In this sex offender section, if you are concerned about the biased, but increasingly well publicized, views of pro-porn sexologists and their allies, we have news for you. For your convenience, a large team of Porn Science Deniers have now “outed” themselves as an exclusive club. You can find them proudly pictured here in their science bubble – https://www.realyourbrainonporn.com/experts Those who are responsible for the new site are engaged in unlawful trademark infringement of YourBrainOnPorn.com. The new imposter site swiftly replaced the “experts'” initial site named “Science of Arousal,” the URL for which redirects visitors to the current imposter site. The new site then attempts to trick visitors with the center of each page declaring “Welcome to the REAL Your Brain On Porn,” while the tab falsely proclaims “Your Brain On Porn.”
Having been in the porn debate since before 2011, we certainly do not wish to stifle, nor do we fear, opposing views. But we think it worth pointing out that many members of this new collective of Porn Science Deniers are well known to YBOP and other porn skeptics. Some of them are authors of outlier studies and many parrot unsupported pro-industry talking points, which find their way into biased (placed?) mainstream press articles.
Some of the Deniers regularly mislead journalists, their colleagues, and academic journal editors about the true balance of internet porn research. On social media and in lay articles they promote their small collection of cherry-picked, outlier papers, and/or misrepresent the true implications of their data. Visit this page to see critiques of some of their most questionable progeny.
While many of these Deniers have regularly collaborated on social media or co-authored academic or popular articles, each member of the Alliance has until now purported to be an independent and unbiased purveyor of truth and science. Yet YBOP and many other porn skeptics have long known that various members of this cliquish band of Deniers conspire overtly and behind the scenes, manipulating journalists, sharing talking points, emailing governing bodies, and even influencing the peer-reviewed process in dubious ways (these 2 pages provide extensive documentation of said behaviors: page 1, page 2).
The two most vocal and best known Deniers, Nicole Prause and David Ley, appear to have a cozy relationship with the porn industry:
- David Ley is now being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote its websites and convince users that porn addiction and sex addiction are myths!
- Is Nicole Prause Influenced by The Porn Industry?
Prause and Ley have also engaged in overt and covert defamation, harassment and cyberstalking, targeting groups and individuals who believe, based on the objective evidence, that today’s porn might be causing significant problems for some users. Few of their targets are aware of Prause and Ley’s long history of misconduct and disturbing malfeasance. The following pages document hundreds of incidents over several years:
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Many Others (Page 1)
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Many Others (Page 2)
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Others (Page 3)
- Victims of Nicole Prause’s Malicious Reporting and Malicious Use of Process.
- Nicole Prause & David Ley libelous claim that Gary Wilson was fired from Southern Oregon University
- Prause’s efforts to have Behavioral Sciences review paper (Park et al., 2016) retracted
The following analysis of the RealYBOP “Sex Offender Section” is excerpted from this extensive page examining the trademark infringers’ “research page,” including its cherry-picked outlier studies, bias, egregious omission, and deception: Porn Science Deniers Alliance (AKA: “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com” and “PornographyResearch.com”).
Note: RealYBOP’s research page contains a related section of cherry-picked papers designed to convince us that porn use leads to greater egalitarianism towards women. It is thoroughly debunked here: Attitudes Towards Women Section.
Context: The RealYBOP (scienceofarousal.com) “Sex Offender Section”
Similar to other RealYBOP sections (all critiqued on this page) several of the studies have nothing to do with the section’s heading (Sex Offenders). Forced to speculate, we must assume the Deniers are attempting to “falsify” any links between porn use and rape, violence, sexual aggression, sexual harassment, or sexual coercion. While studies report disparate findings, we discuss the Alliance’s over-reliance upon a few carefully chosen studies. We also provide numerous relevant studies that the Alliance purposely omitted. Two recent articles address many Alliance talking points:
- YBOP – Rape rates are on the rise, so ignore the pro-porn propaganda (2018)
- FTND – Does Porn Really Decrease Rates of Sexual Assault? (2018) (written by a professor who has published numerous porn studies)
In essence, the Alliance points to a handful of studies correlating changes in a nation’s reported rape rates with estimated changes in the availability of porn. By citing studies involving a few select countries, various Deniers have irresponsibly claimed that sexual violence rates universally decrease as porn becomes more accessible in a society. Below we punch holes in this assertion.
Correlation doesn’t equal causation. Numerous other variables likely account for the decline in reported rapes in select countries. The most obvious variable playing a role is that developed countries have experienced a decline (per 100K of the population) in the age group most likely to commit sexual crimes (12-34) as the population aged. As you can see in the graph, US rates for all violent crimes peaked around 1990, and then declined until about 2013, when rape rates started to rise. Important to note that rape rates declined the least (of the crime categories) during this period:
The decline in violent crime coincided with an increase in percentage of aged members of the population, and a corresponding decrease in the age group most likely to commit violent crime. This demographic shift has occurred in many “first world” nations. First, the 1990 population distribution by age. Note the population in the 15-44 age ranges.
Next, the 2015 population distribution by age. Notice the decline in the age groups most likely to commit violent crimes, and how old folks make up a much larger percentage of the population.
The above demographic shifts could account for the decrease in reported rape rates, if the rates actually declined (which are typically reported “per [X number] of the population”). Researcher Neil Malamuth responded on a major sexology listserve to Milton Diamond’s papers (touted by the Alliance as proof of their reckless claims):
The Aggregate Issue — Intuitively, it appears to make a lot of sense that the critical “bottom line” is what appears to be happening in the “real world” (e.g., rates of violent crime) as media violence and/or pornography consumption have increased over the years. I think that on the contrary, the problems with looking at this are great and it is virtually impossible to come to any cause and effect conclusions by looking at the aggregate data. For example, consider the following association: The number of guns in the US and the rates of crime.
As revealed in the following article Pew: Homicide Rates Cut in Half Over Past 20 Years (While New Gun Ownership Soared) as the number of guns in the US has increased dramatically over the past twenty years, the rates of homicide have dramatically decreased. How many of us are willing to conclude therefore that the wide availability of guns is actually a very good thing and has contributed to the reduction in homicide, as some indeed would be quick to conclude? Drew Kingston and I discuss this aggregate issue more extensively in the following: Problems with Aggregate Data and the Importance of Individual Differences in the Study of Pornography and Sexual Aggression (2010).
