'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

Summary: Is there a connection between online pornography and deviant sexual behaviour? Recent research suggests so, but this criminologist thinks otherwise.

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Trying to gauge a connection or causality between Internet pornography and sexual offences is an unimaginably difficult project to crack. I'll say that from the word go.

For when I spoke to resident Pulp Tech columnist Violet Blue earlier on this morning to discuss the reported 'causal effect' between Internet pornography and committing acts of sexual deviance, it became apparent rather quickly how loose and imprecise this assertion is.

Porn causes people to commit sexual offenses just in the same way that violent video games causes young people to take a gun to their school and repeatedly pull the trigger -- in that they don't.

It is basic cause-and-effect, or rather perceived cause-and-effect. One relates a subject of similarity and connects it all but entirely to another, based on similar factors and seemingly rational motive.

Blue hits the nail on the head. The sample data they used includes only one convicted child sex offender, which will automatically sways the data, causing an imbalanced probability in the statistics, resulting in a Daily Mail-like headline.

Oh wait, the Daily Mail covered it. That, I am not surprised by.

In my criminological and academic opinion, it would not surprise me to discover that a convicted child sex offender may have discovered certain deviant behaviour through experimenting with various kinds of pornography and fetishes.

Rational choice theory innately forces the very vast majority of us to restrain from acting out our thought processes. Granted, if there are no situational preventative measures in place, the temptation to deviate is higher. In this case, CCTV to prevent shop floor thefts would be comparable to a governmental Internet firewall to filter out child abuse imagery.

Those suffering from psychological differences, who may go on to display sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies, are of the small proportion who may go on to commit acts of serious sexual deviance, based on prior exposure to web pornography.

You can see that these biological factors will pre-exist, thus all but negating the causal effect as comprehensively and correctly critiqued by Blue. These research-founded assertions connect are the kind of results which would cause many to think that by watching porn, it will make them want to take their actions out forcibly on others.

It simply isn't the case.

Young people in particular are demonised by the amount of pornography they view. Having said that, many do not take into account that the Generation Y may as well be called 'Generation Porn'; for reasons that we are the first generation to have content all but pushed to our screens for our viewing pleasure.

As I have said before, the Generation Z factor -- our younger brothers and sisters, who have been brought up on the Web in their entirety -- will be an interesting demographic to watch grow up. Whether or not they will drown in an over-liberalised web with .xxx domain names galore and free porn beyond belief, a full understanding of their behaviours will not be seen for at least a decade.

One could make a connection between the majority of child sex offenders being of the older Generation X demographic. But, as one has a balanced head and is acutely aware that the older generations outnumber the younger generation by at least five to one, it doesn't take a genius to conclude that research, by very nature, is innately flawed.

Especially, if you only interview one child sex offender and immediately run to the press with arms flailing.

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16 comments
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  • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

    Hmm, the ancient Romans seemed pretty adept at deviation, I don't believe the WWW was active 2000+ years ago.
    AndyPagin
    • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

      speaking of non fact-based generalization...
      fredericr
      • But the analogy in Zachary's post is wrong

        @fredericr: it is not "a porn" that could make people commit sexual offences, it is <b>specific</b> porn that displays rape that might has connection to committing crimes. (That said, even that kind of porn may not necessary actually influence sexual crimes rate in any way; this is subject of serious research.)<br><br>There is no even theoretical idea how usual porn could bring any harm.
        DDERSSS
  • Sounds like an opportunity to start yet another consulting business

    Any time hype and hysteria makes their way into the media, it's an opportunity to start another consulting business. You don't need credentials, just make them up. You don't need an office, a clinic, or even a nice suit.

    You only need a little money for advertising, and the ability to lie with a straight face.
    terry flores
    • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

      @terry flores I agree, so many "Consultants" claim to have "answers" but if you were to check with five different consulting "experts you would probably end up with five conflicting answers.
      You know that bit about "little money for advertising, and the ability to lie with a straight face" sounds a lot like how our politicians get elected.
      Scubajrr
  • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

    It is just one step in the process but the real problem already existed and that's what is missing...

