Oh, Naomi Wolf

The post title is seriously the only reaction I can muster to Naomi Wolf’s recent article “Is pornography driving men crazy?” Just “Oh, honey.” I mean, what else is there to say? Okay, you could do a thorough analysis of how badly Ms. Wolf is misunderstanding the brain chemistry involved, but first you’d have to get past the bemused head-shaking phase, and I’m just not there yet.

What baffles me the most about Ms. Wolf’s doubtless sincere and well-intentioned nonsensical horseshit is the assumption that pornography is something only men enjoy, and thus that “extreme” sexuality is also a male problem. I just… I literally can’t imagine where she’s getting her data, if it’s not prime-time sitcoms. Does Naomi Wolf not know more than, like, four women? Does she only know women who were raised in New Yorker cartoons?

To clarify, “extreme sexuality” means “any sex that Ward and June Cleaver weren’t having”, or alternately, “anything that would get you murdered on Law & Order: SVU“. Anything kinky, freaky, rough… any sex you can’t get advice for from Cosmopolitan. Naomi Wolf seems to honest-to-god believe that only men are into kinky sex, because only men like porn.

Oh, honey.

Oh, honey.

Ms. Wolf, do you know what a kinkmeme is? Do you know how strap-ons are selling these days? Do you know what M/M romance novels even are, much less who writes them? Have you read Katharine Gates? Or even Susie Bright? Or fucking Fandom!Secrets? What dusty antiquarian archive are you excavating your assumptions from, that you can sit there with what I presume to be an absolutely straight face and ask “Is pornography driving men crazy?” Every word in that question is based on a wrong assumption except for “is”. You don’t know what pornography is, who’s consuming it, how it’s affecting them, or what crazy is.

[Note to anyone using this post as a jumping-off place for their own research: if all you read is Fandom!Secrets, you will rapidly come to the conclusion that pornography is driving women crazy. This is sampling error; do more reading.]

About noahbrand

Noah Brand is a mysterious figure with a very nice hat.
This entry was posted in libido, noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz, pornography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Oh, Naomi Wolf

  1. Darque says:

    Oh. My. God. Porn is ruining everything.

    Hide the children!

  2. Anthony says:

    “[Note to anyone using this post as a jumping-off place for their own research: if all you read is Fandom!Secrets, you will rapidly come to the conclusion that pornography is driving women crazy. This is sampling error; do more reading]”

    I nodded my way through the post.

    And then I got to this, and laughed my ass off. (In a good way.)

    Well played sir.

    I am such a sucker for any reference to sampling…

  3. tenya says:

    My head is still trying to connect the dots in the way that Wolf apparently has, between “there is a higher availability of porn that is beyond naked ladies, or possibly two naked people doing things to make babies together, has brain chemistry changes and therefore Weiner’s resignation! Possibly other scandals as well!” It isn’t even just that pornography causes men to be into kinky sex, it is that pornography through the power of Greyskull mind-altering has caused men to use text messaging inappropriately (women never sext! Ever! Totally have not done that ever… okay that’s a lie)! Sort of like how a damaged nerve might misfire! Or something, because my reaction is still pretty much in the head shaking bemused phase.

  4. ballgame says:

    I’m a bit baffled at the vitriol in the OP and the comments. Naomi couched much of her post in speculative terms. Pointing out that her post was a bit simplistic on the science is probably a valid criticism; implying that she’s a censorious prude is not.

    If we accept the existence of gambling addicts and sex addicts, it does not seem a stretch to imagine there may be porn addicts as well. Is it your position, noahbrand, that there is no such thing as addiction to porn? On what basis are you asserting that?

    It also seems plausible to me that some porn consumers may experience desensitization to ‘vanilla’ sexual images and need ‘kinkier’ images and/or phenomena to experience the same gratification. Once again, are you claiming that there is no such phenomenon?

    Naomi is speculating that porn addiction and desensitization are contributing to a more widespread social dynamic. I’m not sure the evidence for this is particularly strong yet, but it doesn’t seem to be an inherently implausible idea.

    What baffles me the most about Ms. Wolf’s doubtless sincere and well-intentioned nonsensical horseshit is the assumption that pornography is something only men enjoy …

    Huh? From Naomi’s piece:

    (There is some new evidence, uncovered by Jim Pfaus at Concordia University in Canada, that desensitization may be affecting women consumers of pornography as well.)

    Naomi may have been simplistic and taken the evidence further than was warranted. But since she couched most of her piece in speculative terms, I don’t think she deserves the derision that some people have heaped on her here. There is nothing in what Naomi actually wrote to justify the caricature of her (“‘extreme sexuality’ means ‘any sex that Ward and June Cleaver weren’t having’”) that is painted by the OP.

  5. annajcook says:

    So I realize that when people like Naomi Wolf talk about “porn” they’re talking about (usually) mainstream, commercial, hetero (or for hetero audiences) erotic video images … of which I have no direct personal experience. BUT … I just want to be a voice here saying that I and my partner regularly read and enjoy erotic fanfic, and visual imagery — sharing recommendations with each other and with friends. In my experience, far from desensitizing me to sexual arousal and stimulation, erotic texts are fuel for sexytimes in my intimate relationship.

    Also, thanks for sharing the link to Fandom!Secrets … it’s now on my google reader feed :)!

  6. I’m going to pick a nit and not be apologetic about it: “oh honey” comes off as really condescending here – I’ve had it used at me during arguments by men and women, and it always sounds like they’re about to tell me to give my poar ladeybrainz a rest and let the SMART^tm people deal with all this hard thinking stuff…And from men it has a particularly strong condescending AND sexualizing feel to it…

    I recognize that not everyone probably has the same reaction to this word, but I would (and have) nearly come to blows when a stranger uses it with me. Don’t know me? Don’t call me honey.

  7. Brian says:

    Now startledoctopus has mentioned it, she’s right: “oh, honey” is condescending.

    Also, though I didn’t expect this, I agree with ballgame that you’re overreacting. Naomi Wolf maybe deserves a “you’re wrong”, but she doesn’t deserve a “ha ha, you’re wrong!” The mindhacks article was right on target; you seem to be making fun of her for things she certainly doesn’t say and probably isn’t even implying.

    For example, nowhere in that article does she say women don’t use porn. Though obviously she focuses on men, at one point (right before the “read about this Swedish preschool” link) she does acknowledge outright that there are “women consumers of pornography” and that her theory might apply to them as well.

