No more porn

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Tinman42
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No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:10 am UTC

I haven't been on the forums for a while, but something is happening at my college right now that I thought would be a good discussion topic. Not to mention, I may be arguing in front of our student council and would like to see what people here have to say in order to strengthen my argument.

If there is already a similar thread, please let me know.

Every year, my school movie theater (run by students) hosts an "end of the year porno". This year, they had planned on playing a porn called "deep throat". However, It was brought to the theaters attention that the lead female in the film was forced into it by her husband. This technically makes every sex scene she is involved in to be rape, even though it doesn't appear that way. This started a bit of a frenzy here. The director of the theater quickly said she would not play this particular film and apologized for choosing it in the first place. Had she realized the back story behind the film, she would not have chosen it. However, the students against the "end of the year porno" as a whole have decided to use this debacle as a starting point in their attempt to get rid of this school tradition. They claim that it has negative effects on the school and community.

Some other possibly relevant facts about the school and neighborhood
-This is the biggest event in the school theater all year
-we have had 2 sexual assault reports in our city in the last couple months
-Starting this summer we are implementing a tobacco free campus policy

I think it is ridiculous to get rid of the event. I have done some research on the effects of pornography and it seems foolish to say that it has negative effects in this kind of environment.

please let me know what you think, I'd like to be ready in case I get/have to argue this.
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Ulc
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Re: No more porn

Postby Ulc » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:34 am UTC

I don't really see a inherent problem in a "end of the year porno in the theater" or, indeed, any amount of porno in the school theater.

Notice the "inherent" thing right there. It's important, because I can see a whole lot of ways this can be implemented in ways that are absolutely problematic.

1) One of those ways is that a lot of porn is awful and soaked in a lot of "women are property and/or doesn't actually have a active sex drive and/or sluts are bad, watch this one get her rightful punishment" misogyny, and it's absolutely not okay for a semi-official student body to endorse these views by showing such porn.
2) If people feel compelled to attend even if they don't really want to, out of fear of being seen "prudish"
3) Most porn contain absolutely awful sexual practices, and it's absolutely not helpful to anyone to propagate those, and a school definitely shouldn't endorse it by showing it, unless it's very clearly deconstructed. A lot of porn does not pay attention to the "enthusiastic consent" premise that all sex should be based on.

Non-awful porn exists, the event can be held in a non-excluding manner, and porn that doesn't propagate unhealthy sexual practices exist as well.

If attention is paid to those three issues, I can see it being fine. But if it blatantly ignores those, then it's a really bad idea. And I think that your best defense for the event would be to say "those are the problems there could be, here's how we're dealing with that" and show that steps are being taken to ensure it's harmless.

Incidentally, your "statistics" does not back your point up at all. How is tobacco relevant? How does it refute that the even backs up misogyny?
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Re: No more porn

Postby RoberII » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:24 am UTC

I suppose this is a tongue-in-cheek treatment of porn as a genre? Deepthroat, after all, was a huge success back then - The Star Wars of porn, if you will. While that particular film is problematic, most porn is, but I don't see why that precludes us from treating the films themselves as films - we don't care that Shelley Duvall hated working on the shining. I think the reason why we do consider the two different has to do with the status of being an actress versus being a sex worker, and of course consent. So I don't see why other pornographic films shouldn't be shown.
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Tinman42
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Re: No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

By my statistics do you mean
Some other possibly relevant facts about the school and neighborhood
-This is the biggest event in the school theater all year
-we have had 2 sexual assault reports in our city in the last couple months
-Starting this summer we are implementing a tobacco free campus policy

?

If so, I bring these up because the fact that the event is big I think is a point that I can use in my own defense, because obviously a lot of people do not mind porn being played.
I mention the sexual assaults because a lot of people think that pornography increases sexual assault numbers (this is an argument that will be used against me).
I bring up the no more tobacco issue, not because I think it is valid, but because those that want to get rid of the porn have said things along the lines of "we don't allow tobacco because it harms others, it's the same reason we should ban the porn".
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Re: No more porn

Postby c_programmer » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:35 pm UTC

-This is the biggest event in the school theater all year
-we have had 2 sexual assault reports in our city in the last couple months
-Starting this summer we are implementing a tobacco free campus policy


-Not meaningful
-Only meaningful if a correlation can be proven. There is no empirical evidence to suggest that porn increases sexual assault rates. The problem with such studies is that they can not establish a control group of people who haven't watched porn -- seriously.
-Unrelated although it does set precedent for restrictive policies.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Ulc » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:45 pm UTC

Tinman42 wrote:If so, I bring these up because the fact that the event is big I think is a point that I can use in my own defense, because obviously a lot of people do not mind porn being played.


Proof? Number of attendants doesn't show anything besides number of attendants. It might point to people being accepting of porn, or people going along due to fear.

I mention the sexual assaults because a lot of people think that pornography increases sexual assault numbers (this is an argument that will be used against me).


Sexual assaults =/= reported sexual assaults.

