Attorney General's Commission on Pornography

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m.terribile

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Sep 9, 1986, 3:10:42 PM9/9/86
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>> >>From the Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography:
>> [From Commissioner Dietz' statement]
>> >>...
>> >>consequences. The person who follows the patterns of social behavior
>> >>promoted by pornography is a person for whom love, affection, marriage,
>> >>procreation, and responsibility are absolutely irrelevant to sexual
>> >>conduct... We do not need research to tell us that such persons on the
>> >>average contribute more than other persons to rates of illegitimacy,
>> >>teenage pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.
>
>Interesting what people come up with without research... Perhaps this
>report should be classifed as fiction.
>--
> Joseph Arceneaux

Interesting what people choose to pick on. Note the behavior described:

indiscriminant sexual activity without contraception or prophylaxis

Note the claim:

people who do such things are more prone, per individual, to sexually
transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy and more likely to bring
about illegitimacy or abortion.

Now you may take issue with these claims, but if you do you are taking issue
with the whole rationale for compulsatory sex education in the schools. You
are also taking issue with the claims of the people who manufacture foams and
condoms.

In this instance the burden of proof is on those who dispute the statement;
the claim is one that we now act on as well-established.

If, on the other hand, you are saying that this behavior is not promoted by
pornography, or by *some* pornogrpahy, or that *no* pornogrpahy promotes this
behavior, we have a topic for discussion.

Now, what do you mean by ``promote''? Do you mean bring about, or advertise
on behalf of? Or have you some other definition?
--

from Mole End Mark Terribile
(scrape .. dig ) mtx5b!mat
(Please mail to mtx5b!mat, NOT mtx5a!
mat, or to mtx5a!mtx5b!mat)
(mtx5b!mole-end!mat will also reach me)
,.. .,, ,,, ..,***_*.

m.terribile

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Sep 9, 1986, 3:12:57 PM9/9/86
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> In fact, let's list the major points you and MES seem to have tried to make
> (I have tried not to unfairly reword any to look more absurd than they are).
>
> I would appreciate it if you could edit your own version of this summary,
> adding any I missed, dropping any you did not intend as a major point (ie
> satire and/or personal insults), and correcting any I have misunderstood.
> In addition, of course to replying to anything I have said.

Fair enough. Here are the ones that you attribute to me. Most are fair
statements, if a little overbrief.

> o A drastic change has happened in our society since the 1970 porn commission,
> invalidating the previous results.

In particular, a drastic change in the type and amount of sexually explicit
material, as well as an increase in the amount of research data and the amount
of evidence in the form of testimony. In addition, two other national
commissions (one Canadian, one British) have asked similar questions and come
to conclusions different from those that Nixon's commission came to, one in
the mid 70s and one in 1985.

The conclusions of the 1970 study may or may not be valid; only an examination
of what we now know can determine that. This Commission undertook such an
examination.

> o In discussing porn in general it is relevant to bring up an isolated
> example of one porn film involving an actual rape on camera.

Yes. In examining *any* activity, it is relevant to bring up an example,
particularly one as extreme and heinous as a rape on film, sold and viewed
by millions of people (making them accessories).

The question you should ask is whether this incident is representative of the
sex industry, or whether it has occurred more than once. The answer to the
first is not absolutely resolved by the report, which calls for more study,
and involvement of law enforcement experts. On the basis of testimony, the
answer to the second is yes. And there is evidence, somewhat weaker, that
these are not isolated cases. The evidence is strong enough to urge immediate
study, and to urge that measures be taken that will make such abuse more
difficult to accomplish, if this can be done without serious infringement of
individual liberties, and if this can be done within the framework of the
current interpretation of the Constitution.

> o "Scientific data is of no import to constitutional law"

Not quite what was said (which necessarily responds to the context).
Statistical studies are not the only stuff of which constitutional law is made,
or even the principle component. Constitutional Law speaks of rights and
rules, of legal principles that are not statistical in nature, but absolute or
relative to each other. Constitutional law existed long before anyone knew how
to write protocols for social and behavioral sciences studies, and it achieved
some pretty notable things. Also a few flops, most of which have been fixed.

Scientific data is of use in determining fact, not in applying principles,
except insofar as those principles rest upon claims which can be examined
through such data.

> o The results of certain studies are frightening.

Yes. Would you like references for the studies and experiments? As I say
below, I cannot type them all in. A selection would have to do.

> o There exist large numbers of people who could "quite reasonably" be said
> to be "victims of pornography and the industry that surrounds it".

Depends what you mean by large numbers. If you mean 40 million people, the
answer is probably no. If you mean tens of thousands, the answer may be yes.
The commission calls for further study. But if the witnesses who testified
are representative, we may be talking about numbers in the hundreds of
thousands or low millions.

If one thousand people a year are degraded, humiliated, and left with a threat
of future humiliation of themselves and their loved ones because of what they
did on camera to avoid starvation, can we justify it for the erotic stimulation
of a few? By few, let us say less than 15 percent of the adult population.

> o There is a "real toll in human misery" all around us, which we (who
> argue with you) are pointedly ignoring.

``All around''? Does it matter whether it is all around you or concentrated
in one area if you are patronizing an industry whose activity that has this
result? Yes, the testimony before the Commission, by itself, strongly suggests
that such misery has resulted and may result on a regular basis.

> o It is an emergency.

Wouldn't you consider *any* situation that results in the harms alleged to
be an urgent situation?

In particular, the sexual abuse of children by people who collect, exchange,
and sell photographs of that abuse, and who use such photographs to facilitate
the abuse of more children warrants immediate attention.

> o (Something about "psychological violence", but not defined well enough
> to include here. Please clarify.)

Such violence includes the cases documented in testimony of women who were
abused physically or psychologically by ``partners'' who sought to have them
duplicate the things viewed on film or in photographs. It includes women who
have been harassed by men who have filled their traditionally male workplace
with images of women in sexually accessible postures. In a less definite but
no less damaging way, it includes women who are viewed as objects for the
pleasure of men around them.

