The Frontal Cortex

More Porn Leads to Less Rape

A few days ago, I linked to an article documenting a connection between reduced crime and increased exposure to violent movies. Now it appears that porn has a similar effect, and that the increased availability of porn has led to a significant decrease in rape and attempted rapes by young men:

The arrival of the internet caused a large decline in both the pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of accessing pornography. Using state-level panel data from 1998-2003, I find that the arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape incidence. However, growth in internet usage had no apparent effect on other crimes. Moreover, when I disaggregate the rape data by offender age, I find that the effect of the internet on rape is concentrated among those for whom the internet-induced fall in the non-pecuniary price of pornography was the largest – men ages 15-19, who typically live with their parents.

This research is by Todd Kendall, an economist at Clemson.

Via David Friedman

Comments

  1. #1 quitter
    October 25, 2006

    Ed Brayton had a similar post a few weeks back with regards to Dobson’s claim that porn causes more rape. It’s pretty clear that there is an anti-correlation going on that would challenge Dobson’s claim.

    Articles like this are interesting, and while correlative, it’s at least evidence that Dobson’s claim is silly. That and performing a prospective, placebo-controlled trial with porn to see if it influences sexual violence would be, um, difficult.

  2. #2 Glenn
    October 25, 2006

    Hope someone sends this study to Catharine MacKinnon…

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