I bring up the no more tobacco issue, not because I think it is valid, but because those that want to get rid of the porn have said things along the lines of "we don't allow tobacco because it harms others, it's the same reason we should ban the porn".
[/quote][/quote]

Then bring up civil choices, your argument "yes, we're banning tobacco", is doing nothing but enforce their point - you're basically saying "we're banning harmful #1, please leave #2 alone". It's not what you're trying to say, but nonetheless, you're saying that.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Annihilist » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:04 am UTC

If people don't want to see it, they don't have to watch it. If they don't want to be "harmed" by pornography then they don't have to be involved. It's that simple.

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Re: No more porn

Postby omgryebread » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:09 am UTC

Tinman42 wrote:Every year, my school movie theater (run by students) hosts an "end of the year porno". This year, they had planned on playing a porn called "deep throat". However, It was brought to the theaters attention that the lead female in the film was forced into it by her husband. This technically makes every sex scene she is involved in to be rape, even though it doesn't appear that way.
"Technically rape" is also known as "rape." No difference.


This started a bit of a frenzy here. The director of the theater quickly said she would not play this particular film and apologized for choosing it in the first place. Had she realized the back story behind the film, she would not have chosen it. However, the students against the "end of the year porno" as a whole have decided to use this debacle as a starting point in their attempt to get rid of this school tradition. They claim that it has negative effects on the school and community.
If they're choosing to watch rape, then the detractors have a point.


I think it is ridiculous to get rid of the event. I have done some research on the effects of pornography and it seems foolish to say that it has negative effects in this kind of environment.
Lack of negative effects is not an argument for keeping something, or rather, it's not a sufficient argument. It is perhaps supportive of an argument against getting rid of it, but if the student body doesn't like the event, then it shouldn't be run.


Tinman42 wrote:If so, I bring these up because the fact that the event is big I think is a point that I can use in my own defense, because obviously a lot of people do not mind porn being played.
You're confusing some statistical stuff here. "A lot of people" is irrelevant in this situation. What we're more concerned about is "people who do not mind" vs. "people who do mind." The amount of people are only relevant when compared. Klan rallies can be very well attended, that doesn't make them accepted on a broad scale, nor does it make them defensible.


In general, porn is terrible, and I don't wish to be associated with it. An action taken by the student body is an action taken on behalf of all the students. I would not wish someone to show porn on my behalf. That being said, it's a student body that doesn't and shouldn't cater to the individual whims of every student. Sounds like a perfect thing for a council to decide. Your position has merit, but your opposition is certainly not "ridiculous."
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Re: No more porn

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:18 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:If they're choosing to watch rape, then the detractors have a point.

This is an extremely misleading characterization of those students' action. Yes, people were planning to watch the movie. Yes, the movie is footage of rape. However, there's no reason to suggest that the object of their choice — what they intended to do — was to watch rape. What they wanted to do was see a film as part of a tradition at their school. It happens to be a less-widely-known fact that the film records a rape. From what OP says, once this fact came to light people decided not to play the movie.

omgryebread wrote:In general, porn is terrible, and I don't wish to be associated with it. An action taken by the student body is an action taken on behalf of all the students.

I don't get from the OP that this is an action by the student body. It looks like it's an action taken by some student group, which is widely attended by students who enjoy it.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:26 am UTC

I bring up the no more tobacco issue, not because I think it is valid, but because those that want to get rid of the porn have said things along the lines of "we don't allow tobacco because it harms others, it's the same reason we should ban the porn".
[/quote]

Then bring up civil choices, your argument "yes, we're banning tobacco", is doing nothing but enforce their point - you're basically saying "we're banning harmful #1, please leave #2 alone". It's not what you're trying to say, but nonetheless, you're saying that.
[/quote]
The Tobacco argument is not one I plan on making, it is one my opposition is bringing to light.

Also, I would like to mention that this post is not so much about the importance of the 3 "relevant facts" but is actually about weather or not it is okay for my Student council to ban the "end of the year porno."

I plan to make the following arguments, I would like people to try and dispute them. (perhaps I should have done this at the beginning).
1- Porn, in general, lowers the rates of sexual assault and rape
2- There is no physical harm caused by the event
3- there is no psychological harm caused by the event

arguments they plan to use:
1- WE are banning smoking because it is harmful, if we can do that, we should be able to ban other things, such as porn as well
2- Porn increases sexual assault
and I am sure they have some other arguments as well, these are just the ones i KNOW of.


Also, in regards to the original video being rape, No one was ever charged with rape and the video was never made illegal. According to the woman "acting" in it, it was rape, but the courts did not find it to be rape. So technically, it isn't rape. This being said, I am not arguing weather or not this particular video is rape, I just wanted to add this piece of information so people knew. There is actually a very good document on the making of "deep throat" called "inside deep throat" that is worth watching.
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Re: No more porn

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:12 am UTC

Tinman42 wrote:I plan to make the following arguments, I would like people to try and dispute them. (perhaps I should have done this at the beginning).
1- Porn, in general, lowers the rates of sexual assault and rape


I think you will have some difficulty providing good evidence for this claim. As was noted earlier, it is confounded mostly by the fact that virtually all men consume pornography, which makes it pretty hard to actually make any predictions one way or the other.

Tinman42 wrote:2- There is no physical harm caused by the event


Trivially true.