    She also doesn’t say “extreme porn” is “anything that a Christian conservative would disapprove of.” Rather she seems to mean “any porn that is more extreme than the porn one is currently using”; it seems like she means it as an entirely relative thing. And even so it’s kind of a toss off comment and I’m not sure how you’re so sure of her definition when she mentions it twice in passing and never bothers to define it herself.

    So I guess what I’m saying is, Naomi Wolf has said some things deserving of mockery in the past, but this isn’t one of them. This time she’s got an argument that’s calm, measured, and wrong, and calling it “nonsensical horseshit” really doesn’t help.

  8. kaija24 says:

    Hmmm…I’m a female, I watch porn, and it hasn’t driven me crazy, AND I have a very happy and active sex life with a long-term male partner (who also likes porn…we have an “I love porn” magnet on our fridge, for reals!). But then I watch mostly gay porn, so who exactly is getting exploited there? And has she seen the internet lately? There is a LOT of porn out there, not just the kind she’s frothing at the mouth about, and there are subniches upon niches upon every imaginable fetish and kink…it’s pretty much a microcosm of the incredible variety of humans and their quirks. Dr. Mindbeam says “humans are weird/sex is weird (for humans)” and Dan Savage says that “the only impossible/unnatural sex act is the one that can’t be done.” 🙂 Naomi Wolf jumped the shark a while back and it’s a pity that she continues to slide into this ridiculous lack of critical thinking.

  9. OH GOD NO WHY DID YOU LINK TO FANDOMSECRETS. MUST… RESIST…

    D:

  10. mythago says:

    Naomi Wolf maybe deserves a “you’re wrong”, but she doesn’t deserve a “ha ha, you’re wrong!”

    Indeed. She deserves a “There you go again.” This is hardly her first breathlessly stupid article.

  11. Brian says:

    Okay, I am well aware that she’s said some pretty awful things in the past. That doesn’t say anything about this particular article, however.

    Point is, if you’re dealing with an article that makes factual claims, refute them, don’t get mad at them.

  12. ballgame says:

    Sorry, just can’t get with the gratuitous ‘let’s piss on Naomi Wolf’ smears. She’s not perfect, but she’s written some insightful and courageous things, particularly on the deterioration of civil liberties and democracy in the U.S.

  13. Shora says:

    As far as Naomi Wolf goes, I lost all respect for her with that Julian Assange shiz a while back, so to be fair I’m often viewing her through that lens, and I’m always down for a “Lets rip on Naomi Wolfe!” sesh. I do agree with the above commenters that she didn’t even really apply a lot of the things noah said she did.

    However, this article that she wrote is disappointingly sex negative in general and proposes a really negative view on male sexuality (which isn’t even universal, or limited to men) without any real science to back it up. This whole article reminds me of that “Women who have casual sex run out of the magical bonding hormone oxytocin and will be alone forever” argument. Not only do brains not work like that it’s just…. slut shamey and awful.

    Also this sentence; “There is an increasing body of scientific evidence to support this idea. Six years ago, I wrote an essay called “The Porn Myth,” which pointed out that therapists and sexual counselors were anecdotally connecting the rise in pornography consumption among young men with an increase in impotence and premature ejaculation among the same population.” made me want to scream at the computer “THE PLURAL OF ANECDOTE IS NOT FACT ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG”

  14. noahbrand says:

    ballgame, I’m right there with you on Ms. Wolf’s pretty decent batting average over the course of her career. She’s been right about a lot of things, and I certainly bear her no ill will. This particular article, however, was embarrassingly wrongheaded in so many ways that it’s actively difficult to even take it seriously. It was so wrong that it ended up damaging Naomi Wolf’s overall credibility for me. Which is a shame, because she was the author of one of my favorite lines: “America is at that awkward stage: it’s too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the bastards.”

    The problem with this article, it seems to me, is that it is written based on a set of assumptions, things taken for granted, that are just plain false. The wildly silly brain chemistry aside, it is predicated on the assumption that enjoying porn is a male thing, and its language and structure make that clear.

    There are twelve paragraphs in the article. Eleven mention men, male brains, male pornography fans. One paragraph mentions women in a parenthetical. One paragraph mentions both men and women (though the women are, again, parenthesized). All of the stuff about how this theory may explain or predict human behavior are about how this explains what men are doing, how men are acting. Written in a speculative mode it may be, but that speculation is entirely about porn being a male thing.

    That’s not really arguable, in my book. She is not taking seriously the idea that women are consumers of pornography, giving the notion a polite nod and then promptly ignoring it to get back to her main point, which is writing women out of the picture entirely.

    As to “extreme” porn not meaning kink necessarily… sorry, I don’t buy it. Not only does most of the research she’s citing use “extreme” with exactly that meaning, but even her own definition, porn that “break[s] other taboos in other kinds of ways” points pretty directly at it.

    There are, I agree with you, plenty of reasons to defend Ms. Wolf’s overall body of work. The best that can be said of this article, however, is that Ms. Wolf’s body of work would be, on average, stronger without it.

  15. Developers! Developers! Developers! says:

    However, this article that she wrote is disappointingly sex negative in general and proposes a really negative view on male sexuality (which isn’t even universal, or limited to men) without any real science to back it up. This whole article reminds me of that “Women who have casual sex run out of the magical bonding hormone oxytocin and will be alone forever” argument. Not only do brains not work like that it’s just…. slut shamey and awful.

    This has me a bit concerned. For one, it vastly misrepresents the arguments of your opposition, at least as I have seen them. While I do not dispute your statement that “brains do not work like that”, I can’t think of a single instance of people saying that women “run out” of oxytocin as a result of casual sex.

    For another, I read that as “I don’t care what the evidence says, slut shaming ™ is bad”. And by extension, anything that says that casual sex might increase a person’s likelihood of divorce and decrease their sexual satisfaction in marriage is slut shaming and therefore awful.

  16. machina says:

    D!D!D! And by extension, anything that says that casual sex might increase a person’s likelihood of divorce and decrease their sexual satisfaction in marriage is slut shaming and therefore awful.

    That would only apply if you think marriage is necessarily a good thing.

  17. kaija24 says:

    Aside: The whole oxytocin debacle consisted of gross misreading and twisting (if not a totally clueless and/or deliberate yanking of some sciency stuff to sound authoratative) of a few endocrinology studies in lower mammals and should never be spoke of again to justify or vilify any gendered behavior in human beings upon pain of being shut up in a small room for 5 years with a panel of hard science experts for re-education. It’s as dumb as saying men shouldn’t lift heavy things or play competitive games because they will “run out of testosterone” and turn into eunuchs. Science. Fail.

