Transforming a Rape Culture  

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"The scientific foundation of the "cathartic effect" has in recent years been refuted, yet anti-ordinance/pro-pornography supporters continue to promote this perspective as if mere repetition will wipe out the scientific record. The catharsis theory, which impressed the 1970 U.S. Presidential Commission on Pornography, is mostly based on research by Berl Kutchinsky. Kutchinsky had discovered that the relaxation of porn laws in Denmark and Sweden coincided with a decrease in reported sex crimes. But subsequent inspection of his study revealed that his correlation was poor, since he failed to account for other social factors, such as an abnormally high rape rate after the German occupation during WWII, which would have made any subsequent decrease of sex crimes seem statistically supportive of his original premise. Interestingly, Kutchinsky himself has since recanted his initial conclusions, noting that the rape rates of Denmark and Sweden have *increased* since he conducted his study. It should also be noted that Norway, which has a culture similar to Denmark and Sweden and far stricter laws against pornogrpahy, has had even greater success in combating sex crimes (34 percent decrease from 1970 go 1981, compared to a 14.2 percent decrease for Denmark).

In 1984, Dr. John Court examined changes in rape rates in several countries that had periods of greater or lesser legal control of pornography. He concluded that greater legal control of porn appears to hold down rape rates. Similarly, Baron and Straus (in studies published in 1984 and 1985) have shown a highly significant statistical correlation between state-by-state circulation rates for seven porn magazines (Playboy, Oui, Hustler, Genesis, Gallery, Chic, and Club) and state-by-state reported rape rates. Their study revealed that proliferation of pornographic magazines and the level of urbanization explained variance in rape rates more than did unemployment, economic inequality, sexual inequality, and social disorganization. In Mary Koss's 1986 national survey of over six thousand college students, she found that college men who reported behavior that meets the legal definition of rape were significantly more likely than men who did not report such behavior to be frequent readers of at least one of the following magazines: Playboy, Penthouse, Chic, Club, Forum, Gallery, Genesis, Oui, and Hustler."[1], --Transforming a Rape Culture (1993) - Emilie Buchwald, Pamela R. Fletcher, Martha Roth

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Transforming a Rape Culture (1993) is a book by Emilie Buchwald, Pamela R. Fletcher, Martha Roth.

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