Internet pornography is usually abusive and often violent. Mark Bridger, convicted yesterday of the murder of April Jones, had compiled a store of it. Pornography is easily and freely accessible, and at most requires only a credit card. The link
between such material and violence, most commonly against women and children, is not quite beyond dispute -- occasional studies claim there is, as one headline had it, a sunny side to smut. But there is strong evidence that at the very least it
is addictive, can normalise violence, and at the same time diminishes sympathy for its victims. It is a kind of incitement to hate. It should be banned. But that is easier to say than to do.
A few hours later the Guardian edited the leader to retract from the 'all porn should be banned' and to call for a ban on 'abusive and violent porn'. But as the article opens with 'porn is usually abusive', then the edit makes little difference.
Update: The Guardian explains that it doesn't seek to ban porn
Internet pornography is sometimes abusive and often violent. Mark Bridger, convicted yesterday of the murder of April Jones, had compiled a store of it. Violent pornography is easily and freely accessible, and at most requires only a credit
card. The link between such material and actual violence, most commonly against women and children, is disputed -- occasional studies claim there is, as one headline had it, a sunny side to smut. But there is strong evidence that at the very
least it is addictive, can normalise violence, and at the same time diminishes sympathy for its victims. It is a kind of incitement to hate. Abusive and violent pornography should be banned. But that is easier to say than to do.
The NSPCC said there was a worrying link between his looking at indecent images online and the crime he went on to commit.
It called for effective measures to curb the ease with which extreme pornography and indecent images of children can be accessed.
End Violence Against Women
The End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition wrote to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, calling for a change in the law to close a loophole that allows some simulated images of rape.
A spokesman for Rape Crisis, a campagn group, said: Our concern is that given current legal loopholes, similar men using pornography simulating acts of sexual violence including rape, child sexual abuse and incest, would not be committing an
offence under existing extreme pornography legislation.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Jim Gamble went on FiveLive demanding that CEOPs role and budget be dramatically expanded.
John Carr of UKCISS wants people to register to view porn
But John Carr, a member of the government's Council on Child Internet Safety, has suggested Google could do more.
They could for example turn safe search on by default. That would block access to all hardcore porn sites.
Google could set it up in such a way they'd have to register with them to get an account. They could ask them to verify if they're 18 or above. That would be a huge deterrent for many of these guys. That would stop them getting on the pathway
to child abuse images we've been discussing.
Carr said being forced to register to view pornography would act as a significant deterrent to paedophiles, who use mainstream pornographic websites advertising barely legal or teen sex images as a gateway for illegal material.
They will eventually get to places where the images are, he added.
Blocking access or putting any kind of barriers to sites like that would help reduce the number of guys who get involved with this stuff in the first place.
Daily Mail always likes to big up any film connections
When police searched Bridger's cottage they found that he had been watching a brutal rape scene from the 2009 re-make of the slasher film, The Last House on the Left.
He had recorded the scene where a young teenage girl is raped by the leader of a gang in front of his watching gangmates, some of whom help to hold the victim down while she is being attacked.
Police then discovered that the murderer recorded the rape scene for a second time when the film was repeated on a +1 channel an hour later. Horror: Police outside Bridger's white-washed cottage, where he watched violent films and child
pornography before he murdered April
Horror: Police outside Bridger's white-washed cottage, where he watched violent films and child pornography before he murdered April
Elwen Evans QC, for the prosecution, said given what happened in that room, the discovery was significant and Bridger must have watched the scene not long before whatever happened to April took place.
She added: This is not just the playing of a rape scene on television. That particular rape scene had been recorded twice. A deliberate action to capture the most distressing aspect.'
Editors Feona Attwood (Middlesex University) and Clarissa Smith (University of Sunderland), and Routledge publishers have announced the launch of a new journal devoted to the study of pornography.
Porn Studies is the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic and their cultural, economic, historical, institutional, legal and social
contexts. Porn Studies will publish innovative work examining specifically sexual and explicit media forms, their connections to wider media landscapes and their links to the broader spheres of (sex) work across historical periods and national
Porn Studies is an interdisciplinary journal informed by critical sexuality studies and work exploring the intersection of sexuality, gender, race, class, age and ability. It focuses on developing knowledge of pornographies past and present, in
all their variations and around the world. Because pornography studies are still in their infancy we are also interested in discussions that focus on theoretical approaches, methodology and research ethics. Alongside articles, the journal
includes a forum devoted to shorter observations, developments, debates or issues in porn studies, designed to encourage exchange and debate.
Update: Gender extremists attempt to censor anyone that disagrees with their miserable views
A group calling itself Stop Porn Culture has initiated a petition calling on Routledge publishers to pull out of publishing the journal, Porn Studies, in its current setup. The group writes:
We understand that Routledge is scheduled to publish a new journal, Porn Studies. While we agree that pornography and porn culture demand and deserve more critical attention, as a group of academics, activists, anti-violence experts, health
professionals, and educators, we are deeply concerned about the journal's intention and focus and about its editorial board, which is uniformly pro-porn.
Routledge is in a position of authority, and framing the editorial experts on porn as pro-porn under the auspices of neutrality (which is what the journal title does) further fosters the normalization of porn and misrepresents the
academic, political and ideological debates about the issue. The composition of the editorial board (at least thus far) risks marginalizing any critical or anti porn position.
Given this, we have three questions:
In what ways and to what extent, if any, will this journal feature essays which represent an array of perspectives on the complex and vexed issues concerning pornography and porn culture?;
How likely is it that diverse perspectives will be represented, given that the editorial board has a pro-porn academic record?' and
What might Routledge do to address this bias?
In the interest of academic integrity and thorough critical inquiry, it is imperative that a journal titled Porn Studies creates space for critical analyses of porn from diverse and divergent perspectives. Our hope is that you will change the
composition of the editorial board, confirm the journal's commitment to a heterogeneous interrogation of the issues embedded in porn and porn culture, and ensure that diverse perspectives are represented -- on the board and also in the essays
published in the journal. Failing that, we ask that you change the name to reflect and make evident the bias of its editors (Pro-Porn Studies) and create another journal which will represent the position of anti-porn scholars and activists and
the voices of mental health professionals, porn industry survivors, and feminist scholars whose analyses examine the replication and reification of misogyny, child abuse, and sexual exploitation in mainstream pornography (for instance, Critical