    The broad availability of internet porn is a relatively new phenomenon. We won’t be able to see any societal changes or effects for quite some time. New technology always brings panic. The telegraph, then the telephone, then TV, video games, and now the internet were predicted to be the downfall of modern society and the death of the species. Something else will come along and take the place of internet porn and then we’ll go through this cycle again, I suspect 🙂

  18. Cheradenine says:

    @DDD: As well as machina’s comment, you’re also ignoring what the study actually said. Which is not that casual sex damages marriage — it doesn’t talk about casual sex, in fact — or that more partners = less stable. All it compared was the divorce rate for women who had ever had sex with someone other than their husband, to those who hadn’t(1). Nothing about “casual sex” or lots of partners. A single long-term boyfriend, going steady, presumed to lead to marriage, but they broke up for some reason before they got to the altar, would be enough to cause the effect.

    Because human beings evaluate pretty much everything by comparison. This is extremely well-documented in political and consumer-choice research (Dan Ariely gives a pop-psych overview in his book, but it’s very well-established).

    Someone with nothing to compare to, is more likely to stick with what they have (even if they’re not, overall, satisfied) because they don’t know that anything better is out there.

    So, what you’re really arguing, once you strip all the fripperies away, is: “it’s better to keep women in the dark about the range of sexual satisfaction available to them, so that they are more likely to stay in sexually-unsatisfying marriages.”(2) Yes, strangely I’m going to find that disagreeable.

    (1) Also, Teachman compared women who had lived with, and had sex with, their husband before marriage, to those who hadn’t, but this was found to have no effect.

    (2) For whose benefit? The sexually-unsatisfying males they are married to? “society’s” benefit? Kids they may or may not have, who may or may not benefit from having two unsatisfied squabbling parents instead of one happy one or a happy parent-and-stepparent?

  19. Clarence says:

    I can see I’m going to have to link to expert critiques of Sex At Dawn at some point because apparently a few people around here believe It’s the Single Greatest Book Ever about sex or something like that. In fact, like most popular science books (including Pinker, and Fine to name two) it simplifies things and builds intellectual strawmen. I sincerely doubt its main premise, although not to the extent I doubt Fine’s premise in her book.

  20. Clarence says:

    Here are 4 links. These links DO address the issue of partner count as a matter of divorce risk.
    Keep in mind two things:
    1. I have personally verified that Heritage did not misuse or misquote the National Survey of Family Growth data. Indeed in the second or third link there is a link to the original data.
    2. What the data seems to show (yes, correlation does not equal causation yadda yadda) is that people with higher sex partner counts (although a surprisingly small number adds a surprisingly large risk) are not , on average , as good bets for marriage as those with lower counts. There are a signficant number of exceptions , however, and finding out exactly how and why some people can deal with this better than others is important. Also, large partner count does seem more of a risk for women than men in terms of stable relationships. There may be some biological force or unexplained social force that causes this, it bears more research at least for those who value marriage or other long term relationships.

    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/08/defining-slut.html
    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/08/defining-slut-more-data.html
    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/08/several-commentators-have-raised.html
    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/09/defining-sluterratum.html

  21. Sam says:

    I’m not that familiar with her body of work, but I remember the feminist reaction to her support for Julian Assange. Could this be an inadequate attempt to regain credibility among feminists?

  22. mythago says:

    @ballgame: yes, in the past she has written some thoughtful and insightful things. Lately she seems to have gone of the deep end. Her completely uncritical and shallow article on Jewish family purity practices was what really made me go “huh? Naomi Wolf wrote this?” but it’s been a stream of babble ever since.

  23. AMZB says:

    @ kaija24:

    “The whole oxytocin debacle consisted of gross misreading and twisting (if not a totally clueless and/or deliberate yanking of some sciency stuff to sound authoratative) of a few endocrinology studies in lower mammals and should never be spoke of again…”

    Would love to hear you elaborate on this. I myself am always extremely skeptical of simplistic scientific explanations, but I don’t have the scientific background to evaluate them. All I know is that, for any topic in which I do have expertise, the popularly-bandied-about explanations I hear are usually grossly wrong. I have found that, in general, simplifying complex concepts tends to leave you with something grossly inaccurate that gets frequently misapplied.

    @ Clarence: Similarly, I’d love to read what you, or others you link to, have said about Sex at Dawn, Pinker, Fine, etc. I’d love to be pointed towards more careful explanations that complicate the pictures these materials present.

  24. Brian says:

    @noahbrand: I’m not denying that most of the article was about men. But I don’t know how you got the reaction to it in the OP. To me that and the entire article are just wrong. They’re not horrible things to say, they just aren’t true.

    Much of the stuff other feminists have written about porn can get me really mad; this isn’t even insulting. This is, as far as I’ve seen, as calmly and reasonably as you can possibly phrase “porn is bad”, and so it doesn’t help anyone if we shout at this the same way we’d shout at someone who says actually horrible things.
    —-
    And again, calling women you don’t know “honey” is condescending. I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if I called you “honey” or “sugar”.

  25. Cheradenine says:

    @Clarence: I read Sex at Dawn and considered it interesting, but flawed. It’s quite sloppy in a number of respects, and I don’t take what it says as gospel, however it also makes a number of exceedingly good points that I’ve been able to verify from independent sources. The only serious criticism I’ve seen of it, that held up on closer examination, was that it mischaracterises some chimpanzee findings. Its fundamental thesis seems to be quite sound to me, and increasingly relevant, but there’s a lot of cultural pressure against it, and a lot of people who are really, really invested in outdated gorilla- or baboon-oriented models, so I’m not surprised people are unconvinced.

    (I’m also curious to see what you take issue with, because Pinker and Ryan/Jethá are on opposite sides on a number of issues, so chances are attacking one will strengthen the other…)

    With regard to partner count and long-term stability, it seems fairly obvious that somebody who is not stable in a long-term relationship, would be likely therefore to go through many partners. In effect you’re finding a causal link between relationship instability and, er, relationship instability. Hmm.

    Re: “Oh, honey”, yes, it is patronising. If one of our commenters used it against another of our commenters, I would consider it inappropriate. However, used rhetorically, towards a public figure who almost certainly will never read it? Pretty low on my list of things to worry about.

  26. AMZB says:

    @ DMB: Yes, exactly like that.

    Also, Brian, I agree with you that this is less awful than some of what gets said, but doesn’t that just make it more insidious? People will object to the worst, most insulting versions of any stereotype, but the more subtle ones will pass under the radar and convince people. I think, therefore, that it’s very important to object to them.

