PDA

View Full Version : 85% decline in rape cases... due to porn?


jAZ
07-14-2006, 12:51 AM
http://www.startribune.com/562/story/548578.html

Last update: July 12, 2006 5:53 PM

Steve Chapman: What's going on with the drastic U.S. decline in rape?

Growing prison populations or legalized abortion can't explain it all. Maybe it's the growth of porn.

Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune

Predators on the Internet, priests molesting children, Duke lacrosse players accused of rape -- judging from the news or TV crime dramas, sexual assault appears to be an endless national epidemic. So powerful is this impression that when evidence emerges to suggest otherwise, Americans may have trouble believing their eyes. But the truth about the incidence of rape and other sex crimes is no mirage: It has declined drastically and is still dropping.

The Washington Post recently reported that since the 1970s, rape has diminished in frequency by some 85 percent. If a major newspaper revealed that rape had increased by 85 percent in the past generation, commentators and politicians would be decrying the fact, pointing fingers and demanding remedies. But this phenomenal success story vanished without a trace -- possibly it sounded too good to be true, and perhaps because some people see little to gain from acknowledging the truth.

There is no doubt, though, about the fundamental facts. We tend to discount statistics about rape because many victims don't go to the police. But the best evidence comes from the Justice Department's annual crime victimization survey -- which compiles numbers based on interviews with some 75,000 Americans, rather than from police reports. The survey found that in 1979, the rate of rape was 2.8 per 1,000 people over age 11. In 2004, it was 0.4.

Some experts say that because the survey was redesigned in the early 1990s, the most reliable data comes from 1993 and after. Even here, though, the trend is the same, with a drop of 75 percent. That translates into hundreds of thousands of rapes that didn't happen.

The change is part of an overall drop in violent crime, which peaked in 1994. But the progress against sexual assaults has been much larger -- and while the FBI says murder, robbery and aggravated assault jumped last year, rape kept falling. Sexual abuse of children, a plague in the 1980s, has also gotten much less common, with a decline of 47 percent since 1990.

What's going on? In the last decade and a half, the nation's prison population has doubled, taking many sex offenders out of circulation. The number of people imprisoned for sexually abusing children tripled between 1986 and 1997. According to David Finkelhor and Lisa Jones of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, "High-frequency offenders are more likely to get incarcerated, so potentially small increases in incarceration of high-volume offenders can have large effects on the overall offense rate."

But imprisonment alone can't explain what's happened. As criminologist Franklin Zimring of the University of California at Berkeley notes, Canada has also seen crime recede -- even though its prison population has shrunk. DNA databases have made it easier to catch rapists, but the trend emerged long before they assumed a major role in solving sex crimes.

The "Freakonomics" explanation -- that legal abortion reduced crime by lowering the number of unwanted children, who are more prone to trouble -- also falls short. The decline in rape, after all, began only seven years after Roe vs. Wade, and 7-year-olds rarely commit sexual assault. Finkelhor and Jones also note that under the hypothesis proposed by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt, there should have been a decline in child abuse long before the 1990s, since parents should be less likely to harm children they wanted.

One theory about the causes of rape, however, has been thoroughly demolished. Among religious conservatives and left-wing feminists, it's an article of faith that pornography leads inexorably to sexual abuse of women and children. But while hard-core raunch has proliferated, sexual assaults have not. Could it be that pornography prevents rape?

In fact, our changing attitudes about erotica are part of a generally more open and honest approach to matters involving sex. And one vital product of that openness has been a willingness to confront questions that were often avoided in the past. Today, kids grow up being taught that "no means no," rapists can't be excused because their victims were dressed provocatively, and adults are never allowed to touch children in certain ways.

Those themes have hardly eradicated this scourge, but they have worked to discourage predators and embolden potential victims. Maybe the main lesson from the decline of sexual assault is an old one: Knowledge is power.

Steve Chapman's column is distributed by Creators Syndicate.

Mr. Flopnuts
07-14-2006, 12:54 AM
Wouldn't that be the preverbial "shot in the eye"

Moooo
07-14-2006, 12:56 AM
I totally believe this. I think things like pornography and legalized prostitution help people cople with sexual issues they would take out on other people under a restricting environment.