The cross-cultural aggregate data regarding pornography use and crime (e.g., Mickey Diamond’s important work) have been obtained, to my knowledge, only in Denmark and in Japan. In those two countries, there has generally been a very low rate of known sexually violent crime. We might expect based on that data as well as several other sources of data that in these countries, there are relatively few men with risk for committing sexual aggression (within the culture and in non-wartime conditions). Therefore, in the context of the Confluence Model’s predictions, in such countries we would actually predict little or no increase in sexual aggression as the availability of pornography increases, as Diamond and associates have reported.
Remember, that the men who we have studied in the USA who similarly have low risk have not shown any increased proclivity even with high pornography use. As a critical test, as I noted before, Martin Hald and I did find that even in Denmark, men with relatively higher risk did in fact show greater attitudes accepting of violence against women as a function of both experimental exposure in lab and in“real world” association (see 2015 publication). I would be very interested to see what would happen if a huge change occurred in the availability of pornography in countries with a relatively large percentage of men with high proclivity and associated, sexism, attitudes accepting of violence against women, hostility towards women, etc.).
Moreover, rates of known crime may not be the only “dependent variable” to examine (see below). Although Japan’s adjudicated rates of violence against women are indeed relatively very low (and my limited experience many years ago while visiting Japan suggested that women felt safe walking streets at night) the highest documented rates of rape ever were committed in a single day were by Japanese men (in China in the city of Nanking). Thus, once the culture sanctioned the violence, potential proclivities may have become very evident. Further, in current Japan, there appear to be other manifestations of what may be considered sexual aggressive proclivities and related acts and attitudes towards women (e.g., back in 2000, special train cars were introduced for women to combat men’s groping (chikan).
The “Dependent Variable” Issue
As I mentioned earlier, the Confluence Model focuses on sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors in men in the general population, particularly college students. Virtually none of the participants we have studied have ever been adjudicated. Known crime rates are therefore somewhat irrelevant. As part of the discussion of the applicability of the model, we have suggested over the years that when it comes to convicted individuals, the model has less relevance as it appears that with such men“general anti-sociality characteristics” have far more direct relevance. These convicted men are often not “specialists” but much more likely to commit a wide variety of crimes.
Measures that have consistently shown their utility in the prediction of the sexual aggressors we study, (hostility towards women, attitudes supporting violence against women, etc.) have not as consistently been found to be predictive for known criminals in this area. Although changes in rates of sexual aggression among students would be relevant, it is far from clear whether these have actually increased or decreased over the years or whether there has just been more attention to the matter (I would guess the latter is important). This also relates to the “aggregate problem”: While availability of pornography has increased dramatically over the years, at the same time there has been much more intervention to reduce sexual assault and increase relevant awareness.
Almost every university in the nation now has mandated interventions for all freshman, something that was not the case years ago. Assuming the some media influences may contribute to some increased proclivity to sexual aggression, how can we possibly disentangle the corresponding increases in public awareness of the issue of sexual aggression and actual interventions occurring at much of the same time?
Another important variable revolves around the (in)accuracy of statistics related to sexual crimes.
It’s important to keep in mind that the crime of rape is consistently under-reported. Even reports to police may be wildly off, as this paper by a US law professor suggests: How to Lie with Rape Statistics: America’s Hidden Rape Crisis (2014).
Using this novel method to determine if other municipalities likely failed to report the true number of rape complaints made, I find significant undercounting of rape incidents by police departments across the country. The results indicate that approximately 22% of the 210 studied police departments responsible for populations of at least 100,000 persons have substantial statistical irregularities in their rape data indicating considerable undercounting from 1995 to 2012. Notably, the number of undercounting jurisdictions has increased by over 61% during the eighteen years studied.
Correcting the data to remove police undercounting by imputing data from highly correlated murder rates, the study conservatively estimates that 796,213 to 1,145,309 complaints of forcible vaginal rapes of female victims nationwide disappeared from the official records from 1995 to 2012. Further, the corrected data reveal that the study period includes fifteen to eighteen of the highest rates of rape since tracking of the data began in 1930. Instead of experiencing the widely reported “great decline” in rape, America is in the midst of a hidden rape crisis.
For example, studies from Spain and Norway report findings that contradict Diamond’s claims (all omitted by the Alliance):
- Is sexual violence related to Internet exposure? Empirical evidence from Spain (2009) – Excerpt: Using a panel data approach for the provinces of Spain during the period 1998-2006, outcomes indicate that there is a substitution between rape and Internet pornography, while Internet pornography increases other violent sexual behaviors, such as sexual assaults.
- Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime? (2013) – Excerpt: Does internet use trigger sex crime? We use unique Norwegian data on crime and internet adoption to shed light on this question. A public program with limited funding rolled out broadband access points in 2000–2008, and provides plausibly exogenous variation in internet use. Our instrumental variables estimates show that internet use is associated with a substantial increase in both reports, charges and convictions of rape and other sex crimes. Our findings suggest that the direct effect on sex crime propensity is positive and non-negligible, possibly as a result of increased consumption of pornography.
Take a look at this table of rape rates and you will see there’s no real global pattern (indicating a problem with gathering accurate statistics). One thing is for certain, Diamond omitted numerous “modern” countries where both the availability of porn and rape rates have concurrently increased, such as Norway, Sweden, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Iceland, Italy, Argentina, Portugal, etc.
#4 – Rates of sexual offenses rising in the US and United Kingdom (two biggest users of Pornhub).
According to new statistics released by the FBI (see graph), the number of rapes (per 100,000 of the population) has steadily increased from 2014-2016 (the last year for which stats are available). In the UK, there were 138,045 sex offenses, up 23%, in the 12 months preceding September, 2017. Yet, during those same periods:
- the population has continued to age,
- ED rates for men under 40 have skyrocketed, and
- overall rates of sexual activity have steadily dropped, as have fertility rates in the West.
