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.

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  1. Duh, its the ice cream, remember people?!!

  2. Duh, its the ice cream, remember people?!!

  3. This is the best line of the article:

    Or maybe it’s a different one — research indicates that teenagers, though safer and healthier, are also fatter — so perhaps the other improvements are the result of teens sitting around looking at porn and videogames until they’re too out-of-shape and unattractive for the real thing?

  4. This post provides an interesting counterpoint to yesterday’s post by Michael Young assterting that “If Bush?s enemies can?t stomach his dissembling on Iraqi WMD and the administration?s spurious link between Saddam and Al-Qaeda, there seems little justification to respond to this by endorsing a film that offers up evidence that is just as untrustworthy.”

    I guess the lesson here is it’s only okay to play fast and loose with the facts if you agree with the Reason staff member.

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