For example, if a 40-year guy can find a prostitute that looks 12 or porn of the same nature, he will be able to supress his desire to take advantage of an innocent young girl. I know that sounds strange, but I believe it.

Moooo

tk13
07-14-2006, 01:10 AM
I think that's a bunch of crap. I'd really question the accuracy of those statistics and reports.

jAZ
07-14-2006, 01:10 AM
I know that sounds strange, but I believe it.
I don't think it sounds strange at all. It makes a great deal of sense. Almost too much sense to ever be reflected in our legal system.

Guru
07-14-2006, 01:11 AM
I don't think it sounds strange at all. It makes a great deal of sense. Almost too much sense to ever be reflected in our legal system.


Wait, you used legal system and sense in the same sentence. :shake:

Miles
07-14-2006, 01:14 AM
Wait, you used legal system and sense in the same sentence. :shake:

Most of it has a good deal of logic behind it.

Mr. Flopnuts
07-14-2006, 01:14 AM
I think that's a bunch of crap. I'd really question the accuracy of those statistics and reports.


Only because you can't wrap your mind around it. I'm sure there are a bunch of guys out there that either, A. Can't talk to girls. B. Girls won't talk to them. or C. Are afraid to get freaky the way they really want too. It makes sense that jerkin it to the fetish sites satisfies a thirst in them that they would otherwise be unable to quench.

tk13
07-14-2006, 01:18 AM
Only because you can't wrap your mind around it. I'm sure there are a bunch of guys out there that either, A. Can't talk to girls. B. Girls won't talk to them. or C. Are afraid to get freaky the way they really want too. It makes sense that jerkin it to the fetish sites satisfies a thirst in them that they would otherwise be unable to quench.
Totally disagree.

It might make some sense logically, but that's the problem. People do not think logically at all when it comes to sex. Regardless of sexual orientation. People foresake all common sense in order to "get some". Trying to make sense of it would be a mistake. Because eventually you try to push the boundries and create more excitement. Most people don't have that kind of self-control.

Mr. Flopnuts
07-14-2006, 01:21 AM
Totally disagree.

It might make some sense logically, but that's the problem. People do not think logically at all when it comes to sex. Regardless of sexual orientation. People foresake all common sense in order to "get some". Trying to make sense of it would be a mistake. Because eventually you try to push the boundries and create more excitement.


Typically that is what they say. However who says it? Experts? Unless someone has committed one of these crimes, they are not an expert. I don't know, I can see the logistics of it. I can also see where you're coming from. Bottom line, I think we can both agree that we hope these stats are true no matter what the cause is.

Count Zarth
07-14-2006, 01:22 AM
Only because you can't wrap your mind around it. I'm sure there are a bunch of guys out there that either, A. Can't talk to girls. B. Girls won't talk to them. or C. Are afraid to get freaky the way they really want too. It makes sense that jerkin it to the fetish sites satisfies a thirst in them that they would otherwise be unable to quench.

SAY MY NAME, BITCH, SAY MY NAME!

Mr. Flopnuts
07-14-2006, 01:24 AM
SAY MY NAME, BITCH, SAY MY NAME!



ROFL I just puked in my mouth because I got a mental image

tk13
07-14-2006, 01:28 AM
Typically that is what they say. However who says it? Experts? Unless someone has committed one of these crimes, they are not an expert. I don't know, I can see the logistics of it. I can also see where you're coming from. Bottom line, I think we can both agree that we hope these stats are true no matter what the cause is.
Just watch Dateline for 5 minutes. They can go and set up a sting operation in any city in America, and within a couple days they'll not only have members of the community ranging from teachers to rabbis to military personnel talking to underage "kids" on the internet, but pushing the boundries coming over to a house intending to have sex. It's really quite alarming. I don't know, maybe there are less "predators", but the internet has given those predators more power than ever before.

And I really question those rape numbers. I know way too many girls that have been raped that were too afraid to speak up. It's pretty bad.

