Men Who Watch Porn Less Likely To Commit Acts Of Violence

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Could Porn Help Prevent Rape?
Sex

Can smut prevent rape?

When we think of pornography, we don't usually consider the effect it could have on perpetrators of rape and sexual assault. But a report released by Scientific American suggests that pornography could deter sexual violence

The question of whether porn is dangerous or harmless is one that society has had trouble answering for some time. An article in Newsweek suggested that men who buy sex, including pornography, are more likely to engage in violent sexual behavior. But Scientific American says the opposite: porn could actually lower the amount of sexual violence.

According to the report, some experts believe that "the consumption of pornography may actually reduce the desire to rape by offering a safe, private outlet for deviant sexual desires."

The report also cites assertions from Christopher J. Ferguson, a professor of psychology and criminal justice at Texas A&M International University, who says that although porn is more available now than it has ever been, "rates of rapes and sexual assault in the U.S. are at their lowest levels since the 1960s."

Could there be a confounding variable there? Like the fact that our society has gotten more progressive in general? Or maybe better policing?

Another study published in 2004 in the Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality supports the pro-porn claims. Researchers at Texas Tech University found that male and female college students who watched porn didn't necessarily display a more negative attitude toward women, but were actually more likely than other respondents to believe that women should be protected from harm.

What do you think: Does porn encourage violent acts like rape, or encourage positive thoughts toward women?

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