    I do agree, however, that using condescending epithets will get us nowhere. I thought the mind-hacks article was an excellent way to object without saying unfair things.

  27. Brian says:

    @DMB (and AMZB): It’s certainly worth objecting to; it’s not worth yelling at. Mocking people who are wrong when they’ve been calm and civil just gives them an argument to use.

    And @AMZB specifically, I agree the mindhacks article was the right way to go about it. All I’m saying is that the OP was not the right way to go about it.
    —-
    @Cheradinine: “Will never read it” (and so on) is a transparently bad argument.

    If the OP had said* “Naomi Wolf is a cunt” I don’t think anybody would care that she’s never going to read it. The point of objecting to language like that is that it’s not just condescending to her specifically.

    *Note here that I’m certainly not saying that “honey” is nearly as bad as “cunt”.

  28. ballgame says:

    Lately she seems to have gone of the deep end. Her completely uncritical and shallow article on Jewish family purity practices was what really made me go “huh? Naomi Wolf wrote this?” but it’s been a stream of babble ever since.

    Since almost all the anti-Naomi Wolf denunciations on this thread are so overboard, I don’t take any of them at face value, mythago.

  29. ozymandias42 says:

    The oxytocin thing doesn’t pass the sniff test. Oxytocin has been shown to play a strong role in maternal feelings; yet women who have had four or five children do not love their children less than women who have only had one. (At the very least, I wouldn’t be willing to say that without some very conclusive studies.)

    Not to mention that it was promulgated to me in an abstinence-only sex ed class next to the apparent fact that abortion would give me breast cancer and that if I put out no man would ever love me, so I’m highly doubtful of its accuracy.

  30. Cheradenine says:

    @Brian: it wasn’t an argument at all, just a reflection on the realities of the situation. I don’t have a horse in this race.

    However, regarding “The point of objecting to language like that is that it’s not just condescending to her specifically”, I don’t know what you’re trying to argue here. Are you trying to claim that it’s demeaning to all women? “Honey”, though patronising, has no gender connotations. It’s used by people of any gender, towards people of any gender.

  31. Brian says:

    Last point first: it’s certainly not used by people of any gender towards people of any gender. I have not ever seen a guy call another guy “honey”. (If I ever did, it would be by a gay guy to another gay guy, which is kind of the exception that proves the rule.)

    And yeah, anything that is condescending to one woman as a woman is condescending to all women as women. We all know this; it’s the basis of most of the comment policy. “Honey”, towards a woman you don’t know, has connotations of “isn’t that cute?”, which I would say are pretty condescending.

    Last, I said something, then you contradicted it. That’s an argument. I’m not trying to imply by that that it was mean or wrong or anything negative, but you clearly were arguing against what I said.

  32. Paul says:

    @Brian: Last point first: it’s certainly not used by people of any gender towards people of any gender. I have not ever seen a guy call another guy “honey”. (If I ever did, it would be by a gay guy to another gay guy, which is kind of the exception that proves the rule.)

    I have, however, been called “honey” by women. Now, let me take a second to be clear, I do think the use of “oh honey” is problematic, but not because it’s something men only say to women (it isn’t. I’ve seen waaay more women use it towards men than the reverse.) It’s problematic because (barring a pet-name scenario between loved ones) it’s something adults say to people younger than them.

    but I’m sorry, to suggest that it’s a gendered insult the same way the c-word is just flies in the face of reality.

  33. Cheradenine says:

    Brian, “honey” is used as a term of endearment. It’s patronising because it assumes a familiarity that isn’t there (in particular, echoing a parent/child relationship). That isn’t gendered.

    Yes, you’d likely only hear gay men use it towards other men. That’s because our cultural norms prohibit straight men from using terms of endearment towards other men, even if they’re (non-sexually) very fond of them. That kind of relationship is usually expressed (in American culture, anyway) as playful teasing.

    This cultural prohibition on men, doesn’t gender the term, because women use “honey” to refer to men they’re familiar with (as well as women they’re familiar with, and not (just) in the context of a lesbian relationship).

    Perhaps this is uncommon usage in your geographical area, I don’t know. But I hear it all the time.

  34. kaija24 says:

    @AMZB: I’ll pull some info and sources together (including the primary studies) and try to get back to you ASAP. I want to be accurate so it’ll take me a little time to do it in a quality manner. It’s definitely a great example of misinterpreted and misused science. Even the original researchers have published public rebuttals to the misuse of their work!

  35. Kimsie says:

    “It also seems plausible to me that some porn consumers may experience desensitization to ‘vanilla’ sexual images and need ‘kinkier’ images and/or phenomena to experience the same gratification. Once again, are you claiming that there is no such phenomenon?”

    I’ll stand forth on this one. YES, most people with kinks Have a Kink. The man who consumes volumes of porn about women without mouths, does NOT want your vanilla porn. nor does he want someone else’s bondage porn. They do NOT get him off.

    To me? pornography is never something to be denounced, as it constitutes wish-fulfillment for a variety of kinks that SHOULD NEVER see the light of day, even between “consenting” individuals. (snuff, asphyxiation, kids-below-the-age-of-puberty, sex play that involves dissection).

    So, yeah, there are definitely types of sex/kinkiness that should be disapproved of — if they ever occur in reality. Pretend’s fine, folks. IMNSHO

  36. Anthony says:

    @ballgame “If we accept the existence of gambling addicts and sex addicts, it does not seem a stretch to imagine there may be porn addicts as well. Is it your position, noahbrand, that there is no such thing as addiction to porn?”

    There isn’t any such thing as gambling/sex/porn addiction…. not until the DSM V hits anyway. While the behaviours certainly exist, it’s dangerous to speak of something that isn’t an accepted diagnosis as if it is.

    Not to mention that the addition of a Behavioural Addiction diagnostic category is highly contentious. Not least because therapists can use the diagnosis as written to medicalize any non-normative behaviour that a patient engages in frequently and doesn’t want to stop. (Actually, the norm-enforcing nature of the DSM is probably good post fodder… particularly where it concerns sex.)

  37. AMZB says:

    @ kaija24:

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate this. I’ll look forward to hearing more.

  38. Cheradenine says:

    @kaija24 Like AMZB I’m also looking forward to hearing about that 🙂

    @ballgame I somehow missed your point about “desensitisation” before, but Kimsie’s right on the money. Actually, there are two points here…

    One is the point that Kimsie makes, that kinky people get off on kinky porn and “desensitisation” has nothing to do with it — I was kinky long before I’d ever seen any porn that could be described as remotely kinky. It’s a bit like arguing that gay men looking at gay porn will eventually get desensitised to it and move on to straight porn. Riiiight. So yeah, I too am going to claim there is no such phenomenon.