Guru
07-14-2006, 01:32 AM
ROFL I just puked in my mouth because I got a mental image
http://smiley.onegreatguy.net/puke2.gif

CoMoChief
07-14-2006, 02:25 AM
Okay, first of all, it is SOOOO wrong for men to rape girls. So wrong in fact that i think that they should be burned to the stake. But their is a different side to it as well.

If girls go out to bars in a mini skirt and a open back shirt or something like that, that shows a lot of skin, then I dont think a girl has a story if some guy tries to hit on her. There is a point where the guy should stop when she says NO, but when the girl wears appealing clothes to strictly attract men shes putting herself in a position to be violated. No guy here can tell me that a girl at a bar wearing an open back blouse with low rider jeans that are cut off isnt looking for attention.

Rape is wrong..................VERY wrong, roofie or needles or whatever it may be done by. But I think alot of rape cases could be reduced if women wouldnt be percieved as sluts or etc. Guys can detect that instantly. I'm not saying that it is okay for slutty girls to be raped etc, but I will say that alot of them put themselves in the position.

Another words, let me put this in an anology.....

You don't argue with a street bum on the el train in Chicago late at night when he as a gun pointed to your head telling you to give up your money.

Jesus Christ Im wasted right now and I know Im gonna get reamed for this and at this moment I really dont care and I will be back to my same self tomorrow after my REDICULOUS hangover.

Demonpenz
07-14-2006, 02:30 AM
thank you duke lacross

Amnorix
07-14-2006, 05:44 AM
I think that's a bunch of crap. I'd really question the accuracy of those statistics and reports.


The FBI's Uniform Crime Report? err...ok.

Amnorix
07-14-2006, 05:48 AM
Probably the more permissive sexual environment has helped too.

To Tk13 -- everything is relative. Reporting rape has never been *easier* than ti is now. Not that it is easy. NOT for a second do I suggest that it's not in many ways very, very difficult.

But compare it to 40 years ago...

Cochise
07-14-2006, 06:22 AM
And I really question those rape numbers. I know way too many girls that have been raped that were too afraid to speak up. It's pretty bad.

Ditto

jidar
07-14-2006, 07:30 AM
Every actual statistic about any crime for the past 20 years has shown an improvement. Americans are better off now than we've ever been. Less threats, more jobs, plenty of food and entertainment.

BUT OH MY ****ING GOD WE'VE GOT A CULTURE OF FEAR HERE THAT KEEPS US HIDDEN IN OUR HOMES SHAKING OUR FISTS AT THE WORLD!@#!! FOX NEWS INFORMED ME THAT WE'RE ALL GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET AND AMERICAN SOCIETY IS DOOMED, SAVE US ALMIGHTY JESUS CHRIST FROM THE BROWN PEOPLE!!!!!!

lol.

It's not the good old days folks, it's more like the bad old days. Life for an american is absolutely unprecendented right now, and if you can't be happy now you pretty much would never be happy at any time or place in human history. Stop being whiney bitches.

jidar
07-14-2006, 07:32 AM
Ditto

anecdotal evidence. lololol
genious

chagrin
07-14-2006, 07:42 AM
Every actual statistic about any crime for the past 20 years has shown an improvement. Americans are better off now than we've ever been. Less threats, more jobs, plenty of food and entertainment.


The thing you have to remember is city by city statistics, Rape isn't going down everywhere, in some cities the number of reported cases is mainting or rising.

But I am not disagreeing with you about the lifestyle.

Mr. Flopnuts
07-14-2006, 07:43 AM
Every actual statistic about any crime for the past 20 years has shown an improvement. Americans are better off now than we've ever been. Less threats, more jobs, plenty of food and entertainment.

BUT OH MY ****ING GOD WE'VE GOT A CULTURE OF FEAR HERE THAT KEEPS US HIDDEN IN OUR HOMES SHAKING OUR FISTS AT THE WORLD!@#!! FOX NEWS INFORMED ME THAT WE'RE ALL GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET AND AMERICAN SOCIETY IS DOOMED, SAVE US ALMIGHTY JESUS CHRIST FROM THE BROWN PEOPLE!!!!!!

lol.