The list of victims includes the men who do these things. To say that they
are sick is much like blaming accidents on drivers: guardrails, barriers, and
seatbelts help reduce fatalities and serious injuries. The lack of these
things need not be the direct cause of the accident.

Yes, we *do* need more studies to determine the extent of some of the harms.
But this does not mean that some of them are not well documented. And others
are offensive simply on egalitarian grounds: ``When your rape is entertainment
your worthlessness is absolute'' (Dworkin). Yes, you may disagree with Ms.
Dworkin, but *if* the presentation of rape, date rape, etc, *is* entertainment,
then the relative esteem in which we hold men and women is certainly in
question, especially when the women depicted are shown as ultimately acceeding
to the assualt and calling for more. The only questions are if such materials
are viewed as entertainment and how large the effect is.

Such materials are viewed as entertainment by some; the Commission found that
quite a bit was available. Whether it is what *you* like or not is a
different question. As to the magnitude of the effect: examine the studies
which showed that subjects (college-age males) who viewed such materials were
less likely to bring a conviction, or even believe the victim's testimony, in
a rape trial. Note that the volunteer subjects are screened to avoid
deliberately subjecting anyone with possibly psychotic tendencies to situations
which might trigger harmful behavior.

> o Studies (which ones, by name, please. And in the context this seemed to
> be studies of "psychologically violent" porn, yes?) seem to indicate
> (unspecified) damage to users, their spouses, and their children.

Some of it has been posted. If your goal is to establish the reliability of
what the Commission said or to question my interpretation of it, why not get
the $9.95 copy which will soon become available? Then you will not have the
possiblity of error in my transcription. But I will transcribe some of the
references and conclusions based thereupon if you like.

> o It is OK to repeatedly refer to victims, w/o establishing the meaning or
> scope of this group. *

Over 100 such victims spoke before the Commission. Many others who considered
themselves victims were interviewed by the Commission's staff. Given the sense
of shame surrounding such victimization, it would appear that these would be a
small minority of the actual pool of victims in the cities in which hearings
were held. Very few of these were offenders (whose testimony may well be
self-serving). Of those sex offenders who testified or provided statements,
many testified to having been abused as children in the same way that they
abused their victims, and this abuse often involved sexually explicit materials
used in the manners that Dr. Deitz outlined. Such repetition, as adults, of
abuse received as children is well documented in other areas of child abuse,
and it is becoming established in patterns of sexual abuse as well.

Indeed, if victims of abuse that is aided by pornogrpahy themselves become
offenders because of the damage they suffered, their victims are, in a limited
sense, victims of the original material.

I believe that the victims that Dr. Deitz wrote of represent reasonably well
the categories of non-offender victims that spoke before the Commission. I
cannot possibly type in all of the testimony. Nor would the backbone sites
appreciate it if I could.

> o The commission could not possibly have been "stacked" and still disagreed
> so much.

It could not have been stacked with people whose agenda was a blanket
condemnation of all sexually explicit material. It is possible, given the fact
that the Commissioners were unpaid, that they did approach the subject with
concerns -- concerns which may very well have been based in harms that they had
personally witnessed. In at least one case, this is true.

The openmindedness with which the Commission approached its job is, I think,
evidenced in their struggles even to define the term ``pornography''. It is
evidenced in the fact that, excluding explicitly pedophile material, the
Commission voted by a thin margin to recommend the lifting of *all*
restrictions against the written word (as opposed to photographic or cinema-
tographic depictions) And by the fact that they invited people who might
reasonably oppose restrictive laws to appear before them. A few did. Most
such individuals who were invited declined to appear.

But *every* significant disagreement that arose between the Commissioners
argues against the claim that they were merely playing out a fixed agenda.
And every such disagreement, every dissenting opinion, every close vote
reduces the likelyhood that such agendas, had they been present, would have
been the final determining factor in the Commission's findings and
recommendations.

Adam V. Reed

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Sep 10, 1986, 11:24:25 AM9/10/86
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>>[From Commissioner Dietz' statement]

>>The person who follows the patterns of social behavior
>>promoted by pornography is a person for whom love, affection, marriage,
>>procreation, and responsibility are absolutely irrelevant to sexual
>>conduct... We do not need research to tell us that such persons on the
>>average contribute more than other persons to rates of illegitimacy,
>>teenage pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Mark Terribile (mtx5b!mat) writes:
> If, on the other hand, you are saying that this behavior is not promoted by
> pornography, or by *some* pornogrpahy, or that *no* pornogrpahy promotes this
> behavior, we have a topic for discussion.

What is at issue is the assumption that the omission of certain
behaviors from books and films *promotes* attitudes which would lead to
the omission of those behaviors in real life. Now this assumption is, in
general, demonstrably false. For example, in real life, the requirement
that police detectives be accountable for their actions makes for a
great deal of tedious paperwork. This paperwork in almost never
depicted, and seldom mentioned, in a typical detective story. Does this
mean that detective stories promote the attitude that accountability is
irrelevant to police work? No: a normal person knows that films and
books, like all art, constitute a *selective* re-creation of reality.
The fact that police paperwork is not depicted in detective stories does
not lead the audience to lessen their expectation that the cops will
remain accountable for their actions, and does not lead the cops to omit
paperwork from their schedule.

Now let us suppose that behaviors required by love, affection, marriage,
procreation, and responsibility are indeed routinely omitted from fuck
films. Does that mean that normal people, who know that films are a
*selective* re-creation of reality, will be led thereby to omit those
behaviors from their own sex lives? I see no reason to suppose that
anything of the sort could be reasonably expected to happen. Indeed,
Dietz's statement would be somewhat puzzling if it were not for the fact
that its author spends most of his time studying violent criminals. Now
some violent criminals are notorious for their inability to distinguish
between reality and fiction; their crimes often resemble verbatim
reproductions of behavior read about in books or seen on the screen.
Dietz's assumption is an example of what we psychologists call the
Psychiatric Fallacy: making generalizations about human behavior on the
basis of clinical experience limited to severely disturbed individuals.
And it is reasonable to assume that Mark selected the most persuasive
excerpt from the commission report, so the rest is likely to be worse.