#5 –Studies assessing actual porn users show a link between porn and increased sexual violence, aggression and coercion (reviews of the literature & meta-analyses).
Instead of highly dubious aggregate studies on a few select countries, how about studies on actual porn users that controlled for relevant variables? As with every other Alliance section, this one omitted relevant reviews of literature and meta-analyses, so here are a few. (At the end of the section we also provide numerous individual studies omitted by the Alliance.)
Conducted a meta-analysis of 30 studies, published 1971–1985, to examine the effect of exposure to pornography on aggressive behavior under laboratory conditions, considering a variety of moderating conditions (level of sexual arousal, level of prior anger, type of pornography, gender of S, gender of the target of aggression, and medium used to convey the material).
Results indicate that pictorial nudity induces subsequent aggressive behavior, that consumption of material depicting nonviolent sexual activity increases aggressive behavior, and that media depictions of violent sexual activity generate more aggression than those of nonviolent sexual activity. No other moderator variable produced homogeneous findings.
In response to some recent critiques, we (a) analyze the arguments and data presented in those commentaries, (b) integrate the findings of several metaanalytic summaries of experimental and naturalistic research, and (c) conduct statistical analyses on a large representative sample. All three steps support the existence of reliable associations between frequent pornography use and sexually aggressive behaviors, particularly for violent pornography and/or for men at high risk for sexual aggression. We suggest that the way relatively aggressive men interpret and react to the same pornography may differ from that of nonaggressive men, a perspective that helps integrate the current analyses with studies comparing rapists and nonrapists as well as with cross-cultural research.
A meta-analysis of 46 published studies was undertaken to determine the effects of pornography on sexual deviancy, sexual perpetration, attitudes regarding intimate relationships, and attitudes regarding the rape myth. Most of the studies were done in the United States (39; 85%) and ranged in date from 1962 to 1995, with 35% (n=16) published between 1990 and 1995, and 33% (n=15) between 1978 and 1983. A total sample size of 12,323 people comprised the present meta-analysis. Effect sizes (d) were computed on each of the dependent variables for studies which were published in an academic journal, had a total sample size of 12 or greater, and included a contrast or comparison group.
Average unweighted and weighted d’s for sexual deviancy (.68 and .65 ), sexual perpetration (.67 and .46), intimate relationships (.83 and .40), and the rape myth (.74 and .64) provide clear evidence confirming the link between increased risk for negative development when exposed to pornography. These results suggest that the research in this area can move beyond the question of whether pornography has an influence on violence and family functioning.
Research and the Behavioral Effects Associated with Pornography
For Weaver (1993), the controversy stems from three theories of the consequences of exposure to pornography:
- The representation of sexuality as a form of learning in view of the social dogma related to what has long been denied or hidden (liberalization)— inhibition, guilt, puritanical attitudes, fixation on sexuality, all of which can be partly eliminated through pornography (Feshbach, 1955).2 Kutchinsky (1991) reiterated this idea, stating that the rate of sexual assault dropped when pornography was made more readily available, serving as a kind of safety valve that eases sexual tensions and thus reduces the rate of sexual offences. Although highly debatable, what this premise means is that pornography offers a form of learning which, according to the author, offsets the acting out. It is debatable because this argument is also used by proponents of the liberalization of prostitution as a way of potentially reducing the number of sexual assaults (McGowan, 2005; Vadas, 2005). That way of thinking undermines human dignity and what it means to be a person. The bottom line is that people are not commodities;
- The dehumanization of the person, in contrast to the preceding theory, and where pornography is first and foremost men’s misogynistic image of women (Jensen, 1996; Stoller, 1991);
- Desensitization through an image that is not in line with reality. Simply put, pornography offers a highly reductionist view of social relationships. Because the image is nothing more than a series of explicit, repetitive and unrealistic sexual scenes, masturbation to pornography is part of a series of distortions and not a part of reality. Those distortions can be compounded by dynamic and static criminogenic variables. Frequent exposure desensitizes the person by gradually changing his values and behaviour as the stimuli become more intense (Bushman, 2005; Carich & Calder, 2003; Jansen, Linz, Mulac, & Imrich, 1997; Malamuth, Haber, & Feshbach, 1980; Padgett & Brislin-Slutz, 1989; Silbert & Pines, 1984; Wilson, Colvin, & Smith, 2002; Winick & Evans, 1996; Zillmann & Weaver, 1999).
In short, the research carried out to date has not clearly shown a direct cause-and-effect link between the use of pornographic material and sexual assault, but the fact remains that many researchers agree on one thing: Long-term exposure to pornography material is bound to disinhibit the individual. This was confirmed by Linz, Donnerstein and Penrod in 1984, then Sapolsky the same year, Kelley in 1985, Marshall and then Zillmann in 1989, Cramer, McFarlane, Parker, Soeken, Silva, & Reel in 1998 and, more recently, Thornhill and Palmer in 2001, and Apanovitch, Hobfoll and Salovey in 2002. On the basis of their work, all of these researchers concluded that long-term exposure to pornography has an addictive effect and leads offenders to minimize the violence in the acts they commit.
A meta-analysis was conducted to determine whether nonexperimental studies revealed an association between men’s pornography consumption and their attitudes supporting violence against women. The meta-analysis corrected problems with a previously published meta-analysis and added more recent findings. In contrast to the earlier meta-analysis, the current results showed an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women in nonexperimental studies. In addition, such attitudes were found to correlate significantly higher with the use of sexually violent pornography than with the use of nonviolent pornography, although the latter relationship was also found to be significant.
The study resolves what appeared to be a troubling discordance in the literature on pornography and aggressive attitudes by showing that the conclusions from nonexperimental studies in the area are in fact fully consistent with those of their counterpart experimental studies. This finding has important implications for the overall literature on pornography and aggression.
Research has examined pornography use on the extent of offending. However, virtually no work has tested whether other sex industry experiences affect sex crime. By extension, the cumulative effect of these exposures is unknown. Social learning theory predicts that exposure should amplify offending.
Drawing on retrospective longitudinal data, we first test whether exposure during adolescence is associated with a younger age of onset; we also examine whether adulthood exposure is linked with greater frequency of offending.