    Especially since the other point is that “desensitisation” just doesn’t work that way in the first place. Right in his original post, Noah linked to a rebuttal of Wolf’s article. That article goes into a lot of depth (and even contacted the original researcher to get more detail, full marks there), and explains:

    this densensitisation research is almost always on the repetition of exactly the same images

    (emphasis added)

    In other words, if you have a particular pornographic image saved on your computer, you’ll get bored of that picture after a while. No duh! But it doesn’t mean you get bored of images of that type, or even of images of that “level of extremeness” (however that’s defined, and that’s an entire can of worms in its own right).

  39. Shora says:

    @ Clarence; I wish I had time to give those links you gave me a good fisking, and I likely will in the future, but I want to make a few points.

    It’s interesting to me to not that this study measures marriage “stability” and not “happiness”, which i find in and of itself problematic. Marriage in and of itself is the goal, rather than wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone you love.

    “Given that the aim of the game is to avoid divorce, from a marital stability point of view, a woman becomes a slut once she has had more than two non-marital partners. It’s not my opinion, it’s probability.”

    That;s the aim of the game? Then I don’t want to play that game. I want nothing to do with that game. The aim of MY game is to be happy and fulfilled both emotionally and sexually. Marriage is not a way to do that, it’s (or should be) a result of ALREADY finding love and happiness, and making it “official”. You know, like changing status updates on facebook.

    Also, a slut does not a cheater make. I identify as promiscuous, and I NEVER cheat. (although I have been cheated on by someone who then turned around and called me a slut. Which is bad because sluts cheat. BWAAAH?)

    And uhp, I just got to the part about the definition of stable marriage for this study. I had been wondering that and wow, it is even worse than I thought; women over 30 who have been married 5 years. So abusive marriages that last over five years? Totally stable guys. Couples who devolve into fights constantly, marriages in which finances are unstable, marriages in which either or both partners cheat and marriages that are filled with seething resentment, are considered “stable” according to this study. Cool.

    Also, where is the data correlating men who have premarital sex and stable marriages? This seems like a relevant question.

    @ brian: “Last point first: it’s certainly not used by people of any gender towards people of any gender. I have not ever seen a guy call another guy “honey”. (If I ever did, it would be by a gay guy to another gay guy, which is kind of the exception that proves the rule.) ”

    So gay guys don’t count as men?

    And ugh, ugh, ugh, I can’t find that debunking the oxytocin myth blog post I read a while back, and it’s really frustrating me. I also can’t find that site where they stated that women who have sex run out of bonding hormone, or reduce their ability to bond or whatever. I just can’t spend any more time searching (so many things to do!) so I’ll just leave it at that.

  40. kaija24 says:

    Until I can get my studies and facts together, here is link to a pretty good piece by sex educator Heather Corinna posted at Scarleteen, which is a resource for fact-based, inclusive, and medically accurate info on sexuality and health issues for teens and young people. She is known as a compassionate and informed writer on a variety of sex and health topics and I’ve been impressed by her balance of viewpoints and good sources, plus her reminders to teens (and everyone) that the only person who can really weigh this info and make decisions for you is YOU, according to your needs and your values. This piece also links to a bunch of different sources for the material quoted including some summaries and accurate lay-reporting of the research studies.

    http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2010/08/04/pump_up_the_voleume_talking_oxytocin

    (I’ll add my sources and summaries in a later comment, when I’ve had a chance to review and fact-check)

  41. noahbrand says:

    On the “oh, honey” point: on reflection, I think a lot of folks are right that it can be taken as gendered. I admit that that didn’t occur to me at first, because I associate the phrase mainly with my friends in the gay community, from whom I picked it up, and so I’m used to it being applied to all genders pretty freely. When I think about it, though, I realize that other folks may have different associations with it.

    As to it being condescending and mocking… well, yes. Yes it is. That’s why I used it. I am quite deliberately mocking statements made by a public figure. I am saying that she shot right past wrong and into laughably wrong. I’m saying she should quite rightly be embarrassed to be propounding such absurd nonsense in the public sphere. I’m saying she sounds just about as dumb as Bill O’Reilly saying “Tide goes out, tide comes in. You can’t explain that.” and she should be mocked just as cheerfully. The day we can’t mock Bill O’Reilly’s grasp of science is the day the terrorists/the fascists/Cobra Commander (pick your favorite) win, and I for one feel the same principle applies.

  42. Anthony says:

    @Cheradinine “In other words, if you have a particular pornographic image saved on your computer, you’ll get bored of that picture after a while. No duh! But it doesn’t mean you get bored of images of that type, or even of images of that “level of extremeness” (however that’s defined, and that’s an entire can of worms in its own right).”

    On a more general “desensitization” note, it is plausible that one could become desensitized to a whole category of porn, due to a phenomenon called “stimulus equivalence.” That is, several similar stimuli become related to one another, and the function (eg arousal) attached to that stimulus can transfer to other members of that stimulus class. Desensitization (“extinction” in the jargon) can transfer across an equivalence class as well.

    An example of extinction generalizing across stimulus classes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1334471/ (Pretty jargon heavy, behaviour analysis is bad at talking to non behaviour analysts)

    So you could get bored by “images of that type”… the problem, really, is with the assumption that “extremeness” = “more arousing when you’ve habituated to Vanilla” And, as you say, whatever the hell “level of extremeness” means. That’s the problem phrase.

  43. Clarence says:

    Shora:
    Here’s two more for you including the data you asked for.

    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/09/sexual-partner-divorce-risk.html
    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/09/2002-male-and-female-statistical-data.html

    The second link has the female and male promiscuity data compared.
    Everyone else:
    A short post or two later tonight.

  44. Brian says:

    @Noah: But you wouldn’t mock Bill O’Reiley by calling him honey, would you? So why would you mock Naomi Wolf with it?

    Not, again, that I think she should be mocked; I still don’t see what’s so terrible about the article that demands such a strong response. She said something, she’s wrong, we’re done. We don’t have to laugh at her for it; what she said could conceivably be right, but it isn’t.

    “It’s possible to get addicted to porn” is a testable hypothesis. In one way it’s trivially true (it’s possible to get psychologically addicted to anything) but in the way she means it it’s almost certainly false (it’s not possible to be physically addicted to anything other than certain chemicals.) But it’s not such an obvious property of the universe that you can laugh at her for being wrong about that.