Tinman42 wrote:3- there is no psychological harm caused by the event


Difficult to demonstrate. OTOH, it people understand what they are going to be watching and have consented to it, they should be aware of any such potential risks to their personal mental health.

Tinman42 wrote:arguments they plan to use:
1- WE are banning smoking because it is harmful, if we can do that, we should be able to ban other things, such as porn as well


Well, it almost goes without saying that if they actually wanted to reduce rape and sexual assault on campus, they would be far better off banning alcohol than porn. You might want to do a literature search for the relationship between alcohol and sexual assault on college campuses. This argument isn't really all that useful though; simply because we choose to ban X does not imply that we must necessarily ban Y. All it says is that we have the power to ban things. At best, you might be able to claim that the ban is hypocritical given other much more harmful activities that are allowed, if not encouraged, on campus.

Tinman42 wrote:2- Porn increases sexual assault


This is also hard to prove, for pretty much the same reasons as it is hard to disprove.

I think probably the angle that is likely to give you the most success is to focus less on unprovable assertions about the benefits or lack thereof of consuming pornography, and focus more on the fact that this is a well-established, well-attended tradition on campus, a tradition that has (hopefully) had few, if any, incidents associated with it, that is well-loved by the student body and would represent a collective loss were it to be undermined due to some puritanical crusaders.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Ulc » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:44 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:puritanical crusaders.


And for the love of everything holy, don't ever, ever call them that. Name calling wont help you, and just because one is against this even does not make one a puritanical crusader.

I plan to make the following arguments, I would like people to try and dispute them. (perhaps I should have done this at the beginning).
1- Porn, in general, lowers the rates of sexual assault and rape


Proof?

This is not to claim that porn is immoral, or wrong - but if you make claims you need to be able to back them up, or you will get called out on it.

3- there is no psychological harm caused by the event


Please demonstrate this - if you can demonstrate that those arranging the event takes steps to ensure that no psychological harm is caused, then it should be shut and closed case. But it isn't obvious, because there is a very easy mechanism for it harming people, even people that don't attend.

Does the organizers take steps to ensure that people that choose not to go are not ostracized for not going? Because choosing not to go (for any reason) and getting called "puritanical prude" or similar terms are most definitely harmful.
Do the organizers take steps to ensure that no one is feeling pressured to go? Because it certainly would be unpleasant to not want to go, and do it anyway because of fear of being viewed as a prude.


You keep making claims without backing them up, and while they might seem obvious to you, they aren't really obvious to those you're presenting to.
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Re: No more porn

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:58 am UTC

Ulc wrote:Does the organizers take steps to ensure that people that choose not to go are not ostracized for not going? Because choosing not to go (for any reason) and getting called "puritanical prude" or similar terms are most definitely harmful.
Do the organizers take steps to ensure that no one is feeling pressured to go? Because it certainly would be unpleasant to not want to go, and do it anyway because of fear of being viewed as a prude.


so.

if I want to say that, for example, a party doesn't cause harm I don't just have to show that the people attending aren't harmed but also that the dull sods who sit at home embroidering their names into their student union issue condoms don't get called dull sods.

If I want to say that for example, a meeting of the multicultural society doesn't cause harm I don't just have to show that the people attending aren't harmed but also that the people who outright refuse to go won't suffer any posibility of being accused of not going for the sake of not liking people of other countries and the related blowback.

If I want to say that for example, a sports day, doesn't cause harm I don't just have to show that the people taking part aren't harmed but also that the people who sit at home don't suffer the posibility of being called lazy.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Azrael » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:27 pm UTC

Tinman42 wrote:Also, in regards to the original video being rape, No one was ever charged with rape and the video was never made illegal. According to the woman "acting" in it, it was rape, but the courts did not find it to be rape. So technically, it isn't rape. This being said, I am not arguing weather or not this particular video is rape...

Helpful, friendly tip: Never, ever attempt to make such a distinction again. Because it makes you sound like a raging asshole, and everything else you say will be discounted as such.

In regards to far more than the movie in question: The lack of a criminal conviction does not mean that there wasn't a rape. "Technically" has nothing to do with it.


I plan to make the following arguments, I would like people to try and dispute them. (perhaps I should have done this at the beginning).
1- Porn, in general, lowers the rates of sexual assault and rape
2- There is no physical harm caused by the event
3- there is no psychological harm caused by the event

Dispute them? That isn't how it works -- you're making positive claims and are thus expected to be able to support them. While I generally agree with 2 & 3, #1 sounds like a giant load of crap. Find real evidence, and be prepared to work it into your argument, or else don't bring it up.

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Re: No more porn

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

I don't have time at the moment to look up the reference though I should be able to when I get home. I have come across analysis of the rates of sexual assaults in countries where pronography was legalised.

if I remember right it corelates strongly with a fairly significant decrease in sex crimes.

the most obvious possible explanation being that people are less inclined to attack someone when they can get off watching a video instead.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Azrael » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:41 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:.. but I have come across analysis of the rates of sexual assaults in countries where pronography was legalised.

It appears to corelate with a fairly significant decrease in sex crimes if I remember right.

the most obvious possible explanation being that people are less inclined to attack someone when they can get off watching a video instead.