Findings indicate that most types of adolescent exposures as well as total exposures were related to an earlier age of onset. Exposure during adulthood was also associated with an overall increase in sex offending, but effects were dependent on “type.”
Meta‐analyses of experimental studies have found effects on aggressive behavior and attitudes. That pornography consumption correlates with aggressive attitudes in naturalistic studies has also been found. Yet, no meta‐analysis has addressed the question motivating this body of work: Is pornography consumption correlated with committing actual acts of sexual aggression? 22 studies from 7 different countries were analyzed. Consumption was associated with sexual aggression in the United States and internationally, among males and females, and in cross‐sectional and longitudinal studies. Associations were stronger for verbal than physical sexual aggression, although both were significant. The general pattern of results suggested that violent content may be an exacerbating factor.
The goal of this review was to systematize empirical research that was published in peer-reviewed English-language journals between 1995 and 2015 on the prevalence, predictors, and implications of adolescents’ use of pornography. This research showed that adolescents use pornography, but prevalence rates varied greatly. Adolescents who used pornography more frequently were male, at a more advanced pubertal stage, sensation seekers, and had weak or troubled family relations. Pornography use was associated with more permissive sexual attitudes and tended to be linked with stronger gender-stereotypical sexual beliefs. It also seemed to be related to the occurrence of sexual intercourse, greater experience with casual sex behavior, and more sexual aggression, both in terms of perpetration and victimization.
After adjusting for potentially influential characteristics, prior exposure to parental spousal abuse and current exposure to violent pornography were each strongly associated with the emergence of SV perpetration-attempted rape being the exception for violent pornography. Current aggressive behavior was also significantly implicated in all types of first SV perpetration except rape. Previous victimization of sexual harassment and current victimization of psychological abuse in relationships were additionally predictive of one’s first SV perpetration, albeit in various patterns. In this national longitudinal study of different types of SV perpetration among adolescent men and women, findings suggest several malleable factors that need to be targeted, especially scripts of inter-personal violence that are being modeled by abusive parents in youths’ homes and also reinforced by violent pornography.
Dating violence (DV) and sexual violence (SV) are widespread problems among adolescents and emerging adults. A growing body of literature demonstrates that exposure to sexually explicit media (SEM) and sexually violent media (SVM) may be risk factors for DV and SV. The purpose of this article is to provide a systematic and comprehensive literature review on the impact of exposure to SEM and SVM on DV and SV attitudes and behaviors. A total of 43 studies utilizing adolescent and emerging adult samples were reviewed, and collectively the findings suggest that:
(1) exposure to SEM and SVM is positively related to DV and SV myths and more accepting attitudes toward DV and SV;
(2) exposure to SEM and SVM is positively related to actual and anticipated DV and SV victimization, perpetration, and bystander nonintervention;
(3) SEM and SVM more strongly impact men’s DV and SV attitudes and behaviors than women’s DV and SV attitudes and behaviors; and
(4) preexisting attitudes related to DV and SV and media preferences moderate the relationship between SEM and SVM exposure and DV and SV attitudes and behaviors.
We conclude with another post from a major sexology listserve discussion of porn and sexual offenses/aggression. As you will see, the author is very pro-porn (and a PhD sex researcher):
I think that the general statement I made does stand for sexual aggression as well as for the other outcome variables. At this point, in addition to a) correlational data showing greater exposure to porn linked to all sorts of sexual and nonsexual aggressive attitudes and behaviors, we also have:
b) experimental data showing that exposure to porn increases nonsexual aggression in the lab (things like physical, material, or psychological aggression like the administration of electric shocks) (33 studies meta-analyzed in Allen, D’Alessio, & Brezgel, 1995);
c) experimental data showing exposure to porn increases attitudes supportive of sexual violence (acceptance of interpersonal violence, rape myth acceptance, and sexual harassment proclivities) (16 studies meta-analyzed in Emmers, Gebhardt, & Giery, 1995);
d) longitudinal evidence that watching more porn at Time 1 is linked to more acts of real-life sexual aggression at Time 2 (5 studies meta-analyzed in Wright, Tokunaga, & Kraus, 2015), even after controlling for many potential confounding factors, including sexual victimization, substance use, etc.
In light of all this evidence, it is really hard and unreasonable, in my opinion, to argue that the real-life causal links between porn and aggression are somehow not real and completely nonexistent. Yes, a dose of skepticism should remain, and better and more research studies should always continue to be done, but right now, if I was forced to bet, I’d have to say that I’d put my money on there being SOME negative effect of porn on sexual aggression, with that effect likely being a) relatively small, b) limited to a high-risk group of people, and c) much more pronounced for some types of porn (violent) than others (nonviolent but typical mainstream porn) and nonexistent for yet other types of porn (feminist, queer).
Of course, neither experimental nor longitudinal data are perfect for determining causality in the real world, but we all seem to agree that they strongly imply causality when it comes to other areas of psych research. They are our gold standards for establishing causality for all sorts of behavioral outcomes. Why are we so skeptical when it comes to this one area of research? Because it doesn’t suit our desires for porn not to have any negative effects? I’m sorry, but I love porn as much as you all do (I really do), but I cannot justify holding porn to higher standards of proof just because I don’t like the findings. This is what I meant when I said that rejecting or ignoring these findings makes us as blind and ideological about it as the anti-porn crusaders….
…..I didn’t mean to equate us with the anti-porn in how we use the findings and the implications for real-world interventions we draw from them. What I was saying is that just like they do, we seem to be employing some pretty strong confirmation biases to only see what we want to see. But by turning a blind eye to the evidence that keeps mounting, we are compromising our credibility as objective truth-seekers, and we are limiting the impact our position that banning porn is not the solution can have on enacting real-world change. By taking an extreme position (“no kind of porn has any effects on sexual aggression in anyone”) which is not supported by the evidence, we’re making ourselves less relevant and more easily dismissed as just as ideologically driven as the crazies taking the other extreme position (“all porn increases sexual aggression in everyone who watches it”).
Again, don’t get me wrong: I love porn, I watch it all the time, and have zero desire to ban it.