Adam Reed (mtund!adam)

Stanley Friesen

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Sep 10, 1986, 7:56:34 PM9/10/86
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In article <15...@ucbvax.BERKELEY.EDU> (Gene Ward Smith) writes:

>>Moreover, the existing population-based
>>evidence for the United States shows a correlation between circulation
>>rates of magazines containing pornography (primarily of a non-violent type)
>>and rates of reported rape in the fifty states during that time, even after
>>many other factors were statistically controlled.

> It is very difficult to make this kind of a case, because of the
>difficulty of actually adequately controlling the other factors.

Another very important difficulty with this kind of study is
that it fails to distinguish cause and effect. Given that two factors,
A and B are correlated there are ate least three possible *classes* of
reasons. They are:
1) A causes B, either directly or indirectly
2) B causes A
3) some other factor, C, causes both A and B

The Meese Commission jumps straight from A and B are correlated to A
causes B! There are in fact at least two perfectly good models for C
causes both A and B. One is that some environments, such as slums,
generally promote mental health problems, which in turn lead to both
a large demand for pornography and a larger rate of sexual crimes.
Second, since porn is technically illegal everywhere in the US it
might be that it is only sold regularly in areas with genrally poor
law enforcement, where other kinds of crimes are going to be more
common anyway. Actually, I believe a combination of these two is quite
likely, and fully explains the correlation.

> If Dr. Dietz is interested, what makes ME
>violent is loud heavy-metal rock music. I think it should be banned because
>of its adverse heath effects (hearing loss) and tendency to promote violence.
>Any takers?

Unfortunately, yes!
---

Sarima (Stanley Friesen)

UUCP: {ttidca|ihnp4|sdcrdcf|quad1|nrcvax|bellcore|logico}!psivax!friesen
ARPA: ??

Michael C. Berch

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Sep 11, 1986, 2:12:47 PM9/11/86
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In article <15...@mtx5a.UUCP> m...@mtx5a.UUCP (m.terribile) writes:
> . . .

> Note the claim:
>
> people who do such things are more prone, per individual, to sexually
> transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy and more likely to bring
> about illegitimacy or abortion.
>
> Now you may take issue with these claims, but if you do you are taking issue
> with the whole rationale for compulsatory sex education in the schools. You
> are also taking issue with the claims of the people who manufacture foams and
> condoms.

Huh? I don't know what your rationale for sex education is, but mine
is simply that understanding sex is important to human development and
education, and is a subject that should be part of the curriculum,
just like math, English, geography, and science... Sex education
certainly helps lessen the incidence of STDs and unwanted pregnancy
(the latter assumes that contraception is taught), but is no more
"the whole rationale" for its inclusion than "keeping up with the
Soviets" is for science education.

> In this instance the burden of proof is on those who dispute the statement;
> the claim is one that we now act on as well-established.

No, the burden of proof remains on the proponent, Dr. Dietz. Nowhere
in his statement does he attempt to support it. Actually, the
incidence of STDs (certainly untreated STDs) and unwanted pregnancy in
the pornography industry is quite low in both real terms and adjusted
for the rate of sexual conduct. This is rather obvious; sex actors and
actresses are VERY AWARE of STDs, how to prevent and treat them, and
how to prevent/terminate pregnancy. It's their life and livelihood.

Michael C. Berch
ARPA: m...@lll-tis-b.ARPA
UUCP: {ihnp4,dual,sun}!lll-lcc!styx!mcb

Phil Stephens

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Sep 11, 1986, 4:50:32 PM9/11/86
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In article <7...@mtund.UUCP> ad...@mtund.UUCP (Adam V. Reed) writes:
>>>[From Commissioner Dietz' statement]
>Mark Terribile (mtx5b!mat) writes:

[The above just to identify which posting I am complimenting]

Thank you, Adam, for your articulate posting. I have printed a hardcopy
of it to remind me to aim for such standards in future postings!

I am especially happy to see someone clearly expressing ideas I had
tried (but failed? sort of) to express, particularly:

> what we psychologists call the
>Psychiatric Fallacy: making generalizations about human behavior on the
>basis of clinical experience limited to severely disturbed individuals.
>And it is reasonable to assume that Mark selected the most persuasive
>excerpt from the commission report, so the rest is likely to be worse.
>
> Adam Reed (mtund!adam)

Meanwhile, MT has written a fairly articulate non-flame response to my
attempt to summarize points he and MS have made. I'm thinking of
responding, after some contemplation, but I'd rather let someone more
articulate have first shot at it. (Hint, hint).


An aside: does this really belong in all 3 of the newsgroups net.politics,
net.legal, net.singles? I don't mind it myself, and have been following
it only in net.singles. If it does get moved, let me know.

- Phil
Reply-To: p...@oliven.UUCP (Phil Stephens)
Organization not responsible for these opinions: Olivetti ATC; Cupertino, Ca
Quote: "Can't stop messin' with the danger zone" -C. Lauper

{Gee folks, I'm kinda busy this week. Gonna try to keep my replies terse
and selective. Mail is welcome, but I might take my time replying.}

Oleg Kill the bastards Kiselev

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Sep 12, 1986, 1:54:30 AM9/12/86
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In article <15...@mtx5a.UUCP> m...@mtx5a.UUCP (m.terribile) writes:
>The conclusions of the 1970 study may or may not be valid; only an examination
>of what we now know can determine that. This Commission undertook such an
>examination.

You have previously claimed that the comission mainly made a recommendation
of further study and research. That involves obtaining scientific data,
something sorely lacking from the present report. I also fail to see how
outrageous generalizations, calls for bans and black-listing qualify as
valid conclusions of an "unbiased" examination.