Unless there's a more controlled study, that correlation is stretching credulity. Countries where pornography is legal also tend to have much broader women's rights, and treating women as equals is far more likely to have a causative relation to a reduction in sexual assaults.

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Re: No more porn

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:45 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Unless there's a more controlled study, that correlation is stretching credulity. Countries where pornography is legal also tend to have much broader women's rights, and treating women as equals is far more likely to have a causative relation to a reduction in sexual assaults.


It's enough for a decent talking point and I've never seen any good evidece of the opposite.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Azrael » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:51 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:It's enough for a decent talking point and I've never seen any good evidece of the opposite.

Decent talking point? Not really. That sort of country to country analysis is astoundingly irrelevant to the issue at hand. Porn is still legal, and all potential parties (presumably) have a nearby residence in which they can avail themselves to it all they want. Anyone with half a brain can make a damaging refutation if you try to compare sexual assaults in (for instance) Saudi Arabia to the US while discussing the harm of showing a porn once a year on a college campus.

I expect the OP would be far more successful if he acknowledges that Deep Throat may have been a poor choice, suggests that the aforementioned documentary be screened, and then focuses on the no-harm arguments. Bringing up irrelevant or obviously questionable data is far more damaging than none.

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Re: No more porn

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:54 pm UTC

It depends on whether the other side try to claim that porn causes an increase in sexual assaults: a claim which is very often made but I've never seen actually supported by anything but "must"s, "surely"s and "of course"es.

in which case even a correlation is better than nothing by a wide margin.
if the claim isn't challenged then people just accept it as true even without any backing.

Indeed he says that he knows they're going to make this particular claim.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Chen » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:57 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:Please demonstrate this - if you can demonstrate that those arranging the event takes steps to ensure that no psychological harm is caused, then it should be shut and closed case. But it isn't obvious, because there is a very easy mechanism for it harming people, even people that don't attend.

Does the organizers take steps to ensure that people that choose not to go are not ostracized for not going? Because choosing not to go (for any reason) and getting called "puritanical prude" or similar terms are most definitely harmful.
Do the organizers take steps to ensure that no one is feeling pressured to go? Because it certainly would be unpleasant to not want to go, and do it anyway because of fear of being viewed as a prude.


The point you're making is a good one since there is no way to show it causes no psychological harm. That said, that point in and of itself is a useless one. One could argue any social get together could provide psychological harm if those who didn't go were looked down on. Imagine a dance party organized by the students. Would anyone argue that it should be shut down because it causes psychological harm to those who don't show up because the rest of the student body calls them losers after the fact? Of course not. Its a foolish argument to make and trying to use the "no psychological harm" as an argument to begin with is also foolish.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Ulc » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:40 pm UTC

Chen wrote: Would anyone argue that it should be shut down because it causes psychological harm to those who don't show up because the rest of the student body calls them losers after the fact?


If it was common that people not attending were called losers and made fun of for not attending? Yeah, that would totally be the organizers duty to address and say "guys, not cool, quit it". And when one specifically says "this doesn't harm anyone" they had better be able to back that up. At the moment, tinman is just making up things and hoping they fly.

Don't get me wrong, I totally support that people can do events like this - porn is (in concept, but a) fine. But when arguing for it, making up arguments and having nothing to back them up isn't really cool - I'm just arguing against him because he specifically asked us to do that, and so far the only reply is making up claims - which hardly seems convincing.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Chen » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:58 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:If it was common that people not attending were called losers and made fun of for not attending? Yeah, that would totally be the organizers duty to address and say "guys, not cool, quit it". And when one specifically says "this doesn't harm anyone" they had better be able to back that up. At the moment, tinman is just making up things and hoping they fly.


While perhaps not school wide, there were plenty of department parties that if you didn't go to you were not considered in the "cool" group. These people were more looked down on, socially, than the people who did go. I fail to see how this is in any way the organizer's responsibility. This is the people who went to the party's fault. If I have a birthday, don't invite some people and others decide to mock those people it is not MY problem.

Now that said, I agree with the "doesn't harm anyone" statement needing to be backed up. My point was that the original argument was pointless to begin with because any event can cause SOME harm. Saying it doesn't harm ANYONE is going to be almost always untrue.

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Re: No more porn

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:03 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:If it was common that people not attending were called losers and made fun of for not attending? Yeah, that would totally be the organizers duty to address and say "guys, not cool, quit it".


I really wouldn't agree with you there.

If you're organising an event you shouldn't be held responsible for what random people say to people who choose not to attend.
It's neither your responsibility nor fault.

it may be *nice* to say "he guys, don't be dicks" but you're under no obligation to.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

A lot of people have commented on me "not being able to back up my claims." This obviously, is because I did not have any proof posted. That being said, I did not make what I said up. Here are some of the sources I planned on using to support what I had said.

Spoiler:


As far as not talking about thee porno not actually being rape, I had not planned on mentioning that, I was simply mentioning it to the forum. Despite the fact that it may not be rape, I had not planned to fight to allow the theater to play deep throat, I 100% understand the controversy with that particular video.

