Hit & Run

Porn: It's for the Children

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Glenn Reynolds' modest proposal to subsidize porn and violence for the sake of our children, and our children's children, is an amusing poke at moral panics. Glenn notes that teen violence and teen pregnancy are down even as the Internet has brought Red Hot Naked Teens within a mouseclick and (tongue-in-cheek) concludes that virtual sex and violence serve as cathartic substitutes for the real thing.

Strictly speaking, of course, Reynolds' implication that this shows that media sex and violence don't cause the real thing is as invalid as the causation/correlation muddling inference that his targets make—it's always possible that in the absence of media influence, whatever factors drove that decline would've had an even more pronounced effect. But since media decency crusaders don't show a whole lot of concern for fine points of statistical methodology, I figure turnabout is fair play.