It's not the good old days folks, it's more like the bad old days. Life for an american is absolutely unprecendented right now, and if you can't be happy now you pretty much would never be happy at any time or place in human history. Stop being whiney bitches.


This is a great post. Rep.

Rain Man
07-14-2006, 08:13 AM
One big reason is that the bulge of the baby boom is no longer in their 20s. In 1979, the peak of the baby boom was in the prime rape-committing ages of 20 through 24. Today, there are about 25% fewer men in that age group.

StcChief
07-14-2006, 08:20 AM
One big reason is that the bulge of the baby boom is no longer in their 20s. In 1979, the peak of the baby boom was in the prime rape-committing ages of 20 through 24. Today, there are about 25% fewer men in that age group.
Yep.

Again Stats included/excluded to shape view of article.

Frazod
07-14-2006, 08:40 AM
Just watch Dateline for 5 minutes. They can go and set up a sting operation in any city in America, and within a couple days they'll not only have members of the community ranging from teachers to rabbis to military personnel talking to underage "kids" on the internet, but pushing the boundries coming over to a house intending to have sex. It's really quite alarming. I don't know, maybe there are less "predators", but the internet has given those predators more power than ever before.

And I really question those rape numbers. I know way too many girls that have been raped that were too afraid to speak up. It's pretty bad.
Keep in mind, the media carpetbombs us with tales of rape and debauchery. Fear sells, and sex sells, and the fear of sex involving kids really sells.

You see a commercial about this for Dateline. You watch Dateline, and you watch Dateline's commercials. Dateline goes out of its way to scare the shit of you so you'll watch Dateline's next scary story next week, complete with commercials. Same thing with the local news. Plugs for the news scream YOUR CHILD IS IN MORTAL DANGER! TUNE IN AT 10:00! And at 10:29, they run a story about some kid in Idaho choking on a button that may or may not be sold at your local Kmart.

Just because there's a pervert on every news show doesn't mean that there's one on every street corner. But you're supposed to afraid that's there's one on every street corner. Brought to you by Allstate.

Cochise
07-14-2006, 08:55 AM
anecdotal evidence. lololol
genious

Thanks jarjar. You know, there's nothing so persuasive as a clearly stated and well-reasoned, critical argument. Your and idiot.

But anyways, I agree with tk in that I don't think rape 'statistics' are much to put stock in because how many of them are reported? Only a percentage. And on the other side, there are a lot of false rape claims that do end up being reported. So how can anyone say with certainty how many rapes occur in a single year?

In my opinion, comparing a suspect statistic from year to year is not meaningful. You can't assume it's suspect in all the same ways in every iteration of the surveying process.

Brock
07-14-2006, 08:58 AM
And I really question those rape numbers. I know way too many girls that have been raped that were too afraid to speak up. It's pretty bad.


Do you know any who lied about being raped?

Rain Man
07-14-2006, 09:00 AM
Even if the absolute numbers aren't right, the trends will be accurate, though, assuming that the proportion of rapes that are reported don't change.

jAZ
07-14-2006, 09:04 AM
Even if the absolute numbers aren't right, the trends will be accurate, though, assuming that the proportion of rapes that are reported don't change.
Rain Man, is there a method/technique for surveying the number of unreported rape cases and determining if it is trending up or down?

To Amnorix's point, it *seems* easier to report today and therefore it would seem that it could be even greater than 75-85% improvement (if it was under-reported early on).

jAZ
07-14-2006, 09:06 AM
Rain Man, is there a method/technique for surveying the number of unreported rape cases and determining if it is trending up or down?
Would it be as simple as surveying a general population about having been raped and whether it was reported ... then and now?

Rain Man
07-14-2006, 09:14 AM
Rain Man, is there a method/technique for surveying the number of unreported rape cases and determining if it is trending up or down?

To Amnorix's point, it *seems* easier to report today and therefore it would seem that it could be even greater than 75-85% improvement (if it was under-reported early on).