I have also come across some more information. It turns out that this event is a fundraiser for our local food cupboard. To get into the movie, you have to bring 2 cans of food for donation. With an attendance of about 250 (on average), that raises about 500 cans of food for charity.

Another point, in the school of 13,000, the 250 people who attend the event do not pick on or make fun of the huge majority that does not go. My understanding is that the student body, in general, has no strong feelings one way or the other towards those that attend or choose not to attend, it is simply a few people on the student council that are against the event, and unfortunately (In my opinion of course), they have power.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Azrael » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:50 pm UTC

Tinman42 wrote:A lot of people have commented on me "not being able to back up my claims." This obviously, is because I did not have any proof posted. That being said, I did not make what I said up. Here are some of the sources I planned on using to support what I had said.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... mut&page=2

You know what's great about that particular article? It explicitly states that the findings DO NOT support your assertions. Let's look at what you said earlier:
I plan to make the following arguments, I would like people to try and dispute them. (perhaps I should have done this at the beginning).
1- Porn, in general, lowers the rates of sexual assault and rape

And then the article:
It is important to note that these associations are just that—associations. They do not prove that pornography is the cause of the observed crime reductions. Nevertheless, the trends “just don’t fit with the theory that rape and sexual assault are in part influenced by pornography,” Ferguson explains. “At this point I think we can say the evidence just isn’t there, and it is time to retire this belief.”

The same is true with the other articles: They demonstrate that the notion that pornography increases sexual crime is utterly false. So you can use these sources to disprove your counterpart's claims. But that does not mean the converse is true, nor do those sources attempt to make that case. As of yet, you cannot make a positive (causal) claim.

Yes, there is a correlation. But that correlation to reduced rape incidence could just as easily (more easily? more thoroughly?) be made between more liberal sexual sexual morals or higher income and better education -- that latter two would also correlate to higher levels of internet access (and less poverty, for that matter). Furthermore, how does the "more internet (porn) = less rape" argument explain the rise in rates for those states with the lowest internet access [see Damato's article]? They still have more internet (more porn) than they did before, but yet rates are increasing. If this correlation held, you'd see a smaller reduction there, but still a reduction. Instead, you find the opposite. One doesn't have to dig very far to call the correlation severely into question.

So be very, very careful what you claim. Because so far, you've been wrong.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

@ Azreal

Good point. Thank you. Perhaps the argument that "porn does not increase sexual assault and MAY even decrease it's occurrences" would be more fitting?
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Re: No more porn

Postby Azrael » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:57 pm UTC

I dunno, how much do you want to wager that someone like me isn't at this meeting? Because I could make you look pretty foolish for saying that.

Stick to the truth that can be demonstrated irrefutably via data: Porn does not lead to an increase in sexual violence.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Lucrece » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:35 am UTC

You'll also need to come up with a strategy to counter emotional appeals your opponents will no doubt be making. "The data refutes this" can hold little influence on subjects like rape where the personal narratives people hold on the subject will compel them to side with what leaves that narrative intact. It doesn't matter if you prove there's no increase in rape if you fail to win over the people who might have a distaste for porn, especially hardcore, if they wish to hold their pet theories because their life experiences confirm those theories regardless of how widely applicable the theories are.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Sizik » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:00 am UTC

Side question about rape:
Spoiler:
(Note: this assumes that the man acting with the woman was not her husband, that the husband coerced her in private, and that she didn't protest during the actual filming.)

If the court decided that it was rape, should he be convicted? As far as he knew, the woman gave full consent.
In other words, is it possible for a rape to occur without there being a "rapist"?


Edit: woah, did I misread the OP. I thought the porno was made by students, not that they were showing a commercially made one.
Last edited by Sizik on Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No more porn

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:21 am UTC

Sizik wrote:Side question about rape:
Spoiler:
(Note: this assumes that the man acting with the woman was not her husband, that the husband coerced her in private, and that she didn't protest during the actual filming.)

If the court decided that it was rape, should he be convicted? As far as he knew, the woman gave full consent.
In other words, is it possible for a rape to occur without there being a "rapist"?


Spoiler:
In this instance, I think the actor in the scene could probably argue that he was acting in good faith if he had no idea what was going on. I doubt they'd be able to indict him with anything. They may be able to press charges against the husband or the filmmakers depending on the specific circumstances surrounding it. The charges probably wouldn't get filed as rape, but rather... maybe sexual exploitation or something? I don't know the legal terms all that well.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

@ azreal,

Are you implying that that if I claimed that "studies show that porn does not lead to an increase in rape or sexual assault and may even decrease the occurrences" you have a response that could not be refuted by anyone AND would make them look foolish? Or would you simply have a response that could not be refuted by anyone less intelligent/informed than you (I.E. Me)?

I feel like your claim that you could make me look like a fool without any real gauge on my intelligence or knowledge is a bold claim that assumes that I could not possibly have a response to whatever your point was.

Would you be willing to share with me your irrefutable argument? The only way I will get better at arguing (not just this case, but other things in general) is by doing it more often, and by doing it with people that are better at it than I am. While I don't know how how skilled you are in deliberation, I do find your confidence is intriguing and would like to see if I could at least prevent myself from looking like a fool.