On to the studies the Alliance carefully chose, and many more examples of what was purposely omitted.
The cherry-picked papers listed in the realyourbrainonporn (pornographyresearch.com) “Sex Offender Section”
Burton, D. L., Leibowitz, G. S., & Howard, A. (2010).Comparison by crime type of juvenile delinquents on pornography exposure: The absence of relationships between exposure to pornography and sexual offense characteristics 1. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 6(3), 121-129. Link to web
Analysis: The Alliance summary omits a few very important findings: porn use was related to both sexual offending and non-sexual crimes. From the abstract:
Sexual abusers reported more pre‐ and post‐10 (years of age) exposure to pornography than nonsexual abusers. Yet, for the sexual abusers, exposure is not correlated to the age at which the abusers started abusing, to their reported number of victims, or to sexual offense severity. The pre‐10 exposure subscale was not related to the number of children the group sexually abused, and the forceful exposure subscale was not correlated with either arousal to rape or degree of force used by the youth. Finally, exposure was significantly correlated with all of the nonsexual crime scores in the study.
The Alliance is hoping that no one reads the actual study.
Kutchinsky, B. (1991). Pornography and rape: Theory and practice? Evidence from crime data in four countries where pornography is easily available. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. Link to web
Analysis: Pre-internet data from the 1980’s. As with Milton Diamond’s selected countries, this involves nation-wide data. Addressed in the introduction.
Rasmussen, K. R., & Kohut, T. (2019). Does religious attendance moderate the connection between pornography consumption and attitudes toward women? The Journal of Sex Research, 56(1), 38-49. Link to web
Analysis: By Alliance member Taylor Kohut. More citation inflation, as his study has nothing to do with sex offending. Like other Kohut studies (described above), he chose criteria to make sure religious women (who use less porn) score lower on his version of “egalitarian attitudes.” Kohut framed “egalitarianism” as only:
- Support for abortion.
- NOT Believing that family life suffers when the woman has a full-time job.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, it’s easy to see that religious populations would score far lower on Taylor Kohut’s 2-part “egalitarianism” assessment.
Here’s the key: secular populations, which tend to be more liberal, use porn at far higher rates than religious populations. By choosing only these 2 criteria and ignoring endless other variables, Taylor Kohut knew he would end up with porn use (greater in secular populations) correlating with his study’s strategically selected criteria of what constitutes “egalitarianism” (lower in religious populations). Then Kohut chose a title that spun it all.
Kristen N. Jozkowski, Tiffany L. Marcantonio, Kelley E. Rhoads, Sasha Canan, Mary E. Hunt & Malachi Willis (2019) A Content Analysis of Sexual Consent and Refusal Communication in Mainstream Films, The Journal of Sex Research, DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1595503 Link to web
More citation inflation. This study is not about pornography. None of the selected movies were X-rated. In fact, most were PG-13. Nice try, Alliance.
Kutchinsky, B. (1992). The politics of pornography research. Law & Soc’y Rev., 26, 447. Link to web
Analysis: Not a study. An irrelevant 1992 commentary about an essay. Talk about citation inflation.
Mellor, E., & Duff, S. (2019).The use of pornography and the relationship between pornography exposure and sexual offending in males: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior. Link to web
Analysis: The Alliance summary was fairly accurate. However, we question the author’s choice of accepting only 21 of the 157 relevant papers for his review. Our reservations are supported by that fact that no other literature review arrives at the same conclusions. In addition, most of the 21 chosen papers involved adult on child sex offenders, not child on child, or adult on adult offenders. Commenting on Milton Diamond’s studies, researcher Neil Malamuth noted that the effects of pedophiles using child pornography may be quite different from the effects of non-pedophiles using adult pornography:
It is worthwhile to consider the possibility that there may be some very different “subgroups” with very differing (and opposite) influences of exposures, particularly in connection with child pornography, as suggested by Mickey Diamond’s work and the virtual pornography possibility. We have discussed this topic in the following article: Malamuth, N. & Huppin, M. (2007). Drawing the line on virtual child pornography: Bringing the law in line with the research evidence.
Put simply, the meta-analaysis omitted nearly every study on adult sexual offenders, which resulted in a very skewed result (see our list below).
Ferguson, C. J., & Hartley, R. D. (2009).The pleasure is momentary… the expense damnable?: The influence of pornography on rape and sexual assault. Aggression and violent behavior, 14(5), 323-329. Link to web
Analysis: The Alliance summary is accurate – “Victimization rates for rape in the United States demonstrate an inverse relationship between pornography consumption and rape rates. Data from other nations have suggested similar relationships.” However, the study depends on aggregated data on rape rates and porn availability from only a handful of countries. The serious flaws in these types of studies are examined above in the introduction, which also addressed the Milton Diamond study below.
Note: For years, Ferguson has been attacking the concept of internet addiction, while intensely campaigning to keep Internet Gaming Disorder out of the ICD-11. (He lost that one in 2019 when the World Health Organization adopted the ICD-11, but his campaign continues on many fronts.) In fact, Ferguson and Nicole Prause were co-authors on major paper attempting to discredit internet addictions. (Their assertions were debunked in a series of papers by experts, in this issue of Journal of Behavioral Addictions.)
Diamond, M., Jozifkova, E., & Weiss, P. (2011). Pornography and sex crimes in the Czech Republic. Archives of sexual behavior, 40(5), 1037-1043. Link to web
Analysis: The Alliance’s summary is accurate: “A prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal …showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.” Here’s what Malamuth said about Diamond’s study in a discussion on an academic sexology listserve (“You Wrote” is questioner, response is Malamuth):
Pornography use and sex crimes: I think that many people seem to have the impression that the correlational country wide research has shown an inverse correlation between porn use and rape. I don’t believe this is true at all. If you go to Milton Diamond’s own site you can see that once the data is separated between child sex abuse and rape, it is clear that the latter did not decrease (but also did not increase) as porn became more available. Furthermore you can see that there are examples of countries where at least cross-sectionally, there is a high positive correlation between the two. For example, there is an article there indicating that,
“Papua New Guinea, is the most pornography-obsessed country in the world, according to Google Trends. PNG has a population of less than 8 million people and low rates of internet use, but has the greatest percentage of searches for the words “porn” and “pornography” compared to the nation’s total searches. A study published in The Lancet reported that 59 percent of the men in PNG Autonomous Region of Bougainville had raped their partner and 41 per cent had raped a woman who was not their partner.
