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10/18/2004 Archived Entry: ""

Pat T. forwards an extremely disturbing news item that I quote in full...

A sheriff's department in northern Utah is requiring deputies to begin documenting pornography found at crime scenes and during arrests. Lt. Matt Bilodeau, spokesman for the Cache County Sheriff's Department, said that although no connection between legal porn viewing and criminal behavior has ever been proven, police have seen a steady increase in porn associated with crimes. He likened the new tracking system to the approach police use with gang members. "(Gangs) have certain clothes they wear, markings on their houses, tattoos," Bilodeau said. "Like gangs, people who use pornography have associated traits, and we'll define them so we can link them to crimes and pornography." Dani Eyer, head of American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, compared the program to scouring a suspect's bookshelf and trying to create a criminal profile from the things that person reads. "It's one thing to collect evidence to crimes, but it's another thing to link thought and association to crime," she said.

It is difficult to know where to begin in condemning the police practice. Let me focus on just one objection: namely, viewing pornography may well have a cathartic effect on men who have violent urges toward women. If this is true, pornography can be a protective barrier between women and abuse. Using rape as an example of violence....Studies on rape differ, but many indicate that pornography may indeed prevent violence by releasing urges, by acting as a pressure valve. Unbiased research on violence against women is desperately needed. Unfortunately, one of the casualties of gender feminist dogma has been good solid work in this area. In a real sense, real research and unbiased inquiry into sexual violence has been not just retarded but also erased by political considerations. The police attitudes may be based on Mormon-type conservatiism rather than feminist critiques; indeed, the fact that we're talking about a Utah police force makes that scenario more likely. But the gender feminist demonization of pornography as an act of violence against women in and of itself allows those with other anti-porn motives to act freely in similarly scapegoating it. The police may not agree that porn is the commodification of women and de facto rape but they will use the pro-censorship atmosphere created by that widespread belief to their own ends.

The research into the complex causes of rape and how best to prevent it used to have subtlety. In his book from the '70s, Men who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender, A. Nicholas Groth offers a theory that sounds almost jarring to ears that have been trained to hear only the genfem perspective. Groth writes: "One of the most basic observations one can make regarding men who rape is that not all such offenders are alike." (p.12 Plenum Press, N.Y., 1979) In their book, The Crime and Consequences of Rape, Charles W. Dean, Mary de Bruyn-Kops, Charles C. Thomas, report: "The Kinsey study, begun in the 1950s and completed after Kinsey's death by Gebhard and associates, classified seven types of rapists: assaultive, amoral, drunken, explosive, double-standard, mental defective and psychotic..." (p.41 Springfield, Ill. 1982)

Such studies are no longer in fashion. It is no longer proper to suggest that there can be as many motives for rape as there are for murder and other violent crimes. People murder for money, for love, out of jealousy or patriotism ...the rationalizations go on and on. Rape is every bit as complex. Men rape because of sexual hunger, from a need to prove themselves, from hatred of women, or a desire for revenge, as a political statement, or from peer pressure (as in gang rapes). Men rape from a constellation of complicated motives, which become further blurred when you introduce drunkenness or drug use.

Today, any "right thinking" person knows-there is only one cause: male domination. And for decades, pornography has been scapegoated as a vehicle...not of sexual pleasure or sexual pleasure...but of hatred and oppression which serves both as a training ground for and an impetus to violence. But no link between porn and violence has been established. Some research indicates that there is no relationship. Other studies indicate a cathartic effect. The real problem is that little honest research has even been conducted on a possible relationship since the '70s. Such research is no longer possible in the sexually correct environment of modern universities. After all, we already know the answer.

By demonizing pornography, gender feminists and law enforcement are doing women a great disservice. They are diverting attention away from the real issues underlying violence against women.

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