>Yes. In examining *any* activity, it is relevant to bring up an example,
>particularly one as extreme and heinous as a rape on film, sold and viewed
>by millions of people (making them accessories).

"MILLIONS"? That is an interesting figure. I would like you to site a document
that confirms such magnitude. A market study or # of copies made would be
adequate.

Also, I suggest you check distribution and quantity of copies printed for most
"hard core" porn magazines and compare them to the figures for major "soft
porn" rags -- I assure you the proportions are not in favour of "hard core"
material. And far fewer people read them. Extrapolation of effects on a small
segment of population on the population as a whole is not valid in this case.

SEVENER

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Sep 12, 1986, 9:39:32 AM9/12/86
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> Mark Terribile (mtx5b!mark) writes:
> > Assuming that non-psychotic male college students are representative of
> > normal people (a point that no one has yet seen fit to argue, although it's
> > a good one) the studies which showed an increased willingness to cause another
> > person pain or to disregard the sexual rights of women after the subjects had
> > viewed a couple hours of such material suggest that these things may happen,
> > and that at the very least we should fund further studies and (where it may be
> > done within the limits of scientific ethics) further experiments to find out
> > more. (And yes, the Commission recommends this.) $500 000 is just not enough
> > to answer these questions properly.
>
> The study Mark refers to was conducted like this: Some male college
> students are given an attitude survey. They are then crowded into a
> small, darkened room, and made to view a piece of violent pornography on
> a flickering movie projector. They are then given the attitude survey
> again, and, presto, they appear more willing to disregard the sexual
> rights of women. How come?
>
> First, the manner in which people fill out surveys depends not only on
> their attitudes, but also on their physiological state. In particular,
> adrenergic arousal will lead people to appear less tolerant of the
> rights of others, even if their attitudes did not in fact change. And
> certain stimuli are known to increase adrenergic arousal: crowding,
> darkness, flickering lights, depiction of violence. In the light of
> what we know about human behavior, pornography was not really
> necessary to produce the reported result. In all probability, Buggs
> Bunny cartoons would have worked equally well. The obvious follow up
> (which would not have cost 5 grand, much less half a million, but which
> in fact was never done, leading to certain obvious conclusions about the
> scientific motivation of the investigators) is to eliminate crowding,
> darkness, and flicker, and then compare the effects of a non-violent
> sex video with those of a Buggs Bunny cartoon of equal duration. Anyone
> care to bet on the result?
> Adam Reed (mtund!adam)

Road Runner cartoons are excellent examples of nonviolence....
How about showing them "Rambo" or "Dirty Harry"?
tim sevener whuxn!orb

Karen Christenson

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Sep 12, 1986, 12:17:48 PM9/12/86
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>>> [From Commissioner Dietz' statement]
>>> >>...
>>> >>consequences. The person who follows the patterns of social behavior
>>> >>promoted by pornography is a person for whom love, affection, marriage,
>>> >>procreation, and responsibility are absolutely irrelevant to sexual
>>> >>conduct... We do not need research to tell us that such persons on the
>>> >>average contribute more than other persons to rates of illegitimacy,
>>> >>teenage pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.
>>
>>Interesting what people come up with without research... Perhaps this
>>report should be classifed as fiction.
>>--
>> Joseph Arceneaux
>
>Interesting what people choose to pick on. Note the behavior described:
> indiscriminant sexual activity without contraception or prophylaxis
>Note the claim:
> people who do such things are more prone, per individual, to sexually
> transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy and more likely to bring
> about illegitimacy or abortion.

I take it, then, that the "patterns of social behavior promoted by
pornography" were described in a previous section of the report? Does
pornography in fact advocate "indiscriminant" sexual activity? If not,
what standards of discrimination does it use? Does pornography promote
the abandonment of contraceptive measures?
Given the excerpts of the report I've seen (granted, they might be
selective, but holes are holes), I'd have a hard time getting a good grade
on it from any of my profs.

m.terribile

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Sep 12, 1986, 4:44:30 PM9/12/86
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> > ... the studies which showed an increased willingness to cause another

> > person pain or to disregard the sexual rights of women after the subjects
> > had viewed a couple hours of such material suggest that these things may
> > happen, and that at the very least we should fund further studies ...
> > ... $500 000 is just not enough to answer these questions properly.

>
> The study Mark refers to was conducted like this: Some male college
> students are given an attitude survey. They are then crowded into a
> small, darkened room, and made to view a piece of violent pornography on
> a flickering movie projector. They are then given the attitude survey
> again, and, presto, they appear more willing to disregard the sexual
> rights of women. How come?

You are saying first that there was one study (actually, experiment) and second
that it was not properly controlled, right?

You haven't read the Report. From Page 980,

Are there differences in effects from exposure to violent versus
non-violent sexually explicit material? An early study (Malmuth,
Reisin, and Spinner, 1979) had male and female subjects exposed to
one of the above stimuli or to a neutral one. The materials presented
were pictures from Playboy or Penthouse magazines for the sexual
exposures and from National Geographic for the neutral exposure.
Sexually violent depictions included pictures of rape or sadomasochism
whereas the sexually nonviolent material had no aggressive elements.
After viewing the material, subjects filled out a mood checklist.
This was followed ten minutes later by an assessment of reactions to
rape after the subjects had viewed a videotaped interview with an
actual rape victim as well as an assessment several days later in an
ostensibly different study. Both types of stimuli were found to
reduce the extent to which subjects perceived that pornography may
have detrimental effects but neither one affected reactions to rape.

So far, so good, but this is a case where the victim was interviewed, and
allowed to tell her side without interference. The Report continues:

Correlational data, on the other hand, showed that sexual arousal to
the sexually violent depictions were significantly related with a
self-reported possiblity of engaging in rape.

