Tolerance of Pornography in Society

Topics: Pornography, Human sexual behavior, Pornographic actor Pages: 7 (2437 words) Published: January 22, 2014
Introduction and opposing viewpoints
Pornography is broadly defined as “any form of explicit representation of the human body or sexual activity with the goal of sexual arousal and/or sexual relief.” It takes form in all sorts of media, including movies, magazines, literature, and artistic representations by which it has made its way into the homes of over 221 million Americans today. It can be professional, amateur, or voyeuristic in nature. The issue of pornography acceptance in society is somewhat based on personal opinion. A large number of Americans enjoy porn and form part of the $100 billion market, whereas others find pornography distasteful and avoid it. Amongst those who enjoy pornography lie many genre preferences of pornography, from anal creampies and bukkakes to illegal forms of pornography such as child and zoophilia-oriented porn. Amongst those with a personal distaste for pornography is the heavy outcry from obscene feminist movements and other critics who favor censorship and claim that pornography is the epitome of society’s moral deterioration by ruining relationships, lives ("pornography addiction"), exploiting women, and worsening perversions. This is not an essay about the benefits of pornography for the individual per se. This is not an essay attempting to persuade you, the reader, to watch or enjoy pornography. The aim of this essay is to call for tolerance of pornography in society because, I believe, it has enormous benefits for society as a whole -- particularly in a society which values the freedom of expression. I will attempt to debunk the most common, unevidenced myths against pornography, and will discuss how the tolerance of pornography by those who do not watch pornography, and how the availability of pornography for those who do watch pornography, benefits us all. Claim: Porn leads to an increase in sex crimes.

Evidence suggests that the increased availability of porn (i.e. the growth of the internet of which there are currently 4.2 million pornographic websites ) has a link to decreased sex crimes in the United States. Indeed, statistics are in favor of pornography and seems to make the argument made for the moral corruption of society unfounded. Rape, pedophilia, divorce, and sex crimes in general have decreased drastically since pornography's wide availability over the internet. Sex crimes against children have decreased by 39% overall in the last decade, and crimes against 12-17 year olds are down 79% over the same period. Effects on abortion are also noticeable but debatable, with the number of abortions per live births trending downward since 1987. With teen pregnancy, the number of live births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 has dropped from 60 in 1990 to 40 in 2003. Crimes against women have decreased as well. Violent crimes against women have dropped from 41 victims per 1,000 women in 1994 to just 17 in 2004. Incidence of rape has dropped dramatically, despite decreasing social stigma against rape victims, which would make rape more likely to be reported. There were 2.5 rapes per 1,000 women in 1984. By 1993, the number had dropped to 1.6. By 2004, it was down to just 0.4. As previously mentioned, many have argued that pornography destroys relationships. Their basis for this argument fails to have any supporting evidence as well, as divorce rates dropped from 47% in 1990 to 38% in 2002 (again, this 12-year gap represents the increase of internet pornography availability). We may also point to places such as Scandinavia and Japan, where liberal attitudes to pornography go hand in hand with low rates of sexual crime against women. The "Danish experience" is often held up as good example. In 1969 Denmark lifted all restrictions on pornography, and sex crimes declined. For example, between 1965 and 1982 sex crimes against children went from 30 per 100,000 to about 5 per 100,000. Similar evidence was found for rape rates. The reason for this correlation, many believe, is because...
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