Letters to the Editor
I was intrigued to read the successive claims made by John Ward in “The Wages of Sin and Ignorance.” The only claim which might have a factual basis is the one about the legalization of ‘porn’ by Scandinavian countries and how, as a consequence, “all sexual crimes … dropped by close to 90%”, a feel-good claim which is commonly used in casual conversation on the topic. It generally passes without skepticism or fact-checking. Yet the entire article rests on that claim alone.
Here are the facts as 30 minutes of searching revealed:
1. “Indeed, according to a study published in 2003, and other later studies through 2009, Sweden has the highest sexual-assault rate in Europe, and among the lowest conviction rates.”
2. “Sweden has the highest rate of rape in Europe, with the UN reporting 69 rape cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011.” Naomi Wolf Project Syndicate. https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf
3. “A new EU review of violence against women has revealed that one in three European women has been assaulted, and one in twenty has been raped, with the Scandinavian countries at the top of the league tables.” http://www.thelocal.se/20140305/sweden-out-top-in-eu-domestic-violence-league
4. In 2010, Amnesty reported: “In Sweden, according to official crime statistics, the number of reported rapes has quadrupled during the past 20 years.”
5. In 2010, Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences – about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants – of any force in Europe. That was the second highest in the world after Lesotho.
Credit is due to Mr. Ward for not (as is fashionable) blaming Islam explicitly for his woes. In fact many of the statistics I found concerning Scandinavian countries predate the influx of immigrants and refugees. The vectors of increasing violence are fairly constant since the 1960s.
What they overwhelmingly do not show is a decrease when ‘porn’ was legalized. The only exception to this rule is child ‘porn’, the legalization of which usually shows an unambiguous decline in that form of sexual crime. But as all ‘porn’ has varying degrees of criminality attached to it, and Child Pornography more so, no state could purvey or tolerate that. Mr. Ward’s belief that legalizing ‘porn’ would stop “predatory activity” contradicts all the evidence, especially as ‘porn’ has long been de jure or de facto legalized globally… even in Australia.
“. . . As the constraints on the availability of pornography were lifted . . . the rates of rape in those countries increased. For example, in two Australian states between 1964 and 1977, when South Australia liberalized its laws on pornography and Queensland maintained its conservative policy . . . over the thirteen-year period, the number of rapes in Queensland remained at the same low level while South Australia’s showed a “six-fold increase.” https://www.netnanny.com/blog/the-denmark-experiment-failed-porn-affects-behavior
The internet has weaponized ‘porn,’ making it readily accessible to anyone with a computer, local laws notwithstanding. The chief global use of the internet is to access ‘porn’, as study after study has shown. Today 30% of all internet download time (globally) is for ‘porn.’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/03/internet-porn-stats_n_3187682.html
Is more ‘porn’ the answer to anything? Being a multi-billion dollar Industry, with estimates ranging from 4-14 billion annually, one would think that the Porn Industry would not be in need of any more champions.