I don't mean to come across as harsh, but I am slightly offended that you wrote off what I said as though my idea was childish. While perhaps the argument is flawed in some way, I don't feel as though it could be brushed aside as effortlessly as you claim.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Azrael » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:18 pm UTC

Tinman42 wrote:"... and may even decrease the occurrences"

See that part? It's not factually supported by your sources. You're cherry picking parts of the data in an attempt to (incorrectly) bolster your argument. It's intellectually dishonest. And it's really quite simple to make someone look foolish when their own data doesn't support their conclusions. Especially if they keep sticking to their claims after the error has been pointed out.

Look at Damato's data. He's using a positive correlation between internet access and access to porn (more internet = more porn) to suggest that the inverse correlation between porn and rape (more porn = less rape) exists. He even suggests it's causative.

Code: Select all

STATE / Internet 2001 / Rape 1980 / Rape 2000
Arkansas      36.9     26.7     31.7
Kentucky      40.2     19.2     27.4
Minnesota     36.1     23.2     45.5
W. Virginia   40.7     15.8     18.3

Alaska        64.1     56.8     70.3
Colorado      58.5     52.5     41.2
New Jersey    61.6     30.7     16.1
Washington    60.4     52.7     46.4


However all states saw an increase in access to the internet between 1980 (access = 0) and 2001 (access = 37-64%). Thus, the argument provides that all states saw an increase in access to porn. But yet some states saw increases in rape incidence where others saw decreases. That clearly indicates that the causative factor lies elsewhere -- beyond the internet, beyond porn. While you can speculate that porn could be one of many contributory factors, there isn't evidence.

Again, you can make the claim that more porn does not equate to more sexual crime. That data is supplied in your other sources. But you cannot make any claim about reduction.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:23 pm UTC

However all states saw an increase in access to the internet between 1980 (access = 0) and 2001 (access = 37-64%). Thus, the argument provides that all states saw an increase in access to porn. But yet some states saw increases in rape incidence where others saw decreases. That clearly indicates that the causative factor lies elsewhere -- beyond the internet, beyond porn. While you can speculate that porn could be one of many contributory factors, there isn't evidence.


"The causative factor" implies that there can only be one. What if porn is one of many (or a few) different factors that help lead to a lower rape rate. That idea is just as well supported by the numbers shown as the idea that porn simply doesn't make it worse.
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Re: No more porn

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:10 am UTC

Tinman42 wrote:"The causative factor" implies that there can only be one.

No, it doesn't. Leaving aside the absurdity of trying to divide causes into determinately numbered entities, note that Azrael says in the very next sentence that porn could be a contributory factor.

Tinman42 wrote:What if porn is one of many (or a few) different factors that help lead to a lower rape rate. That idea is just as well supported by the numbers shown as the idea that porn simply doesn't make it worse.

No, it is not. The numbers support the idea that porn doesn't make the rape rate worse because, while we would expect to see a correlation if porn did make the rape rate worse, the numbers show no such correlation. If A entails a likelihood of B and there is no B, then A is less likely than otherwise. The same set of data does not allow you to make an analogous claim about the idea that porn is a factor that leads to a lower rape rate.
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Re: No more porn

Postby omgryebread » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:42 am UTC

Tinman42 wrote:"The causative factor" implies that there can only be one. What if porn is one of many (or a few) different factors that help lead to a lower rape rate. That idea is just as well supported by the numbers shown as the idea that porn simply doesn't make it worse.
No, it's not. "The causative factor" in Azrael's presented evidence could be many things. There is 0 evidence that porn is among those things. In fact, even if every state that had more porn showed a decrease in rape, it wouldn't prove porn reduces rape. Correlation and causation. That distinction is not less important in political arguments (and this is a political argument, if just campus politics) than in science, it's vastly more important.

Without evidence that porn decreases rape, it is not at all supported. It could, as Azrael has said (repeatedly) be true. It's just not a valid proven fact.


Assuming we can agree that there is no evidence that access to porn reduces rape, that's a separate but related issue to your statement. Your statement is that "porn... may even decrease the occurrences [of rape or sexual assault" to quote.

All that you're saying is that "if X, then Y" is not proven false. That statement in itself is meaningless. You are not commenting on porn or rape, but rather, your statement is a comment about language. (There is, arguably, worth in that statement, but only combined with the recipricol statement of "porn may not decrease the occurrence of rape or sexual assault. This would be useful, arguably, because it would classify that we know we don't know, making it, to quote the eminent epistemologist Donald Rumsfeld, a known unknown.)

In other words, your comment has no meaning relevant to the discussion. Your opponents could stand up opposite you and say "porn may lead to an increase in deadly unicorn attacks" and they would be just as correct.


The reason this matters, and Azrael could make you look foolish, is twofold. First, you're being manipulative, and doing a press secretary lie. It's not false, but it's not true, and it leads them to an untrue conclusion, that porn decreases rape. I'm calling the statement untrue, because for our purposes, unproven should be untrue. Not false, but also not true. ("We have no evidence that Country X doesn't have nuclear weapons" could be true, but it implies that they do and leads the audience to that untrue conclusion. "Mitt Romney wants to lower his taxes" is in fact true, but it leads people to believe, without evidence, that Mitt Romney wants to lower the top income tax rate because it would be better for him.) Lying is never good, even if it's a soft lie. If someone is there to call you on it, you besmirch your own character. All your arguments, even good ones based on true facts, will hold less weight.