Another study (Malamut, Haber, and Feshbach, 1980) examined the effects
of written depictions of a sexual interaction based on a feature from
Penthouse magazine and modified to create a violent and nonviolent
version for male and female subjects. In this study, males who had
been exposed to the sexually violent depiction (sadomasochism)
perceived more favorably a rape depiction that was presented to
subjects subsequently. Subjects were found to believe that a higher
percentage of men would rape if they knew they would not be punished
and that many women would enjoy being victmized. Finaly, of the
fifty-three male subjects, seventeen percent said they personally
would be likely to act as the rapist under similar conditions.
Fifty-three percent of these males responded similarly when asked
the same question if assured they would not be caught.

In order to draw out the various dimensions in the portrayals of
sexual violence which might explain the inhibition of sexual
responsiveness, Malamuth, Heim, and Feshbach (1980) conducted two
experiments on male and female students. The first replicated
earlier findings that normal subjects seem to be less aroused by
sexual violence than by ``nonviolent erotica.'' A second experiment
manipulated reactions of the rape victim with one version showing her
as experiencing an involuntary orgams and no pain. The second version
had her experiencing an orgasm with pain. Both male and female
subjects were aroused to these depictions, with femals subjects more
aroused by the orasm with no pain version while the males were more
aroused by the orgasm with pain stimulus. The authors postulated in
this case that under certani conditions, rape depictions can be
arousing, particularly when the rape victim is shown experiencing
an orgams during the assault. According to the authors, subjects may
have reinterpreted the evens preceding the depiction of the arousal
so that the rape is now viewed as one that is less coercive and less
guilt-inducing.

Three additional studies (Malamuth and Check, 1980a; 1980b; 1983)
provide further evidence that victim reactons have a significant
impact on sexual arousal and behavioral intentions. Results from
one of these studies showed that both make and femal subjects
exhibited higher arousal levels when portrayals showed an aroused
female, regardless of whether the contect was a rape or mutually
consenting situation. The second study (Malamuth and Check, 1980a)
similarly showed that male subjects had higher penile tumenescence
scores when viewing a victim-aroused rape portrayal compared to a
portrayal showing victim abhorrence. Significant correlations were
also obtained between the reported possibility of engaging in similar
behavior, sexual arousal to rape depictions, and callous attitudes
toward rape.

The effect of sexually violent on attitudes has also been demonstrated
with male and female subjects reporting a greater acceptance of
rape myths agter exposure to such material (Malamuth and Check, 1980a;
Malamuth, Haber and Feshbach, 1980)

In an attempt to approximate a ``real world'' situation, Malamuth and
Check (1981) had male and female subjects view full-length features
as part of a campus cinema showing. The films --*Swept Away* and
*The Getaway*-- represented sexually violent fims wheras control
subjects viewed a non-violent feature film. Dependent measures were
obtained after a week in a questionaire presented as a separate
sexual attitudes survey. These measures included rape myth acceptance
measures, measures on the sexual beliefs, measures on the acceptance
of interpersonal violence as well on adversarial sexual beliefs,
measures developed by Burt (1980). Results showed that exposure to
sexual violence increased male subjects acceptance of interpersonal
violence against women. A similar trend, though statistically
nonsignificant, was found for the acceptance of rape myths. There were
nonsignificant tendencies for females in the opposite directions. In
addition to the advantage of external validity from the field
experiment, the problem of demand characteristics in some laboratory
situations is quite effectively dealt with in this study.


> darkness, flickering lights, depiction of violence. In the light of
> what we know about human behavior, pornography was not really
> necessary to produce the reported result. In all probability, Buggs

> Bunny cartoons would have worked equally well. The obvious follow up ...


> which in fact was never done, leading to certain obvious conclusions about
> the scientific motivation of the investigators) is to eliminate crowding,
> darkness, and flicker, and then compare the effects of a non-violent
> sex video with those of a Buggs Bunny cartoon of equal duration. Anyone
> care to bet on the result?
> Adam Reed (mtund!adam)

Given the fact that controlled studies *were* done (not by the Commission,
which had not the wherewithall to fund them), with a reasonable attempt to
eliminate the effects which you describe, your ``obvious conclusions about
the scientific motives of the investigators'' may fairly be regarded as
unsubstantiated and unreliable.

Whatever motives you ascribe to Edwin Meese, to Ronald Reagan, or to anyone
else in or around the current Administrations (which obvious conclusions we
may accept or disregard), the people who put together this Report attempted
to put together a survey of testimony and research that would at least stand
basic examination. If they came into the project with certain experiences
in the field of pornography, organized crime, or sexual exploitation, they
at least attempted to document what they claimed.

Can you do as well?
--

from Mole End Mark Terribile
(scrape .. dig ) mtx5b!mat
(Please mail to mtx5b!mat, NOT mtx5a!
mat, or to mtx5a!mtx5b!mat)

Adam V. Reed

unread,
Sep 12, 1986, 11:11:28 PM9/12/86
to
Meese commission:

> In an attempt to approximate a ``real world'' situation, Malamuth and
> Check (1981) had male and female subjects view full-length features
> as part of a campus cinema showing. The films --*Swept Away* and
> *The Getaway*-- represented sexually violent fims wheras control
> subjects viewed a non-violent feature film. Dependent measures were
> obtained after a week in a questionaire presented as a separate
> sexual attitudes survey. These measures included rape myth acceptance
> measures, measures on the sexual beliefs, measures on the acceptance
> of interpersonal violence as well on adversarial sexual beliefs,
> measures developed by Burt (1980). Results showed that exposure to
> sexual violence increased male subjects acceptance of interpersonal
> violence against women. A similar trend, though statistically
> nonsignificant, was found for the acceptance of rape myths. There were
> nonsignificant tendencies for females in the opposite directions. In
> addition to the advantage of external validity from the field
> experiment, the problem of demand characteristics in some laboratory
> situations is quite effectively dealt with in this study.
Me (Adam Reed):