In addition, the article indicates that Top ten countries searching for ‘pornography’: Google Trends
1. Papua New Guinea
I would guess that among these may also be countries with high rates of sexual and other forms of violence against women. Please note that I am not arguing that pornography is “the” or even “a” cause but rather against the common belief that world-wide or longitudinally that an inverse association has been demonstrated between porn use and rape. It would be interesting to conduct a study that looked cross-culturally at the association after controlling statistically for the risk factors of the Confluence Model, particularly Hostile Masculinity. I would predict that in those countries with high levels of risk, there is a positive correlation between porn use and rape (particularly among men generally rather than only adjudicated crimes) but no correlation or an inverse one in countries with relatively few men who are at risk according to the Confluence Model.
YOU WROTE: at a society level, pornography may indeed have a positive effect on adjudicated sex crimes
RESPONSE: As I indicated before, I don’t believe the Diamond’s and related data reveal what is often assumed about sex crimes generally. As Diamond and colleagues have themselves noted, the data show an inverse relationship between pornography availability and child sex abuse. There is no similar significant association generally between pornography and rape. The causes of rape and the characteristics of rapists vs. child abusers are often quite different and should not be lumped together. In addition, the data are correlational at the country level generally and require much caution about causal relationships, partly due to the “aggregate problem” (Kingston & Malamuth, 2011).
What can be concluded with confidence is that for the countries studied, there is no general increase in rape when pornography laws are changed to allow greater availability of pornography. Also, it is important to keep in mind that it appears that all of the countries studied by Diamond and associates appear to be ones that may have relatively few men who are at relatively high risk for committing sexual aggression. I hadn’t previously looked up Croatia, but a quick google search indicates that 94% do not agree with the statement that women should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together.
YOU WROTE: but, within that society wide access there are men exposed to porn where porn increases risk of sex violence, due to a confluence of risk factors
RESPONSE: largely consistent with what you wrote but phrased somewhat differently: for men in the general population who have relatively high levels on the “key” risk factors, the data strongly indicate that “heavy” use of porn may increase sexually violent attitudes and behavioral inclinations.
YOU WROTE: societies which allow porn access may be engaging in a trade off, accepting a small amount of increased risk in a small group for a larger amount of decreased risk across the larger population
RESPONSE: I think we have to be careful about making generalizations about societies without taking into consideration the contextual differences among them. I would guess that changing pornography laws in Saudi Arabia vs. Denmark would have had very different consequences. Also, I think that focusing only or primarily on adjudicated sex crimes, particularly rape, may be a problem. For example, as we have written elsewhere, Japan is often used as one of the prime examples of countries where pornography is widely available (including “violent” porn) and rates of rape are very low now and historically.
Japan is indeed a country that has had strong socialized inhibitions against “within group” violence against women. Yet, consider other potential manifestations: “Groping in crowded commuter trains has been a problem in Japan: according to a survey conducted by Tokyo Metropolitan Police and East Japan Railway Company, two-thirds of female passengers in their 20s and 30s reported that they had been groped on trains, and the majority had been victimized frequently.” When violence against women has been tolerated, it has been extremely high (e.g., see Chang, *The Rape of Nanking*,). Although I am not necessarily disagreeing with your suggestion, I am not sure we can reach such a conclusion at this time.
Put simply, relying on two sets of nationwide data (reported sex crimes and estimated porn availability) from a handful of countries (while ignoring hundreds of other countries), to support a claim that more porn definitively leads to fewer sexual offenses, doesn’t fly among true scientists.
Goldstein, M., Kant, H., Judd, L., Rice, C., & Green, R. (1971).Experience with pornography: Rapists, pedophiles, homosexuals, transsexuals, and controls. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1(1), 1-15. Link to web
Analysis: A 1971 study on adult men (probably born in the 1920’s-40’s) to assess the effects of “Sex Films” on “deviants.” Note – the study categorized gay and transgender subjects as “deviants.” Numerous more recent studies (listed below), report findings that counter the 1971 study.
Hald, G. M., & Malamuth, N. N. (2015). Experimental effects of exposure to pornography: The moderating effect of personality and mediating effect of sexual arousal. Archives of sexual behavior, 44(1), 99-109. Link to web
Analysis: Supports the hypothesis that porn use may lead to sexual attitudes supporting violence against women among certain personality types. The abstract:
Using a randomly selected community sample of 200 Danish young adult men and women in a randomized experimental design, the study investigated the effects of a personality trait (agreeableness), past pornography consumption, and experimental exposure to non-violent pornography on attitudes supporting violence against women (ASV). We found that lower levels of agreeableness and higher levels of past pornography consumption significantly predicted ASV. In addition, experimental exposure to pornography increased ASV but only among men low in agreeableness. This relationship was found to be significantly mediated by sexual arousal with sexual arousal referring to the subjective assessment of feeling sexually excited, ready for sexual activities, and/or bodily sensations associated with being sexually aroused. In underscoring the importance of individual differences, the results supported the hierarchical confluence model of sexual aggression and the media literature on affective engagement and priming effects.
Note: Men with “lower levels of agreeableness” might represent a significant percentage of the population.
Bauserman, R. (1996). Sexual aggression and pornography: A review of correlational research. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 18(4), 405-427. Link to web
Analysis: The Alliance left out a key sentence from their excerpt of the abstract (it’s underlined):
Sex offenders typically do not have earlier or more unusual exposure to pornography in childhood or adolescence, compared to nonoffenders. However, a minority of offenders report current use of pornography in their offenses. Findings are consistent with a social learning view of pornography, but not with the view that sexually explicit materials in general contribute directly to sex crimes. The effort to reduce sex offenses should focus on types of experiences and backgrounds applicable to a larger number of offenders.
A whole lot of studies have been published in the last 25 years that do report links between porn use and sexual offending.
