 14, 2010
@SH
I couldn't have said it better myself. Porn is what will solve the overpopulation problem.
Am I detecting a little sarcasm here? Porn is part of the formula which began to be instituted at the beginning of the 1900s, to change western societies from the expanding, colonizing, pioneering cultures of QUANTITY into selective, competitive cultures of discerning QUALITY.

I actually agree with you. Porn does help curb the base need for rampant procreation and ensure quality rather than quantity based reproduction.

Well ok then.
fourthrocker
not rated yet Mar 15, 2010
Porn may be good for society in a perfect society but as long as we allow the promotion of sex through things like porn while discouraging healthy outlets for sex, it spells trouble. Only in a society run by idiots would we allow porn but make prostitution illegal. The only thing that illegal prostitution accomplishes is harming of women and indirectly men. How many sex offenders would have never offended if clean, safe prostitution were available everywhere?
otto1923
not rated yet Mar 15, 2010
Porn may be good for society in a perfect society but as long as we allow the promotion of sex through things like porn while discouraging healthy outlets for sex, it spells trouble. Only in a society run by idiots would we allow porn but make prostitution illegal. The only thing that illegal prostitution accomplishes is harming of women and indirectly men. How many sex offenders would have never offended if clean, safe prostitution were available everywhere?
You are discounting the effect of an obvious component of porn; self-gratification, which used to be a felony before this great phase-change. That is the intended outlet you are referring to. Like heinlein said, its convenient and safe, and you dont have to go home in the cold. But its also lonely. And free by the way. No matter, it serves its intended purpose- it alleviates the necessity of prtners for the overwhelming majority of heteros who would elsewise be hammering each other and dealing with all the consequences.
unfair
not rated yet Mar 15, 2010
How can porn be "good"? It does not improve society, it doesn't make us better people. At best it's just people acting like animals. That's not something to be proud of, humans are not just animals. Just because it might help with some societal problems doesn't mean it should be embraced. Scientists love to look at things with microscopes, but if you don't step back you lose the big picture.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Mar 15, 2010
How can porn be "good"? It does not improve society, it doesn't make us better people. At best it's just people acting like animals. That's not something to be proud of, humans are not just animals. Just because it might help with some societal problems doesn't mean it should be embraced. Scientists love to look at things with microscopes, but if you don't step back you lose the big picture.
The big picture is the necessities of population control and management which DEMAND moderation of the human propensity to overpopulate and to fight about it. Either way we act like animals.
fourthrocker
not rated yet Mar 16, 2010
I don't know if porn is good but I do know that men have sexual needs and those needs are not fulfilled for too many men. This unfullfilled need will find outlets and for some men that is rape, abuse and violence. Prostitution has been around for a long time for good reason. It will never go away yet we allow the puritanical to keep it unclean.
peteone1
1 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2010
"Could Porn Be Good For Society?"

What a stupid question with such an easy answer...HELL NO!

http://www.youtub...aynext=1

http://www.youtub...;index=2

http://www.youtub...;index=3

http://www.youtub...;index=4

http://www.youtub...;index=5

http://www.youtub...;index=6

Ask the ladies that Ted Bundy murdered the boneheaded question if "Porn Be Good For Society?"

If they could speak from the grave that porn-addict/serial murderer Bundy put them in, they would say HELL NO!
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (2) Mar 18, 2010
Inductive reasoning example, courtesy of peteone1:

Bundy watched porn and murdered women. Therefore all people who watch porn murder women.

It's so simple, pack it up boys, we've figured it out.

Verdict: Porn is bad based on a single observation that obviously had no other variables associated with it.

I think the best you can do to draw a negative conclusion for porn is simply as follows. If you or your partner are bothered by it, then it is bad for the two of you. If you and your partner like it, close the blinds and unplug the phone....... have fun.
DereksDiscourse
not rated yet Mar 23, 2010
Interesting ...though to imply that somehow an upbringing where boundaries correlate to increased chance of becoming a rapist is a bit of a stretch.

Interesting blog on porn I found

http://WhatIsPorn.BlogSpot.Com
Kennedy502
1 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2010
although it can fulfill the desires to avoid sexual abuse, it also might create some desires and make the person crave sexy even more, so then he feels the need to rape a girl. idk it can go both ways. very good article though

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