    At the beginning of KickAss he makes a claim that is very much a fact... He says, "As every Serial Killer Already Knows, Eventually Fantasizing is not enough!"

    What I am saying is that the problem already exiated but Porn was an easy vehicle to bring it to maturation.
    slickjim
    • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

      @Peter Perry

      No, it wasn't. There are a hell of a lot of people who dream about maiming and killing other people, yet they do not do it in real life.

      That is the biggest bullshit I've ever read/heard.

      If you really thought that, then video games with severe violence would encourage people to be 'violent' in real life.... but wait! The truth is that most school shooters and others HAVE NEVER PLAYED A VIOLENT VIDEO GAME IN THEIR LIVES!

      Another fact: most of them have been physically or mentally abused by parents and peers.

      That includes 99% of serial killers, who when you look, their families have a history of physical/mental abuse OR are extremely religious like Ted Bundy's family and they are killing their victims to keep their sexuality secret.
      Lerianis10
      • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

        @Lerianis10 Citation needed.
        zwhittaker
  • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

    Great write up, Zack. I see no connection between porn and criminal activity. If there are any its fabricated by the media to land a story.
    LoverockDavidson
  • With all due respect, sexual deviancy is personal viewpoint

    Even when you are talking about pedophilia/pedosexuality. It is all someone disliking someone else's sexuality because they think it 'goes against 'god'' or because they think that someone is 'forcing' someone else into sexual activities (newsflash: most pedosexual encounters with children are CONSENSUAL) that they feel they have the right to harass those people.<br><br>It was done to heterosexuals outside of marriage, it was done to homosexuals, it is now being done to pedosexuals.<br><br>It's ridiculous. I have no problem with them going after people who actually physically force children/adults into sexual encounters or drug them into those things, but for the rest?<br><br>Just leave that person alone, even if they are doinking a child, unless there is severe physical injury. Newsflash 2: There is exceptionally rarely severe physical injury even to children physically held down and raped, coming from getting books on the subject (including some supposedly 'limited' to police officers from my second-cousin).<br><br>Mental injury? Sorry, most of that comes from people telling the children/adults in question that they were 'abused' and 'used' and bringing up the incident time after time, especially for children, brainwashing them into thinking that they should act damaged or were damaged in some fashion.
    Lerianis10
    • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

      @Lerianis10 It sounds as if one can justify being a 'pedosexual' as 'most encounters with children are consensual' and there is no physical nor mental injury. Damn, why do I have a problem with that? But I'm sure that's not where this article was heading.
      Jamp59@...
    • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

      @Lerianis10 More citations needed.
      zwhittaker
  • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

    Want to see a correlation in sexual deviancy? Just look at the catholic church. Repressed, shameful sexuality that shames masturbation and sexual relations with other adults, leaving children as a culpable target of the deviancy. Want to blame something, blame religion. When people are not allowed to think for themselves, and accept thought from pedophiles both ancient and current day what do you expect. Lets be clear back when the bible was written, it was pre-pubescent children that were married off to men twice if not more their age. Even the holy mother herself, Mary was likely only 11 to 12 years old, and the punishment for being deflowered before her marriage would have been death. It is surprising people really take this religion seriously.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh <br><br>Hehe... totally agree.. Why do people take religion soo seriously.. its actually funny arguing about whats right and wrong based on religion...

      And about porn.. the funny thing is the news report which finds this so called casual link has already percolated over the world.. You know i remember reading this stuff about the "Casual Link" in yesterdays paper "The Time of India" here in India and scoffing at it.. And to say the Time sof India is pure garbage is an understatement and its one of the most circulated English newspaper in Northern part of India.. And oh I don't subscribe it, I read it for the fun in my office during the break..
      harikrismg
  • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

    Violet Blue should know what sexual deviancy is all about...
    berriend
  • RE: 'Porn link to sexual deviancy': Why this criminologist is sceptical

    Violence and sex! Videogames and porn! These are not synonyms... Violence and sex, deviant or otherwise predate computers by many centuries. Computers enable the manipulation of symbols. These things don't cause the deviant desires, but they do enable deviants to practice, and they give immediate interactive feedback... Computers are excellent training tools. Desires that are fed, grow.
    berriend