The following studies link porn use to sexual offending, sexual aggression, and sexual coercion. The Alliance conveniently omitted every one from its “research page”:
- Facilitating effects of erotica on aggression against women (1978)
- Rape fantasies as a function of exposure to violent sexual stimuli (1981)
- Sexual Experiences Survey: A research instrument investigating sexual aggression and victimization (1982)
- Pornography and Sexual Callousness and the Trivialization of Rape (1982)
- Exposure to pornography, permissive and nonpermissive cues, and male aggression toward females (1983)
- The effects of aggressive pornography on beliefs in rape myths: Individual differences (1985)
- Sexual Violence in the Media: Indirect Effects on Aggression Against Women (1986)
- An empirical investigation of the role of pornography in the verbal and physical abuse of women (1987)
- Use of pornography in the criminal and developmental histories of sexual offenders (1987)
- The use of sexually explicit stimuli by rapists, child molesters, and nonoffenders (1988)
- Violent pornography and self-reported likelihood of sexual aggression (1988)
- Women’s attitudes and fantasies about rape as a function of early exposure to pornography (1992)
- Patterns of exposure to sexually explicit material among sex offenders, child molesters, and controls (1993)
- Pornography and sexual aggression: Associations of violent and nonviolent depictions with rape and rape proclivity (1993)
- Sexually Violent Pornography, Anti-Women Attitudes, and Sexual Aggression: A Structural Equation Model (1993)
- Date Rape and Sexual Aggression in College Males: Incidence and the Involvement of Impulsivity, Anger, Hostility, Psychopathology, Peer Influence and Pornography Use (1994)
- Pornography and abuse of women (1994)
- Violent pornography and abuse of women: theory to practice (1994)
- Effects of violent pornography upon viewer’s rape myth beliefs: A study of Japanese males (1994)
- The effects of exposure to filmed sexual violence on attitudes toward rape (1995)
- The relationship between pornography usage and child molesting (1997)
- Pornography and the Abuse of Canadian Women in Dating Relationships (1998)
- Violent pornography and abuse of women: theory to practice (1998)
- Exploring the connection between pornography and sexual violence (2000)
- The role of pornography in the etiology of sexual aggression (2001)
- The use of pornography during the commission of sexual offenses (2004)
- An Exploration of Developmental Factors Related to Deviant Sexual Preferences Among Adult Rapists (2004)
- When Words Are Not Enough: The Search for the Effect of Pornography on Abused Women (2004)
- Pornography and teenagers: the importance of individual differences (2005)
- Risk Factors for Male Sexual Aggression on College Campuses (2005)
- Men’s Likelihood of Sexual Aggression: The Influence of Alcohol, Sexual Arousal, and Violent Pornography (2006)
- Rape-myth congruent beliefs in women resulting from exposure to violent pornography: Effects of alcohol and sexual arousal (2006)
- Predicting sexual aggression: the role of pornography in the context of general and specific risk factors (2007).
- Use of pornography and self-reported engagement in sexual violence among adolescents (2007)
- Trends in youth reports of sexual solicitations, harassment and unwanted exposure to pornography on the Internet (2007)
- Relationships among cybersex addiction, gender egalitarianism, sexual attitude and the allowance of sexual violence in adolescents (2007)
- Linking Male Use of the Sex Industry to Controlling Behaviors in Violent Relationships (2008)
- Pornography use and sexual aggression: the impact of frequency and type of pornography use on recidivism among sexual offenders (2008)
- The Importance of Individual Differences in Pornography Use: Theoretical Perspectives and Implications for Treating Sexual Offenders (2009)
- Pornography use as a risk marker for an aggressive pattern of behavior among sexually reactive children and adolescents (2009)
- Female Pornography Use and Sexual Coercion Perpetration (2009)
- Is sexual violence related to Internet exposure? Empirical evidence from Spain (2009)
- Comparison by crime type of juvenile delinquents on pornography exposure the absence of relationships between exposure to pornography and sexual offense characteristics (2010)
- Problems with Aggregate Data and the Importance of Individual Differences in the Study of Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Comment on Diamond, Jozifkova, and Weiss (2010)
- Pornographic exposure over the life course and the severity of sexual offenses: Imitation and cathartic effects (2011)
- Mass Media Effects on Youth Sexual Behavior Assessing the Claim for Causality (2011)
- Pornography Viewing among Fraternity Men: Effects on Bystander Intervention, Rape Myth Acceptance and Behavioral Intent to Commit Sexual Assault (2011)
- X-rated material and perpetration of sexually aggressive behavior among children and adolescents: is there a link? (2011)
- Watching pornography gender differences violence and victimization: An exploratory study in Italy (2011)
- Differences between sexually victimized and nonsexually victimized male adolescent sexual abusers: developmental antecedents and behavioral comparisons (2011)
- Pornography, Individual Differences in Risk and Men’s Acceptance of Violence Against Women in a Representative Sample (2012)
- Effects of Exposure to Pornography on Male Aggressive Behavioral Tendencies (2012)
- Part II: differences between sexually victimized and nonsexually victimized male adolescent sexual abusers and delinquent youth: further group comparisons of developmental antecedents and behavioral challenges (2012)
- Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime? (2013)
- “So why did you do it?”: Explanations provided by Child Pornography Offenders (2013)
- Does deviant pornography use follow a Guttman-like progression? (2013)
- Prevalence Rates of Male and Female Sexual Violence Perpetrators in a National Sample of Adolescents (2013)
- Anal heterosex among young people and implications for health promotion: a qualitative study in the UK (2014)
- Experimental Effects of Exposure to Pornography The Moderating Effect of Personality and Mediating Effect of Sexual Arousal (2014)
- Forced sex, rape and sexual exploitation: attitudes and experiences of high school students in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (2014)
- Pornography, Alcohol, and Male Sexual Dominance (2014)
- Capturing Sexual Violence Experiences Among Battered Women Using the Revised Sexual Experiences Survey and the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (2014)