You could possibly do an anonymous survey and ask if they were ever raped, when it happened, and if they reported it. The numbers would still be skewed, but you could at least look at the patterns and possibly assume that the trends would hold. The numbers would get criticized a lot, but you wouldn't be looking at the raw numbers so much.

Another possibility would be to look at caseloads for "alternative care providers, such as Planned Parenthood or something. Pretty iffy, though, but maybe you could cobble together an analysis of services people get if they don't report it. You'd have to know more about that process than I do, though.

DaFace
07-14-2006, 09:21 AM
But anyways, I agree with tk in that I don't think rape 'statistics' are much to put stock in because how many of them are reported? Only a percentage. And on the other side, there are a lot of false rape claims that do end up being reported. So how can anyone say with certainty how many rapes occur in a single year?

Note, though, that the statistics are not drawn from reported instances. It's an actually survey that specifically asks people whether or not it has happened to them. Although many may still not speak up, I think someone would be more willing to check a box that says "yes" on a survey than they would be willing to go into a police station to report it.


One big reason is that the bulge of the baby boom is no longer in their 20s. In 1979, the peak of the baby boom was in the prime rape-committing ages of 20 through 24. Today, there are about 25% fewer men in that age group.

That doesn't explain the 75% decrease from 1993 to today, though.

StcChief
07-14-2006, 09:24 AM
You could possibly do an anonymous survey and ask if they were ever raped, when it happened, and if they reported it. The numbers would still be skewed, but you could at least look at the patterns and possibly assume that the trends would hold. The numbers would get criticized a lot, but you wouldn't be looking at the raw numbers so much.

Another possibility would be to look at caseloads for "alternative care providers, such as Planned Parenthood or something. Pretty iffy, though, but maybe you could cobble together an analysis of services people get if they don't report it. You'd have to know more about that process than I do, though.

Getting data from PP could be real Iffy (especially accurate unbiased data).

Data mining and looking at patterns of unreported or inaccurate data..
crap shoot to draw conclusions

jAZ
07-14-2006, 09:34 AM
Of course, acts like this are on the rise as a result...

(video on right)
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/9512966/detail.html

Cochise
07-14-2006, 09:37 AM
Note, though, that the statistics are not drawn from reported instances. It's an actually survey that specifically asks people whether or not it has happened to them. Although many may still not speak up, I think someone would be more willing to check a box that says "yes" on a survey than they would be willing to go into a police station to report it.


Yeah, I realize all these things, but I'm not ready to declare porn the solution to violent crime.

I mean, if this logic holds true, why does anyone have sex with anyone anymore, be it rape or consentual, when they could just be at home whacking off?

You don't have to spend money on the internet. You don't have to buy the internet birthday presents. The internet never says no. So why does anyone have actual sex anymore when there's porn?

DaFace
07-14-2006, 09:59 AM
Yeah, I realize all these things, but I'm not ready to declare porn the solution to violent crime.

I mean, if this logic holds true, why does anyone have sex with anyone anymore, be it rape or consentual, when they could just be at home whacking off?

You don't have to spend money on the internet. You don't have to buy the internet birthday presents. The internet never says no. So why does anyone have actual sex anymore when there's porn?

Eh, I wouldn't go so far as the article did in proposing that porn is the savior of our generation. If there actually a relationship between porn viewing and rape cases, it would be an indirect one. I'd guess that the true cause is more of a cultural shift in terms of sexual openness, rather than specifically because of porn. When people are more willing to discuss problems, it's more likely the problems will be at least partially solved.

I agree with you, though, that pumping free porn channels into every home would probably not cause any decrease in violent crime.

BIG_DADDY
07-14-2006, 10:11 AM
When it comes to sex practicing abstinence is just lame. All one has to do is look at all the problems the Catholics have had to fully understand it. Giving and receiving love or at the very least getting off is completely necessary part of being human and our single biggest driving force. Taking it one step further that's the reason why prostitution should be legalized IMO.

This reminds me of when that man hater Denise said she was against prostitution being legalized. She didn't think losers should be able to have sex. Never mind the fact that they will probably just try and take it then and many innocent women will be raped. Never mind the fact that she previously said a womans body is their own and the goverment shouldn't have any say as to what they do with it when posting about abortion. I guess as long as it fits into your man hating liefstyle go with it.