> > darkness, flickering lights, depiction of violence. In the light of
> > what we know about human behavior, pornography was not really
> > necessary to produce the reported result. In all probability, Buggs
> > Bunny cartoons would have worked equally well. The obvious follow up ...
> > which in fact was never done, leading to certain obvious conclusions about
> > the scientific motivation of the investigators) is to eliminate crowding,
> > darkness, and flicker, and then compare the effects of a non-violent
> > sex video with those of a Buggs Bunny cartoon of equal duration. Anyone
> > care to bet on the result?
> > Adam Reed (mtund!adam)
Mark Terribile:

> Given the fact that controlled studies *were* done (not by the Commission,
> which had not the wherewithall to fund them), with a reasonable attempt to
> eliminate the effects which you describe, your ``obvious conclusions about
> the scientific motives of the investigators'' may fairly be regarded as
> unsubstantiated and unreliable.

I stand by my observation that *appropriate controls*, namely controls
differing from the "pornographic" stimuli only in the defining
characteristic of "pornography" - sexual arousal, according to Mark -
were never done. The "pornographic" materials used by Malamuth (et al)
were in fact *violent* as well as pornographic, and the element of
violence is known to be capable of eliciting the reported results *by
itself*, i.e. *even in the absence of sexual arousal*. Moreover,
Malamuth uses a significance level of .05, so that *even with proper
controls* the probability of any single contrast yielding a spuriously
significant result would be .05. The study described above, according
to the Meese commission summary, involved at least 5 contrasts , so the
probability of at least one spuriously significant result is .23, about
one in 4. And this is the *best* of the studies cited by the commission.
Not much to go on, is it now?
Adam Reed (ihnp4!mtund!adam)

e.c.leeper

unread,
Sep 14, 1986, 6:54:38 PM9/14/86
to ecl

> as experiencing an involuntary orgams and no pain. The second version
^^^^^^

> had her experiencing an orgasm with pain. Both male and female
> subjects were aroused to these depictions, with femals subjects more
> aroused by the orasm with no pain version while the males were more
^^^^^

> aroused by the orgasm with pain stimulus. The authors postulated in
^^^^^^

> this case that under certani conditions, rape depictions can be
> arousing, particularly when the rape victim is shown experiencing
> an orgams during the assault. According to the authors, subjects may
^^^^^^

> have reinterpreted the evens preceding the depiction of the arousal
> so that the rape is now viewed as one that is less coercive and less
> guilt-inducing.

Sorry to quote so much, but I think people discussing sexual arousal should at
least spell "orgasm" correctly! (I'll let the other three misspellings pass.)

Evelyn C. Leeper
(201) 957-2070
UUCP: ihnp4!mtgzy!ecl
ARPA: mtgzy!e...@topaz.rutgers.edu
BITNET: mtgzy.uucp!e...@harvard.edu

Love never does fail. The people surrounded by love do.

John Miller

unread,
Sep 15, 1986, 1:21:49 PM9/15/86
to

In article <9...@whuts.UUCP> o...@whuts.UUCP writes:

>Also all ads for contraceptive products are banned from the air totally.

Really? By whom?

>A local group of right-to-lifers recently appeared at a school board
>meeting here where I live in Morris County protesting any sex education
>whatsoever.

Are you trying to make the same kind of "A is associated with B, therefore
A causes B" argument the the Meese commission is so often (perhaps quite
rightly) accused of on the net?

It seems to me that except where sex education advocates abortion, the two
issues are separate.

>It becomes quite obvious in all of this that the concerns of Mr. Meese
>and some of the fundamentalists in the anti-abortion movement (not ALL!)
>have nothing whatsoever with stopping violence (did not President Reagan
>sign the recent bill gutting Gun Control?), preventing unwanted pregnancies,
>stopping the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, preventing abortions
>(in fact sex education preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place
>has been shown in a study in Baltimore and in scores of other countries to
>prevent abortions than all the bombings of abortion clinics), or
>any other avowed aim. The ultimate concern is very simple and narrow-
>*preventing sex* period.

It becomes quite obvious that your viewpoint is just as narrow as that that
you impute to the Meese commission.

>Mr. Meese, Ronald Reagan, their pal Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson
>are narrowminded prudes who believe that *sex is a SIN* (it says so
>in the Bible, tho Solomon, Abraham and other Biblical prophets had many
>sexual encounters) and they must impose their view of morality on
>everyone else.
>It doesn't matter to them whether somebody else's sexuality affects them
>whatsoever but it is a *SIN* under their view of God and therefore
>that gives them the right to tell everyone else what to do.

It isn't so much what you say as how you say it. Read over that little
bit of prose above and then read some of the gems from the infamous
McCarthy days. The similarity in tone is frightening.

>That is why it is simply a waste of time to argue about Meese's Commission:
>its purpose has nothing to do with solving anything, and everything to
>do with government control of our private lives for fanatical religious
>purposes.
> tim sevener whuxn!orb


As soon as anyone starts to tell me arguing something is a waste of time
they are really saying that their minds are closed.

Incidentally:

At this time I personally believe that it is anyone's right to view any
kind of flick their little hearts desire, and for anyone to produce or
act in any kind of production they wish, PROVIDED that no exploitation
or coercion is employed in that production. I make NO distinction in
this regard as to whether the end result is porn or not.

It is possible that after reading the Meese report I may change my mind.

In the meantime I continue to support the Second Ammendment of the
constitution, which ends " .. the right of the people to keep and bear
Arms, SHALL NOT BE ABRIDGED."

I suspect I might someday need my little arsenal, not against the well-
meaning but misguided souls on the right whom I feared not so many years
ago, but against the well-meaning but equally bigoted liberals of the
type who are currently posting so much to the net.

"Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins."
-- generally attributed to Will Rogers

-- johnmill

m.terribile

unread,
Sep 15, 1986, 4:55:41 PM9/15/86
to
> Meese commission:
> > In an attempt to approximate a ``real world'' situation, Malamuth and
> > Check (1981) had male and female subjects view full-length features
> > as part of a campus cinema showing. The films --*Swept Away* and
> > *The Getaway*-- represented sexually violent fims wheras control
> > subjects viewed a non-violent feature film. Dependent measures were
> > obtained after a week in a questionaire presented as a separate
> > ...

> Me (Adam Reed):
> > > darkness, flickering lights, depiction of violence. In the light of
> > > what we know about human behavior, pornography was not really
> > > necessary to produce the reported result. In all probability, Buggs
> > > Bunny cartoons would have worked equally well. The obvious follow up ...
> > > Adam Reed (mtund!adam)
> Mark Terribile:
> > Given the fact that controlled studies *were* done (not by the Commission,
> > which had not the wherewithall to fund them), with a reasonable attempt to
> > eliminate the effects which you describe, your ``obvious conclusions about
> > the scientific motives of the investigators'' may fairly be regarded as
> > unsubstantiated and unreliable.
>
> I stand by my observation that *appropriate controls*, namely controls
> differing from the "pornographic" stimuli only in the defining
> characteristic of "pornography" - sexual arousal, according to Mark -
> were never done. The "pornographic" materials used by Malamuth (et al)
> were in fact *violent* as well as pornographic, and the element of
> violence is known to be capable of eliciting the reported results *by
> itself*, i.e. *even in the absence of sexual arousal*. Moreover,
> Malamuth uses a significance level of .05, so that *even with proper
> controls* the probability of any single contrast yielding a spuriously
> significant result would be .05. The study described above, according
> to the Meese commission summary, involved at least 5 contrasts , so the
> probability of at least one spuriously significant result is .23, about
> one in 4. And this is the *best* of the studies cited by the commission.
> Not much to go on, is it now?
> Adam Reed (ihnp4!mtund!adam)

Which of the studies are you referring to? Or are you referring to all of
them? I will agree (as if anyone had thought to mention it) that the presence
of one name on several different studies may reduce the independence of the
studies, but it does not mean that one can be considered when the others are
ignored.

If you are saying that there has been too little research in this area, you
will get no argument from the Commission and no argument from me. If you are
saying that there has been *nothing* shown, I think you are pushing a point a
little too hard; at the very least, the studies show a reason for concern and
for more extensive study. They certainly do not indicate that we should
abandon two centuries of legislative and judicial tradition for the sake of a
``sexual revolution'' not yet a quarter of a century old.

And that seems to be the question that the net.singles groups revolves around:
should over 200 years of law, in which both the legislative and judicial
branches have a hand, be discarded on a whim that is just a few years old and
that already shows some signs (if not yet conclusive evidence) of causing
harm?

We have seen how ``progress'' has polluted our air and our water with
chemicals and our hearing with noise. After our experiences with these
things, oughtn't we go slow when there is enough evidence to show that harm
is at least possible, if not entirely unlikely? Especially where the subject
is one as personal and private as human sexuality where we are *known* to have
vulnerabilities and interconnections, as yet poorly understood, with other
behaviour?

(I can hear the resounding chorus of *no*!) Given the involvement of new
technologies (photography and cinematography/electronic video) doesn't it
make sense to take it easy? And given the testimony of individuals who
claim to have been harmed, along with both observation by the commission
and testimony by law enforcement officials regarding the unhealthy conditions
in retail outlets, isn't there reason enough to at least consider bringing
the industry under public scrutiny?

Given the harms (disputed by a very few) of child pornography, coupled with
the existance, well documented by law enforcement, of networks to distribute
such materials, isn't there adequate cause to close loopholes in the current
interstate commerce laws and bring such activities under the RICO act where
they are done for profit?

If you believe that the evidence is not yet adequate to base policy on, and
you fail to search for more evidence when the evidence that is there makes
a strong suggestion, then you are showing your bias.

If you take the incompleteness of evidence in one area to mean that evidence
in another area may be ignored, you are likewise demonstrating a mixture of
prejudice and arrogance.

Since you have apparently worked with Malamuth's data before (have you, in
fact?), what have you to say on the other studies?

Meanwhile, I missed a chance to post some of the references provided in the
Report. I should apologize. When I get the time again, I will post them;
probably will post every third in the list.

Kee Hinckley

unread,
Sep 15, 1986, 6:20:52 PM9/15/86
to
I think it would be greatly appreciated (by me if no one else!) if we
could limit the pornography discussion to the alleged effects (or is
that affects, I can never keep them straigh) of things OTHER THAN:

o Depictions of violence (eg. rape, torture, etc.)
(Bondage is of course borderline, but let's not fuzzy up
the picture with it for now.)*

o Depictions of sexual acts with [apparent] minors.

I don't think that there is too much (ie. any more than usual) disagreement
that those two subjects do not have potentially bad effects.

Given the exclusion of those topics, is there any meat to any of the
Meese Commission's findings, or anyone elses?

There are different kinds of pornography, even the Meese commission saw
that, although they had a great deal of trouble defining them. There
are reliable studies indicating a connection between violent porn and
violence in viewers. But the key word is 'violent', not 'porn'.

-kee

* I call bondage borderline because it (as with some S&M) doesn't
imply violence or non-consenting adults. It could be presented
in a way that made it clear that the participants were willingly
involved. I suspect that such a presentation would not have
the same impact that might be found in more violent porn.


--

...{mit-eddie,yale,uw-beaver,decvax!wanginst}!apollo!nazgul
Apollo Computer, Chelmsford MA. (617) 256-6600 x7587
or 499B Boston Rd, Groton MA. (617) 448-2863

I'm not sure which upsets me more; that people are so unwilling to accept
responsibility for their own actions, or that they are so eager to regulate
everyone else's.