- Critical Criminological Understandings of Adult Pornography and Woman Abuse: New Progressive Directions in Research and Theory (2015)
- Viewing child pornography: prevalence and correlates in a representative community sample of young Swedish men (2015)
- Exploring the Use of Online Sexually Explicit Material: What Is the Relationship to Sexual Coercion? (2015)
- Men’s Objectifying Media Consumption, Objectification of Women, and Attitudes Supportive of Violence Against Women (2015)
- Is pornography use associated with anti-woman sexual aggression? Re-examining the Confluence Model with third variable considerations (2015)
- Adolescent Pornography Use and Dating Violence among a Sample of Primarily Black and Hispanic, Urban-Residing, Underage Youth (2015)
- Time-Varying Risk Factors and Sexual Aggression Perpetration Among Male College Students (2015)
- Pornography, Sexual Coercion and Abuse and Sexting in Young People’s Intimate Relationships: A European Study (2016)
- Deviant Pornography Use: The Role of Early-Onset Adult Pornography Use and Individual Differences (2016)
- Attitudes towards sexual coercion by Polish high school students: links with risky sexual scripts, pornography use, and religiosity (2016)
- Pornography, Sexual Coercion and Abuse and Sexting in Young People’s Intimate Relationships: A European Study (2016)
- Juvenile Sex Offenders (2016)
- The Lived Experience of the Adolescent Sex Offender: A Phenomenological Case Study (2016)
- Naked Aggression: The Meaning and Practice of Ejaculation on a Woman’s Face (2016)
- Predicting the Emergence of Sexual Violence in Adolescence (2017)
- An Examination of Pornography Use as a Predictor of Female Sexual Coercion (2017)
- More Than a Magazine: Exploring the Links Between Lads’ Mags, Rape Myth Acceptance, and Rape Proclivity (2017)
- Masculine norms, peer group, pornography, Facebook, and men’s sexual objectification of women (2017)
- Talking about child sexual abuse would have helped me Young people who sexually abused reflect on preventing harmful sexual behavior (2017)
- Crossing the Threshold From Porn Use to Porn Problem: Frequency and Modality of Porn Use as Predictors of Sexually Coercive Behaviors (2017)
- Sexual coercion, sexual aggression, or sexual assault: how measurement impacts our understanding of sexual violence (2017)
- Bridging the Theoretical Gap: Using Sexual Script Theory to Explain the Relationship Between Pornography Use and Sexual Coercion (2018)
- Men’s Sexual Sadism towards Women in Mozambique: Influence of Pornography? (2018)
- Abuse disclosures of youth with problem sexualized behaviors and trauma symptomology (2018)
- Experimental effects of degrading versus erotic pornography exposure in men on reactions toward women: objectification, sexism, discrimination (2018)
- “Adding fuel to the fire”? Does exposure to non-consenting adult or to child pornography increase risk of sexual aggression? (2018)
- Exposure to internet pornography and sexually aggressive behaviour: protective roles of social support among Korean adolescents (2018)
- Problematic Pornography Use and Physical and Sexual Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration Among Men in Batterer Intervention Programs (2018)
- When the “emotional brain” takes over – A qualitative study about risk factors behind the development of sexual behaviour disorder according to therapists and treatment assistants (2019)
- The Association Between Exposure to Violent Pornography and Teen Dating Violence in Grade 10 High School Students (2019)
- Protective Factors Against Pedophilic Acts (2019)
- Pornography and Rapes Evidence from Major YouTube Outage (2019)
- Pornography and Sexual Violence: A Case Study of Married Rural Women in Tirunelveli District (2019)
- Sexual Coercion by Women: The Influence of Pornography and Narcissistic and Histrionic Personality Disorder Traits (2019)
- When You Can’t Tube…Impact of a Major YouTube Outage on Rapes (2019)
- Children who engaged in interpersonal problematic sexual behaviors (2019)
- Is pornography consumption associated with intimate partner violence? The moderating role of attitudes towards women and violence (2019)
- Pornography, Masculinity, and Sexual Aggression on College Campuses (2020).
- Male peer support and sexual assault: the relation between high-Profile, high school sports participation and sexually predatory behaviour (2020)
- The Influence of Sexual Violence on the Relationship Between Internet Pornography Experience and Self-Control (2020)
- The Confluence Model of Sexual Aggression: An Application With Adolescent Males (2020)
- A State-Level Analysis of Mortality and Google Searches for Pornography: Insight from Life History Theory (2020)
- Characteristics and risk factors in juvenile sexual offenders (2020)
- Women’s Pornography Consumption, Alcohol Use, and Sexual Victimization (2020)
- A Test of a Social Learning Model for Explaining College Youths’ Online and Offline Sexual Harassment (2020)
- Recognizing Connections Between Intimate Partner Sexual Violence and Pornography (2020)
- Factors predictive of sexual violence: Testing the four pillars of the Confluence Model in a large diverse sample of college men (2021)
- Pornography Use, Two Forms of Dehumanization, and Sexual Aggression: Attitudes vs. Behaviors (2021)
Realyourbrainonporn (scienceofarousal.com) exposed as shills for the porn industry.
For an expose’ on the other sections contained on the realyourbrainonporn.com (pornographyresearch.com) research page see:
- Porn Science Deniers Alliance engages in unlawful trademark infringement of YourBrainOnPorn.com
- At long last, the Alliance (RealYBOP experts) openly functions as an agenda-driven collective
- RealYBOP experts are being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote its websites and convince users that porn addiction & sex addiction are myths
- They receive a lot of publicity, but the Porn Science Deniers Alliance represents a small, albeit vocal, minority with an oversized presence
- Porn Science Deniers Alliance is out of step with the world’s most widely used medical diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)
- The Alliance’s cherry-picked, often irrelevant papers do not represent the preponderance of the research
- Overview of the Alliance’s cherry-picked, often dubious papers
- Almost all of the Alliance’s papers were addressed in previous critiques of earlier Prause articles
- You can’t falsify a model if you can’t name any model
- Various members of the Porn Science Deniers Alliance have a history of misrepresenting their own and others’ studies
- Exposing the Alliance’s cherry-picked papers: disinformation, misrepresentation, omission and falsehoods – Links to the YBOP analysis of each Deniers Alliance research section: