The Washington Post posted an op-ed about a week ago with the title Is porn immoral? That doesn’t matter: It’s a public health crisis. The author is listed as follows: Gail Dines is a professor of sociology at Wheelock College in Boston and author of “Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality.” To not put too fine a point on it sociologists are generally full of shit. Sometimes they are correct. Oftentimes they are wrong. But they are always full of shit. The “reproducibility crisis” means we need to look at a lot of science with a skeptical eye, from the sexy findings of social psychology, to the medical studies which clinicians rely upon. Out of all these scholarly endeavors sociology may be the most insulated from concerns of reproducibility since it is such a brazen prostitute of a discipline, beholden to political considerations Über Alles.
Dines uses the words “association” and “correlation” several times. Here is the only reference to cause in the piece: “Pornography can cause lifelong problems if young people are not taught to distinguish between exploitative porn sex and healthy, safe sex.” They rest on associations and correlations.
If you’ve read Jim Manzi’s Uncontrolled you know that you need to be very wary of modest correlations in social science. I would not be surprised if Brazilian fart porn was associated with sexually deviant behavior. But my own supposition is that it is more likely that Brazilian fart porn is an indicator of serious underlying problems, rather than the cause of those problems.
But, we do have a massive social experiment going on today in relation to the impact of porn on society. Starting around 1995, and at various points of initialization over the next ten years in various locales, the internet became ubiquitous enough in the developed world that the tight constraint on “supply” of porn was removed, so that it met “demand.” This is pushing porn in more perverse and kinky directions. It also means youth over the past generation have had incredibly easy access to very hardcore pornography.
As you can see above in the early 1990s the FBI began receiving fewer reports of rape, concomitant with the decline in violent crime generally. The decline in rape has continued through the age of porn. I doubt there is a causal relationship. But it goes to show that there is no macrosocial evidence that porn results in increased rapes in the aggregate.
I was pretty skeptical that this paper in Progress in Human Geography, Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research, was real. But at Reason Robby Soave confirms that this isn’t a hoax (e.g., apparently the research was founded through an NSF grant). The University of Oregon even put out a press release:
“The root of this paradigm comes from the era of Victorian Imperialism in which manly vigor and scientific discovery provided the dominant way of both understanding and dominating foreign spaces,” Rushing said. “This results in a total lack of consideration of alternative ways of understanding glacial ice, which is especially troubling in the current age of rapid melt.”
“We do a lot of modeling and study satellite images, but what if we look at literature, at art, at drawings and recordings of glaciers?” Carey said. “We need to be looking at the cultural lenses on how people describe and talk about their landscape.”
So I guess you need to be a more successful actor to get full teeth work done? Also, in most cases Key of Awesome actors are better looking than who they are parodying (see the Ke$ha and Rihanna). Not in this case.
Apropos of the discussion below, Classic SNL Clip Of The Day: Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. Probably one of the best arguments against resurrecting Neandertals.
Keep watching until the end, that’s the funniest part….
Here are the original lyrics. The military context is obvious.