The second is that argument relies on a few things. Rhetoric, appeals to emotion, logic, and meaningful truths. An argument without all of those will usually fall flat (some extremely skilled people can carry an argument without one. Radical preachers are great at appeals to emotion, while lawyers in appellate courts can't really use it. You can bolster an argument with things like humor, but it's not as essential as those 4.)

I'm assuming you can handle the rhetoric and appeals to emotion. Regarding your own statement, it's the last two that are interesting. The statement in question "'If X, then Y' is not false." is logically true. As discussed above, it's not meaningfully true. Once someone points this out, your argument on that one statement falls apart.

Someone may ask you "do you have evidence that porn decreases rape?" To which you would be forced to respond "No, but there's no evidence it doesn't!" To which they would reply "So you're saying that there's no proof that porn is a good thing?" To which you have no answer other than "That is correct, I have no proof." If they're good enough, and among a bunch of college students, there will be someone good enough, they'll keep pressing and continue making you look foolish.

Once you've lost that hard on one point, the audience doesn't trust you. You aren't as reliable in their eyes.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Tinman42 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:39 am UTC

First, I would like to mention that I never made the claim that Porn DOES decrease rape/sexual assault, but MIGHT decrease it.

I understand your arguments that the numbers and studies provided do not explicitly support the idea that porn lowers rape. That being said, there is an obvious correlation between rape and porn accessibility, showing that when porn is more common, rape is less common (on average). With that in mind, if we were to run multiple experiments to determine why rape was lower in some areas than other areas it would be impossible for us to test everything. For example, we most likely wouldn't try to find out what kind of mouse's people used with their computers. We wouldn't ask what peoples favorite colors are or find out whether or not they liked Star Wars episode 4 more than they liked episode 5. Instead, we would make a list of factors that would seem more important. Perhaps income, race, birth country, etc. Amount of porn watched would almost definitely be on the list of things that would be taken into consideration. Why? Because it makes more sense that porn consumption could effect sexual assault cases than some ones favorite Star Wars movie.

My point here, is that while we can not conclude that rape is lowered by porn, we can say, with some confidence, that it is more likely that porn, as opposed to certain other things, lowers rape due to the fact that in areas where porn is more common, rape is, in general, lower.

I realize that correlation does not imply causation, but you can not pretend that when it comes to common sense, that some correlations (porn lowers rape) don't make more sense than others (porn increases unicorn attacks).
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Re: No more porn

Postby Ulc » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:58 am UTC

Tinman42 wrote:I realize that correlation does not imply causation, but you can not pretend that when it comes to common sense, that some correlations (porn lowers rape) don't make more sense than others (porn increases unicorn attacks).


The thing is, if there actually was a correlation, you'd be justified in saying "might". Some states had increased access to porn, yet saw a increase in number of sexual assaults as well. What you're doing here is actually the old "If I preface with a 'might' I don't have to support my argument", since no support actually exist (see the part with 'no consistent correlation')

And in the context of no correlation, and no obvious casual mechanism (that at least can't easily be turned upside down to suggest the opposite), saying "might decrease sexual assault" is dishonest.
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Re: No more porn

Postby Azrael » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:14 pm UTC

Tinman42 wrote:I understand your arguments that the numbers and studies provided do not explicitly support the idea that porn lowers rape. That being said, there is an obvious correlation between rape and porn accessibility, showing that when porn is more common, rape is less common (on average).

No.

Seriously, your own data cites five of eight states that explicitly disprove that statement of correlation. What you are trying to say is not factually or rationally supportable. There is no correlation.

My point here, is that while we can not conclude that rape is lowered by porn, we can say, with some confidence, that it is more likely that porn, as opposed to certain other things, lowers rape due to the fact that in areas where porn is more common, rape is, in general, lower.

Yes, porn consumption may be more likely to lead to a reduction in rape than ... consumption of rutabagas, or a million other factors. But making comparisons to utterly unrelated factors is even more intellectually dishonest than your previous statements. And your data doesn't even show that more porn = less rape.

So let's play a game:

Code: Select all

STATE / Internet 2001 / Rape 1980 / Rape 2000 / College Graduation 2011 / Presidential Election 2008
Arkansas      36.9     26.7     31.7    26%      R   
Kentucky      40.2     19.2     27.4    32%      R     
Minnesota     36.1     23.2     45.5    48%      D   
W. Virginia   40.7     15.8     18.3    28%      R     

Alaska        64.1     56.8     70.3    30%      R     
Colorado      58.5     52.5     41.2    41%      D     
New Jersey    61.6     30.7     16.1    46%      D     
Washington    60.4     52.7     46.4    39%      D   

With equal quality correlation (i.e. single outlier - Minnesota), data shows that incidents of rape is lower in states with more college graduates, and/or democratic voters. The point being, you can make up just about any correlation you want (those two were the first off the top of my head), and it doesn't necessarily mean anything. Although maybe, just maybe, the two indicators I've posted explain a more socially liberal section of society. More socially liberal sections of society seem pretty likely to be more accepting of porn AND to treat women more equally.

