Monday, September 25, 2006

Author of Porn Up Rape Down Study Reveals Most Important Lesson

From an interview in Raw Story:

[Anthony] D'Amato believes the most important lesson people should take away from "Porn Up Rape Down" is to question the results of governmental reports. "If people can learn to distrust the findings of governmental commissions, such as the Warren Report, the 9-11 report, or the Meese report on social violence, we would become a more free and democratic nation," said D'Amato. "Our government engineers these reports to shield the perpetrators or to promote the business interests of its cronies and campaign contributors. As I tell my law students, the first thing you need to know about being a lawyer is not to trust the written word."
So as a law professor, was the real point of his study to teach people that they shouldn't automatically accept the conclusions of studies as absolute fact?

Studies such as his, for example.

No wonder it was so easy to find major flaws in his study as I did in my post, Porn Up Rape Down Or ... It sounds like he wasn't attempting do anything besides look for some data that could be used in a study that would say porn is responsible for a reduction in rape.

I wonder if he brags to his students, "Hey, I can get some people to believe anything."

Apparently, from his ability to make some people believe that porn has been proven to prevent rape, he's showing us we must distrust people like him. From this statement of his, that's not too tough.
"Suppose you distribute free condoms to a country, and you find, five years later, that the birth rate has gone down 85%. Would you say that it's just a cosmic coincidence or would you say that the distribution of condoms caused the drop in the rate of birth? The reasoning is the same for my position on rape: the causation factor is reasonably inferred, " said D'Amato.
His base example tells us that birth control reduces the rate of births. It's too bad the reasoning in his study doesn't parallel the condom/birth rate example. The similar reasoning would be for us to reject the idea that it's a "cosmic coincidence" that rape prevention programs trended upward while the rate of rape trended downward.

What we can reasonably infer is those who don't want to give up their porn or think about the ethics of porn creation are most likely to embrace the myth that porn has been proven to prevent rape and are most likely to overlook major flaws in any study that tells them what they want to hear.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   1 comments links to this post

1 Comments:

At September 27, 2006 1:14 PM, Blogger Gracchi said...

Agree completely with everything you've written in this article.

I don't think it proves anyway what he wants it to - strikes me its a storks in Sweden case, (in a wonderful case of why you should suspect correlation a 19th Century historian noted that there was an exact correlation between the number of Storks in Sweden in a given year and the number of babies born)- it may be that porn has gone up and rape down at the same rate but I would have thought that outside factors like the internet in one case and increased publicity in the other were responsible rather than them being linked.

Its always worth being sceptical about documents, like this one whose argument is shady, but to argue from that that all documents must be suspected is like arguing that some people lie therefore all of the people all of the time are lieing. Its faulty logic.

 

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