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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Porn and Rape

A lot of Catholic commentators want to connect porn and rape. I understand their wish, but it ain't happening.

Consider the facts:
On August 6, 1991, Berners-Lee posted a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup, inviting collaborators....By January 1993 there were fifty Web servers across the world; by October 1993 there were over five hundred... The Web was first popularized by Mosaic, a graphical browser launched in 1993 by Marc Andreessen's team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)...

Now, look at this:




Given the explosive growth of the internet and the access to free porn that it makes available (statistics here), can anyone honestly argue that the incidence of rape increases as porn use increases? Seriously?

Two of the greatest doctors of the Church would take issue with the argument many modern Catholics make. As St. Augustine pointed out

“If you do away with harlots, the world will be convulsed with lust.”
and St. Thomas Aquinas agreed:
Prostitution in the towns is like the cesspool in the palace: take away the cesspool and the palace will become an unclean and evil-smelling place.
Their opinion was given well before erotic imagery was widely available, yet their point seems to be borne out in today's rape-porn statistics. As porn use increases, rape decreases.

Sorry if you find this offensive, modern Catholics, but that appears to be the reality. Being Catholic is all about being in contact with reality. Stop pretending something is true when we know perfectly well it isn't.


If we, as Catholics, wish to argue against porn, we will have to find a better argument than "It causes rape!" Because it doesn't cause rape. In fact, it arguably reduces rape, as our own theologians predicted it would.

3 comments:

c said...

Porn users are passive consumers living a masturbatory fantasy. It robs them of power as it becomes an addiction. I don't enjoy spending time on the topic, but I would argue pornography emasculates men -- the opposite of turning them into rapists. Seems like that would be obvious to many people.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Yeah, that's probably not an accurate explanation either, as it implies that real men (tm) are rapists. In fact, the majority of male rapists come from single-parent households. <

When we consider that single-mother households have exploded along with the explosion in porn, the drop in rapes is even more pronounced, and whatever caused that drop affected female rapists as well as male rapists.

"According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 38% of reported rape incidents are against men. A recent analysis of BJS data indicates 46% of male victims were victims of female perpetrators. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 21 men report being "made to penetrate" against their will."

Unknown said...

Late again, Ha. Weird post to provoke vice enlighten I suspect. Porn replaces reality w/ fantasy and facilitates a man's objectification of women in numerous ways, rape or not. I've read the references in Augustin and this is not a recurring theme. To me it's more like Christ's "because of the hardness of your heart..." exposition. And I suspect you also read Scripture & the Drs with the sense of scripture and the Drs. Your post reminds me of "There's no correlation between weed and later heroin use." Ask several H addicts about this.