Stanley Friesen

unread,
Sep 16, 1986, 4:27:15 PM9/16/86
to
In article <15...@mtx5a.UUCP> m...@mtx5a.UUCP (m.terribile) writes:

>The question you should ask is whether this incident is representative of the
>sex industry, or whether it has occurred more than once. The answer to the
>first is not absolutely resolved by the report, which calls for more study,
>and involvement of law enforcement experts. On the basis of testimony, the
>answer to the second is yes. And there is evidence, somewhat weaker, that
>these are not isolated cases.

And if the answer to the first question is yes you should ask
one more question, that is whether such activity is due to the current
illegal status of pornography or to something intrinsic in pornography
itself. The optimal solution depends critically on the answer to this
last question.

>In particular, the sexual abuse of children by people who collect, exchange,
>and sell photographs of that abuse, and who use such photographs to facilitate
>the abuse of more children warrants immediate attention.

Certainly, but I consider this a seperate problem from
pornography, I call it child abuse. These people would be abusing
children with or without photography! They are just using currently
available technology to support their habit. Certainly a crack-down on
pornography would not stop them, just drive them further underground.

> In a less definite but
>no less damaging way, it includes women who are viewed as objects for the
>pleasure of men around them.

This is a problem, but it has been around *far* longer than
pornography has. In fact, if anything, it is *less* prevalent today
than it was in the past. Check out the accepted attitudes of men
towards women, say 40 years ago, or 100 years ago. I think women were
even more degraded then than they are now. So, where is the harm? The
problem you cite has nothing to do with pornography, it comes from old
cultural values that have not yet been totally eliminated.


> ``When your rape is entertainment
>your worthlessness is absolute'' (Dworkin). Yes, you may disagree with Ms.
>Dworkin, but *if* the presentation of rape, date rape, etc, *is* entertainment,
>then the relative esteem in which we hold men and women is certainly in
>question, especially when the women depicted are shown as ultimately acceeding
>to the assualt and calling for more. The only questions are if such materials
>are viewed as entertainment and how large the effect is.

No, there is another question: Which came first, the low
esteem in which the men and women are held or the viewing of such
things as entertainment. It is quite possible, even likely, that it is
the low esteem that has permitted the perception of violence as
entertainment, rather than the other way around. If so, the problem is
how to re-educate the public so that people are viewed in a higher
light. Then the desire to watch degrading entertainment will go away
all by itself, with no need for censorship.

Stanley Friesen

unread,
Sep 16, 1986, 4:40:28 PM9/16/86
to
In article <7...@mtund.UUCP> ad...@mtund.UUCP (Adam V. Reed) writes:

>The study Mark refers to was conducted like this: Some male college
>students are given an attitude survey. They are then crowded into a
>small, darkened room, and made to view a piece of violent pornography on
>a flickering movie projector. They are then given the attitude survey
>again, and, presto, they appear more willing to disregard the sexual
>rights of women. How come?

Did you say *crowded*?! *Crowded*! Just being in a crowded
room, in and of itself, with no other stimulus, is quite capable of
making me less concerned about other people! You should see what a
traffic jam does to my driving! After a few minutes I will do
*anything* to keep moving, no matter what it does to other people.
Sheesh! This beats the violent-crime/pornography study I looked at for
poor technique! And it got *published*! How? Wasn't it a refereed
journal?

Dave Richards

unread,
Sep 16, 1986, 10:05:01 PM9/16/86
to
In article <14...@psivax.UUCP> fri...@psivax.UUCP (Stanley Friesen) writes:

>Second, since porn is technically illegal everywhere in the US it
>might be that it is only sold regularly in areas with genrally poor
>law enforcement, where other kinds of crimes are going to be more
>common anyway.

This is news to me! I thought that to be illegal it had to be found to be
"obscene" and "of no social value", or somesuch. Of course I still haven't
figured out who does the evaluation, and probably neither has the police. So
maybe that's why you don't see your local convenience store owner in jail for
selling the stuff.

Otherwise, a very good article.

Dave

Joe Arceneaux

unread,
Sep 20, 1986, 12:03:56 AM9/20/86
to
In article <15...@mtx5a.UUCP> m...@mtx5a.UUCP (m.terribile) writes:
> >> >>From the Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography:
> >> [From Commissioner Dietz' statement]
> >> >>...
> >> >>consequences. The person who follows the patterns of social behavior
> >> >>promoted by pornography is a person for whom love, affection, marriage,
> >> >>procreation, and responsibility are absolutely irrelevant to sexual
> >> >>conduct... We do not need research to tell us that such persons on the
> >> >>average contribute more than other persons to rates of illegitimacy,
> >> >>teenage pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.
> >
> >Interesting what people come up with without research... Perhaps this
> >report should be classifed as fiction.
> >--
> > Joseph Arceneaux
>
> Interesting what people choose to pick on. Note the behavior described:
>
> indiscriminant sexual activity without contraception or prophylaxis

I do not see this behavior described in the above excerpt. Is that
described elsewhere in the report, and defined as the 'social behavior
promoted by pornography'? Or is that your personal opinion? I guess
it doesn't matter, since even if it's described in the report, it's
just *someone else's* personal opinion.

> Note the claim:
>
> people who do such things are more prone, per individual, to sexually
> transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy and more likely to bring
> about illegitimacy or abortion.

Just what are 'such things'? I imagine this also is defined elsewhere
in the report.

> Now you may take issue with these claims, but if you do you are taking issue
> with the whole rationale for compulsatory sex education in the schools. You
> are also taking issue with the claims of the people who manufacture foams and
> condoms.

> ...

I would take issue with the contention that the use of erotica implies
a lack of sex education, or a penchant for not using contraceptives.
Does the report claim such a connection? Are there any statistics on
this? ...I guess not since they didn't need research.

The problem with this 'report' is that (from what I've seen so far) is
that it's merely the concensus opinion of a group of biased
individuals, and should be viewed as such.
--
Joseph Arceneaux
Lafayette, LA

{akgua, ut-sally}!usl!jla

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