    “Porn makes men require more extreme porn” is a testable hypothesis. Since it requires the previous hypothesis to be true, it isn’t true itself (it seems to be an analogy to drug tolerance, which only occurs with physical addictions). But it’s not so obvious that it’s false that she’s stupid for proposing it. It’s not the least bit absurd that porn could work like that. It just doesn’t. To my intuition what you’re doing is the equivalent of mocking someone for forgetting a term in a physics equation, or thinking that Pierre is the capital of North Dakota.

    (Though, now it occurs to me, are you under the illusion that she wrote the title? She almost certainly didn’t; the title for any written article is usually put there by the editor, not the author of the article. Do not judge what she wrote by the title because she almost certainly didn’t write that part.)

  45. Anthony says:

    @Brian “It’s possible to get addicted to porn” is a testable hypothesis”

    It’s actually not, as there is (currently) no diagnostic category for behavioural addiction. It would be equivalent to saying “It’s possible to get diabetes, except with bacon instead of sugar”

    ““Porn makes men require more extreme porn”

    Also not testable, unless you can satisfactorily operationalize “More extreme” as a variable.

    “it seems to be an analogy to drug tolerance, which only occurs with physical addictions”

    It’s closer to the behavioral phenomena of habituation and extinction, which occur with most stimuli.

  46. noahbrand says:

    But you wouldn’t mock Bill O’Reiley by calling him honey, would you? So why would you mock Naomi Wolf with it?

    Actually, yeah, that’s exactly what I’d do. I’ve used the phrase “oh, honey” to mock men plenty of times, O’Reilly among them. (He’s a good target for the phrase’s pitying tone of “Seriously? That’s what you’re going with?”) I think what’s going on here is that different folks read that phrase differently. To my ears, it doesn’t sound gendered at all, but clearly, it sounds REALLY gendered to some other folks. To be honest, if I’d realized that it would come off as dismissing Wolf based on her gender, rather than dismissing her on the basis of being full of shit, I wouldn’t have used it. I apologize if anyone was offended by my phrasing; I had not realized how it might be read.

    That said, I stand by my overall mocking of the comically-wrong unexamined assumptions on which Ms. Wolf’s atrocious article is based.

  47. Brian says:

    @Anthony: Testable in theory. It’s possible to test “It’s possible to get diabetes, except with bacon instead of sugar”, in theory. Obviously, you feed people a lot of bacon and see if they get baconbetes (:P). What exact symptoms we’re going to call baconbetes doesn’t matter for the purposes of this thread.

    By testable, I mean “there exists a difference between a universe where the theory is true and a universe where the theory is false”, not “we can, here and now, test this theory”.

  48. Brian says:

    @noah: Ok then. Misunderstanding cleared!

    And I still say that the assumptions you’re mocking aren’t actually in the article.

  49. Anthony says:

    @Brian Hmmm, I think I picked the wrong analogy with Baconbetes. My issue is with the use of the phrase “addiction” in relation to gambling/sex/porn, simply because a meaningful set of diagnostic criteria do not exist to say that someone has a [insert behaviour here] addiction. Which means it’s not meaningful to say “men can get addicted to porn” because there exists no definition of what it means to be addicted to porn (from the standpoint of scientifically testing a hypothesis.)

    I also have a problem with the phrase “sex/porn/gambling addiction” being used in normal discourse because it makes people think that it is a diagnosis, an illness, which I think is dangerous and verges on medicalising any behaviour that falls outside of social norms.

    Click to access DSM-5%202011%20-%20BPS%20response.pdf

    This is a link to the British Psychological Society’s response to the proposed DSM-V changes – They articulate it very well, better than I can at this late hour 😛 (You’ll have to scan down for the part on addictive disorders, but it’s all worth reading anyway)

  50. Clarence says:

    Hmm..post in spam que?

  51. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    I do think it’s possible to have a relationship with an activity that’s unhealthy, and feels like more commonly reported addictions. See: everyone who ever feels like a game is controlling their life and feels powerless to stop their relationships from suffering because of it. This kind of “addiction” might spring from some other lack of substance, but I don’t want to dismiss everyone who’s felt like they have a problem with [activity x].

    However, I do feel that it’s problematic when [activity x] is considered so shameful that everyone should just naturally want to avoid it, and if you don’t, you have a problem. That’s where talk about “porn addiction” gets sex-negative and icky — if “porn addiction” means “likes/consumes porn” or “likes/consumes non-mainstream porn”, that definition can fuck right off.

  52. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    I do think it’s possible to have a relationship with an activity that’s unhealthy, and feels like more commonly reported addictions. See: everyone who ever feels like a game is controlling their life and feels powerless to stop their relationships from suffering because of it. This kind of “addiction” might spring from some other lack of substance, but I don’t want to dismiss everyone who’s felt like they have a problem with [activity x].

    However, I do feel that it’s problematic when [activity x] is considered so shameful that everyone should just naturally want to avoid it, and if you don’t, you have a problem. That’s where talk about “porn addiction” gets sex-negative and icky — if “porn addiction” means “likes/consumes porn” or “likes/consumes non-mainstream porn”, that definition can fuck right off.

  53. Anthony says:

    ” but I don’t want to dismiss everyone who’s felt like they have a problem with [activity x].”

    Certainly not, but there’s a world of difference between labelling something a “disorder” and saying “you are engaging in a problematic behaviour.” There’s all sorts of fallout from that, including now-patients feeling powerless to change (What’s easier to change, a disease or a problem behaviour?) and people treated said now-patient as a pariah because he’s “got a mental illness.”

    “However, I do feel that it’s problematic when [activity x] is considered so shameful that everyone should just naturally want to avoid it, and if you don’t, you have a problem.”

    +1 to this.

  54. It makes me think less of someone when they don’t present a counter-argument without mocking the person they’re arguing against. I’m sure that you could if you wanted to, but you chose not to. I get it – you think she’s stupid. So? If you’re ever going to convince people that she’s wrong, especially if they’re fans, you’re not going to do it by being condescending.

    I think her argument didn’t make much sense. I get what she was trying to say – sort of – but I kept thinking, ‘citation needed’ all the way through reading the article. The mind hacks thing cleared some things up for me.

    I felt pretty uncomfortable at the tone of this post, and also some of the comments. People with mental health problems – by the way, we don’t necessarily like being described as ‘patients’ – don’t necessarily feel ‘powerless to change’ just because we’ve been diagnosed with a disorder. There’s a lot of comments on either side about the power of labelling, especially when it comes to mental health, but I’ll ask people to please be respectful of who you’re talking about if you must bring it up.

