Oct 20, 2011
joined My Stranger Face
Oct 20, 2011
commented on Savage Love Episode 261
Love your podcast. However, I was a little upset about your discussion of the findings from the study examining pornography and rates of rape and sexual assault (from the Scientific American, July Issue). You stated the scientist's findings that an increase in pornography use (or the presence of internet access in the second study) was seen to occur at the same time that rates of rape dropped. The way that you read the article made it seem as if you were implying there was a "cause and effect" relationship between pornography consumption and the decrease in rates of rape. You conveniently stopped reading directly from the article right before the sentence that said "It is important to note that these associations are just that—associations. They do not prove that pornography is the cause of the observed crime reductions." There could be many other confounding factors that are influencing both the access to pornography and drop in rapes and sexual assault.
Considering that the general public in the US, sadly, has a relatively low-level of scientific literary, and thus may not understand the difference between causation and correlation, I would have liked for you to have at least acknowledged the fact that there is still some uncertainty surrounding the issue. Maybe this is just a science pet peeve of mine - but usually you seem to examine topics skeptically and critically; hence my disappointment.
Otherwise, the podcast this week was great and I thoroughly enjoyed listening.