On the other hand, what if we take a deeper look at something else that might be meaningful? Take the top four states and bottom four states for household income:

Code: Select all

STATE / Rape 1980 / Rape 2000
Maryland     40.1   29.1
New Jersey   30.7   16.1
Connecticut  26.1   19.9
Alaska       56.8   70.3

Kentucky     19.2  27.4
Arkansas     26.7  31.7
W. Virginia  15.8  18.3
Mississippi  24.6  33.3
[Source]

Well, look at that. With Alaska once again being the outlier, more household income correlates to lower rates of rape. So stop it with this second order correlation of internet-to-porn, porn-to-lower-rape. I can show a first order correlation between income and rape.

Here's the real kicker: I can acknowledge the quality of my data and analysis because I'm not just parroting the pieces of another person's work that align with what I've already decided. This comparison would be *better* if I could compare poverty rates 1980 / 2010 with rape statistics 1980 / 2010. Because poverty is typically thought (well, actually proven, but that's not the point) to correlate with violent crime. Population growth and population urbanization might also be interesting to look at.

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Re: No more porn

Postby Ben-oni » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:53 am UTC

I wonder that no one is earnestly arguing the other side. In fact, this assertion seems to have absolutely no basis:
Tinman42 wrote:3- there is no psychological harm caused by the event


Let's ignore this one
Please demonstrate this - if you can demonstrate that those arranging the event takes steps to ensure that no psychological harm is caused, then it should be shut and closed case. But it isn't obvious, because there is a very easy mechanism for it harming people, even people that don't attend.

Does the organizers take steps to ensure that people that choose not to go are not ostracized for not going? Because choosing not to go (for any reason) and getting called "puritanical prude" or similar terms are most definitely harmful.
Do the organizers take steps to ensure that no one is feeling pressured to go? Because it certainly would be unpleasant to not want to go, and do it anyway because of fear of being viewed as a prude.

Go away straw man. Few things are worse than having a point you agree with argued badly.

Anyways, upon seeing the claim ("there is no psychological harm"), and putting my own prejudices aside, the oft repeated mantra "Pornography is addictive" came to mind. Well, addiction is a neurological response, so that means we can safely turn away from psychology, which is far too soft a science to actually generate useful data.

http://www.surgicalneurologyint.com/article.asp?issn=2152-7806;year=2011;volume=2;issue=1;spage=19;epage=19;aulast=Hilton
A quick google search for "neurological effects of pornography" yielded the preceding result. While written in a scholarly manner, with a bit of gentle chastisement toward those who attempt to thwart science with Basic Human Decency thrown in, it's a very accessible summary of recent studies, and well referenced. I recommend reading it, regardless of how you choose to argue.

A few highlights.
  • Process addictions, such as food, gambling, and pornography, have all the effects of chemical dependency: impulsivity, compulsivity, emotional instability, and impaired judgment. The evidence isn't correlative, but causative and measurable: multiple areas of volume loss in the brain, particularly in the frontal lobes, areas associated with judgment and control.
  • http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=415
    The DSM-V draft includes Hypersexual Disorder as a psychological condition, which covers pornography addiction.
  • http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/009262302760328235#preview
    Pornography consumption has a highly negative impact upon pair-bonding. This is well-documented.

Armed now with some objective evidence, it seems as though hosting a school-sponsored event, even if for a charitable cause, in which pornography is shown as the primary activity is beyond irresponsible. Actively encouraging young people to engage in the consumption of sexually explicit materials, given this information, would be described as malicious and reprehensible.

With this in mind, to argue for showing porn on campus, you must argue that the school has no accountability for the future development of their students, which considering the size of the alumni office of most universities, is one the school will undoubtedly disagree with.

c_programmer wrote:There is no empirical evidence to suggest that porn increases sexual assault rates. The problem with such studies is that they can not establish a control group of people who haven't watched porn -- seriously.

The argument that all men consume pornography is patently ridiculous. The linked article is worthless: Gawker is as far from a peer reviewed journal as it's possible to get, one of the greats pits of hype and sensationalism. Sorry, forgive the subjective opinion of this particular news-junkie, but I would never look to Gawker for real information.

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Re: No more porn

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:12 am UTC

"Process addictions, such as food, gambling, and pornography,"


Armed now with some objective evidence, it seems as though hosting a school-sponsored event, even if for a charitable cause, in which pornography is shown as the primary activity is beyond irresponsible.


It should be noted that other "Process addictions" also include shopping, video games and sex.

it's pretty much an alternative term for "psychologically addictive" which is basically a synonym for "enjoyable". You do something, you enjoy it so you do it more.

So if it's "beyond irresponsible" to run any event which can be associated with a "process addiction" then it's also "beyond irresponsible" to run a charity raffle(gambling) , a bake sale (food), a bring and buy(shopping), a speed dating night(sex) or a LAN gameing night.

those liberal universities with their student unions must be an absolute den of depravity and process addiction.
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