  55. kaija24 says:

    @Clarence: Hmm, nothing in the spam queue and nothing deleted…not sure what happened? :/
    .

  56. Anthony says:

    @trichquestions My apologies for any disrespect, there was none intended. I was using the phrase “patients” in the context of someone being diagnosed (and then treated) for a disorder in the DSM – the word choice was intended to point out how diagnosing someone (from a medical/ healthy normality model) labels them a “patient” or “ill,” not that that was the view I hold myself.

    One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the diagnostic/labelling/medicalisation issue is the power of the terminology used to potentially offend, ostracise or damage treatment outcomes. I think the DSM model of “healthy normality” (ie that it is normal for people to be “mentally healthy” in all ways, and any deviation from the norm is an “illness”) is one which is damaging, and also one that doesn’t realistically reflect the data nor the experiences and needs of people who want help.

  57. kaija24 says:

    aliarasthedaydreamer: “I do think it’s possible to have a relationship with an activity that’s unhealthy, and feels like more commonly reported addictions. See: everyone who ever feels like a game is controlling their life and feels powerless to stop their relationships from suffering because of it. This kind of “addiction” might spring from some other lack of substance, but I don’t want to dismiss everyone who’s felt like they have a problem with [activity x].”

    There is definitely a distinction in the research and clinical communities between physical addiction (e.g., heroin) and psychological addiction (e.g., gambling), but some of the symptoms and effects on people’s lives intersect. There is also a distinction between “addiction” and “habituation”. These words have very discrete and defined meanings in research and clinical fields but are used in a more casual (and sometimes erroneous sense) in the media and casual conversation and that can be confusing.

    I just listened to this interview with an addiction researcher who looks at the physiological and psychological basis of pleasure: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=137348338 It’s a very interesting and accessible overview of the current state of what we *think* we know about addiction and habituation. The researcher, David Linden. is professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He talks about lots of different addictions and what physiological changes (some permanent) occur and how these effects can vary quite a bit among individuals. He also has some very provocative insights on how we as a society should treat addicts, which is a problem in North American culture at least…the push-pull between the punishment vs. rehabilitation camps and the morality vs. public health dichotomy. Definitely intriguing. I linked to the transcript, but you can download the podcast as well for some good factual and entertaining info 🙂

  58. Shora says:

    Clarence; Ditto seeing nothing in the spam que, but I do have a few more things to say about your two other links.

    Firstly, I’m ignoring the fact that this particular blog seems to be really, really determined to think that all of the worlds social ills are caused by women, or will be caused by women, or sluts suck.

    My problem with the first link is that these studies focus entirely on women. Men, and what they may do that may lead to a divorce, is all but completely ignored. I have a problem with this, because it seems to imply that divorce is always the women’s fault, whether it’s because she’s a slut and slept with a lot of people, or because she’s a slut and wanted to live together before marriage (because HE couldn’t possibly want that, could he?). Also I really want to shout CORRELATION =/= CAUSATION at the top of my lungs over and over until people stop snorting derisively and acting like it’s some thing liberals made up to try to argue against their iron clad arguments.

    The thing is, there are so many reasons why having multiple partners may increase the rate of divorce that are being completely ignored in favor of saying women who are promiscuous are the cause of a social apocalypse. And second, call me crazy, I really don’t think divorce is OMG THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD. I actually think that some people get married who really really shouldn’t be married and its better for everyone in the long run if they just stop it.

  59. Kimsie says:

    ““Porn makes men require more extreme porn”
    Also not testable, unless you can satisfactorily operationalize “More extreme” as a variable.

    Gonna try here: “more extreme” means something that fewer people would recognize, at first glance, as being pornographic. Robot babies pissing oil in diapers. Extreme pictures of feet. Vore. Pictures of humans being dissected.

    Thing is, I know someone who ran a porn shop. Nobody got habituated to nothing — they knew what they wanted, and they got it. And they were consistent about what they got. The person what wanted porn about people sneezing to orgasm — didn’t suddenly want bondage.

    People’s brains are wired weirdly — and most of the really kinky stuff means that someone’s brain is wired oddly (in the same way that gay is wired in a non-average way, not perjoratively.)

  60. annajcook says:

    Thing is, I know someone who ran a porn shop. Nobody got habituated to nothing — they knew what they wanted, and they got it. And they were consistent about what they got. The person what wanted porn about people sneezing to orgasm — didn’t suddenly want bondage.

    Just had to say this made me laugh! And in my (admittedly more limited, anecdotal) experience, this is pretty true. People can sometimes grown into new desires, obviously, or be inspired to try something new by a new partner. But the idea that we are wired to get tired of what’s familiar? That just doesn’t jive with what I’ve seen. Obviously, if people are uncomfortable thinking about and owning their own desires, they’re going to flail around and maybe act out in problematic ways. But, if people are comfortable in their sexuality I think what they want will probably be pretty consistent and/or possibly evolve and deepen over time … not just ratchet up the novelty factor. That seems like a pretty surface-level assumption to make about how people explore sexuality.

  61. TitforTat says:

    DMB

    Exactly! I love me some peanut butter, just dont give me any crunchy stuff. Just plain old smooth peanut butter and lots of it. 😉

  62. kaija24 says:

    @DMB, that’s a very good point. It often takes people a while to sift through and figure out what really turns them on and in some cases, wrestle with the implications of being honest with yourself (and possibly others) about your likes and dislikes. That’s usually a process of trial and error and life experience, plus a little introspection and self-awareness.

  63. elissa says:

    I do agree with the general consensus that vanilla porn is not a gateway to snuff porn, and that it’s often an artifact of exploration as to what one settles in on, if at all, as that niche that best suits and fulfills that desire.

    I do think there may be a case to be made for violence in visuals, and how frequency and individual disposition could lead to the searching for greater degrees of that violence – though this could be said pretty much about any human activity. But sex and various forms of gratification do influence our pleasure centers, and we do see some statistical extreme seeking activity in other areas: sports, food, meat sex, specific drugs etc

    Not sure I’m fully ready to throw out vertical extreme seeking activity, as opposed to lateral searches.

  64. Cheradenine says:

    @elissa People who seek extremes, seek extremes. Whether it’s base-jumping or porn, certain personality types will be drawn to extreme things for what they are — but the cause is inside them, not in the porn, parachutes, pharmaceuticals or whatever.