Inspector
07-14-2006, 10:20 AM
I've heard that rape is more related to violence than any sexual need.

Wonder if that's true?

jidar
07-14-2006, 10:24 AM
I don't call it rape, I call it surprise sex.

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze20khl/GomerSurprise.jpg

BIG_DADDY
07-14-2006, 10:36 AM
I've heard that rape is more related to violence than any sexual need.

Wonder if that's true?


Violence incited from a bad case of blue balls by a guy with no game who is tired of being told to take a hike.

There are always going to be people totally wacked but legalizing prostitution would take care of a lot of guys out there like goatcheese.

ENDelt260
07-14-2006, 12:51 PM
I know way too many girls that have been raped that were too afraid to speak up.

How the hell do you come in contact with so many rape victims?

fan4ever
07-14-2006, 01:10 PM
[QUOTE=jidar]I don't call it rape, I call it surprise sex.

Sometimes I'm ashamed at the posts that make me laugh.

Mr. Flopnuts
07-14-2006, 01:13 PM
It's true.


http://youtube.com/watch?search=animated+internet+is+for+porn&v=F_S0VdQzuPc

tk13
07-14-2006, 01:14 PM
Keep in mind, the media carpetbombs us with tales of rape and debauchery. Fear sells, and sex sells, and the fear of sex involving kids really sells.

You see a commercial about this for Dateline. You watch Dateline, and you watch Dateline's commercials. Dateline goes out of its way to scare the shit of you so you'll watch Dateline's next scary story next week, complete with commercials. Same thing with the local news. Plugs for the news scream YOUR CHILD IS IN MORTAL DANGER! TUNE IN AT 10:00! And at 10:29, they run a story about some kid in Idaho choking on a button that may or may not be sold at your local Kmart.

Just because there's a pervert on every news show doesn't mean that there's one on every street corner. But you're supposed to afraid that's there's one on every street corner. Brought to you by Allstate.
No, I'm talking about that predator series they've been doing. You obviously haven't watched it. They set up a sting operation in a city and start going into chat rooms talking to guys online from the area posing as 12-14 year olds. They have a "house" and they usually chat with the guy long enough to convince him to come to that house. They have the whole house bugged with cameras and microphones. The guy usually comes in, the Dateline reporter surprises him and tells him to sit down. They chat for a while, the guy feels sorry, blah blah blah, "first time I've ever done this", the reporter reveals he's from Dateline. Usually the guy walks out, police are hiding in the bushes, arrest him and take him to jail. They set up for a couple days and end up arresting 25-30 people. They've done this several times. I know how the media works. But unless they're just hiring actors to fake this, and making up fake pictures of them at a school or in the military or on their myspace or whatever to show where these people come from, they are legitimately finding these people.

And I know it's hard to believe, I'm not a pimp like Zach or anything, I don't have a zillion girl friends, but I do know some who have been raped. And if asked about it in a study like that, they would say no. Maybe I'm in the minority. The girls I do know trust me enough to tell me things like this. I could be in the minority, but I can only speak from my experiences. You all can make fun of me, but it is what it is. I don't know what else to tell you. We all usually base our beliefs off of our experiences.

My real point though was usually people don't think when it comes to sex. You always want to push the boundry, try something more exciting. Most people aren't content just having a fantasy, they want to live it out.

DaFace
07-14-2006, 01:15 PM
It's true.


http://youtube.com/watch?search=animated+internet+is+for+porn&v=F_S0VdQzuPc

Heh...weird. That song's from a Broadway musical called Avenue Q. The anime creeped me out a bit.

DaFace
07-14-2006, 01:18 PM
No, I'm talking about that predator series they've been doing...