  65. Kimsie says:

    elissa,
    Do you want to ban Rei now? *cocks head* [sorry, that is a total strawman, but it was also my first rx] I believe what most people confuse is the idea of strengthening…. it’s more or less violent, more or less rapey, based on emotional content (at least in the context of the story. See George RR Martin’s Daenerys.) Sure, you Could put a ball gag in someone’s mouth… but that doesn’t “strengthen” the response, IMNSHO.

  66. elissa says:

    I do agree.

    Wanted to toss out the idea of violence as an exceptional case, and if anyone believes it requires special handling. Most, aside from those that are not comfortable with pornography period, can handle the sexual stuff. But many of the “most” are still quite horrified and squeamish when violence mixes in with sexuality. I don’t necessarily mean consensual BDSM portrayals, more the fake staged “reality” violence genre – faked non-consensual titillation. That seems like the harder sell, even to the choir.

    People like Naomi always end up going there in the end.

  67. noahbrand says:

    The problem is that once someone’s cracked down on the “extreme” stuff, they start moving further and further into defining “extreme” until you arrive at the actual definition, which is “anything remotely non-vanillanormative.” Witness, for example, the Australian government’s recent declarations that female ejaculation is a myth and therefore an “extreme” fetish, and that the only people who like small breasts are pedophiles, so any image of small breasts is de facto child porn.

    But I think we here can all agree that as long as no one’s getting hurt, whatever kinda porn floats your boat is cool.

  68. Anthony says:

    @noahbrand Great example re: the new Australian laws, I’d totally forgotten that. And there’s the legal precedent that any item “depicting” a child is child porn… with a lack of clarity as to what exactly that entails.

  69. Kimsie says:

    @elissa,
    I firmly believe that people SHOULD depict things that cannot be done in real life. It provides a cathartic outlet for “Things That Are Bad” (TM). Those who cannot understand that reality is not fantasy, deserve to be punished.
    Personally, I find vore more disturbing, particularly as that seems actively hard-wired into people’s brains (particularly women).

    Non-consensual sex is instinctive (an evolved strategy), for many men (okay, less than a third of men. am Trying Not to overgeneralize 😉 ). This is not to say that it’s acceptable, just that it makes sense that people would be drawn to depictions of people “behaving naturally,” particularly when it is not socially acceptable to do so. [Am Very Thankful that humans aren’t so good at following instincts! We suck at it! Go us!].

    That said, sexually tinged violence is not a part of human instinct — it’s in fact a misconstruction of mood intended to heighten emotive responses (our instincts seem to think quite clearly that the maiden [terminology not chosen at random: women are not children, and the instincts that come into play do change] should submit quietly (so as not to waste energy on something futile) — thus no need for violence, apart from a light “tangled in clothes” sort…)

    @noahbrand
    Man, Australia sucks. First they went after Encyclopedia Dramatica…
    And pedophiles seek out the absence of puberty in young girls. Think we need another term for people actively attracted to “girls who are fertile, but cusping into it”

  70. Argyle says:

    Note to anyone using this post as a jumping-off place for their own research: if all you read is Fandom!Secrets, you will rapidly come to the conclusion that pornography is driving women crazy.

    Congratulations, you nearly made me spit coffee on my keyboard with that one! 😀

  71. TitforTat says:

    If something stays in your head (or just goes on paper as a story or a drawing or whatever), it’s not harming anyone(DMB)

    Sorry but its not staying in your head if it goes on paper. You can incite all kinds of stuff by revealing certain thoughts. It may not be you pulling the trigger but you sure as shit had a hand in it. Remember Charles Manson or Jim Jones?

  72. Cheradenine says:

    @TitforTat, uh, there’s a pretty huge gulf between “writing down a naughty story” (no matter how depraved the content) and “forming a murderous and/or mass-suicidal cult”.

  73. TitforTat says:

    @Cheradenine

    Really, just a naughty story? What if the depraved content is about being sexually murderous? You dont think that could have an impact on a not so stable impressionable individual? I stand by my belief that some perverse things need to stay in your head and if they dont you could potentially be accountable if something happens because of them.

  74. TitforTat says:

    By the way, I feel the same way about some of the perverse violent imagery that is out there today.

  75. Cheradenine says:

    @TItfortat, I disagree completely and utterly. Not only is freedom of expression important, but you’re fundamentally not responsible for the actions of an unstable person. Someone sufficiently dissociated from reality will find “encouragement” to act out violent behaviours from reading the phone book or a takeaway pizza menu. Someone in touch with reality, pretty much by definition, knows the difference between fact and fiction. There are no links demonstrated between pornography (“violent”/”perverse” or otherwise) and violent behaviour, despite many attempts to prove one. Quite the opposite, in fact. What correlates with actual instances of sexual violence? Repression and sex-negativity:

    [Researchers found] rapists were more likely than non-rapists in the prison population to having been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster, while other research has shown that incarcerated non-rapists had seen more pornography, and seen it at an earlier age, than rapists. What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing. Richard Green too has reported that both rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males.

  76. TitforTat says:

    @Cheradenine

    That’s the great thing about life, we get to agree or disagree with each other. Thanks for your input.

  77. Brian says:

    @TitForTat: Two things:

    1. No, it couldn’t. Why would it? There’s a lot of whip porn out there, and not that much gun porn; if you’re right murders involving whips ought to be way more common than they are.
    2. Why would it be our fault if a not-so-stable individual does something? Is it the Beatles’ fault that Charles Manson read all that stuff into their songs?

  78. Pingback: Wednesday Linkaround: Social Judgment Edition - The Pursuit of Harpyness

  79. Kimsie says:

    @titfortat
    hate to break it to you, but my stories about being “sexually murderous” are
    1) physically impossible — we don’t have animals capable of swallowing people alive
    2) they’re about animals, dammit! I refuse to believe in sentient animals getting the idea from my stories that I post NOWHERE.

    If someone is that concerned about a story, they can do like Charlie Sheen and call the MPAA. Or, you know, call someone actually useful, like the FBI.

    If you’re that concerned about things “being taken the wrong way” DON’T PUBLISH.

    Or supervise who gets your bloody comic. Like most manga circles.

  80. @TitForTat: I’m one of the many fanfic writers who mostly goes on a kink meme. I’ve written an internet character getting raped, tortured, snuffed and humiliated in all kinds of ways because “everyone loves seeing him in pain”. But if I (or any of my fandom friends) were to see the actor in real life, I would squeal like the fangirl like I am and very shyly ask for one of his awesome hugs. Oh! And for added fourth wall breakage? *He knows about the fic and loves it.*

  81. Pingback: Wednesday Linkaround: Social Judgment Edition | Mommy Mall

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