I haven't seen the series, but I'm curious how much baiting goes on here. Are they just playfully chatting like a 12 year old would, or are they actively trying to pursuade the other person? Not that the latter makes them giving in any better, but it would skew the actual danger factor a bit.

fan4ever
07-14-2006, 01:19 PM
Would everyone agree that rape was less prevelant in the 50's, say than in the 90's? If that's the case, the availability of pornography has increased since then, and so has the occurance of rape, so therefore you wouldn't think rape would be on the increase for all this time; just the opposite. Pornography has been very available for decades now and going out and getting a porno magazine would have to be much more convenient than waiting in a dark parking lot for 3 hours and risk jail time and being big Bubba's bitch. If porno decreased rape, wouldn't it have to had a big effect all along? Personally, I just don't buy it.

DaFace
07-14-2006, 01:58 PM
Here's a decent blog entry that discusses some of the issues we've been talking about in this thread:

The number of rapes per capita in the United States has plunged by more than 85 percent since the 1970s, and reported rape fell last year even while other violent offenses increased, according to federal crime data.

This seemingly stunning reduction in sexual violence has been so consistent over the past two decades that some experts say they have started to believe it is accurate, even if they cannot fully explain why it is occurring.


I'm pretty familiar with the data collection methods used to measure this. The decline is real, and here's why...


Rape is one of the most un-reported crimes. Victims are far more likely to report a theft, and hospitals are required to report injuries that might be the result of an assault. So we have a pretty accurate count on how many cars have been taken and how many people have been shot, but a less accurate count of how many sexual assaults have happened. Women are most likely to be raped by people they know, rape has a huge stigma attached to it, and proving rape has often been difficult.

But things have changed for the better.

DNA identification technology has gotten much better. Proving guilt in a courtroom has become much easier.

Once convicted, they face increasingly harsh sentences. In the 1950's it was not uncommon for rapists to get short prison sentences, and often just probation. No longer - numerous states have seriously considered chemical castration and the death penalty for rapists. At a minimum you will net you at least 25 years in prison, until you're too old to be much of a threat.

In addition, under new laws if a woman is drunk or otherwise impaired and then claims that it was rape, even after the fact, then its rape. This makes an entire category of "fraternity rapes" or other alcohol induced sexual assaults much easier to prosecute and somewhat less frequent, even though its obviously still a big problem.

There is also a hidden demographic side to this story as well. The baby boom is getting much older. So the proportion of our population that is 16-30 and male (the most "crime prone" sub-group) is in steep decline. Older men commit crimes with far less frequency, so all crime has been declining. This is especially true for rape, which clearly has a biological component as part of the problem.

On the numbers side, and this is a little convoluted, so bear with me: Current rape statistics are underreported. But they have ALWAYS BEEN underreported. So even if the true numbers are much higher, the old numbers should have been much higher as well, so the decline is statistically significant and real, even if the raw numbers aren't. Unless for some reason rape has become further underreported in the last 30 years, and there's no evidence of that. If anything, current measurement techniques are much better then 30 years ago.

And finally, though this is by far the hardest thing to prove, I think there has been a cultural change as well. Women are more empowered then they were thirty years ago. There have been massive, somewhat successful "no means no" campaigns. And I think most men have changed as well. Once, it was thought that if a woman was raped, "she was asking for it" somehow. Now virtually everyone rejects that argument, and rape is widely considered one of the most heinous crimes anyone can commit, as it should be.

So, some good news for a change. I had forgotten what it was like.

In reality, there are bound to be MANY factors that have contributed to the decline in rape rates in the U.S. I doubt we'll ever have reliable enough data to determine whether or not porno had a significant affect.

Rain Man
07-14-2006, 06:27 PM
So, to summarize so far, we have the following:


Factors that would increase the incidence OR the reporting of rape now, compared to 1979:

1. More pornography = more unbridled lust
2. More sexualized society = more unbridled lust
3. More opportunity with more women in the workforce and other areas where interaction can occur
4. Less stigma with rape, more social support to report it
5. Better evidence (DNA) that is more likely to lead to convictions, therefore more likely to see justice served.
6. The cornrow hairstyle is no longer fashionable, which makes women now more attractive.
7. The Oakland Raiders roster has increased from 45 to 53 in that time frame.

Factors that would decrease the incidence OR the reporting of rape now, compared to 1979:

1. More pornography = more alternative outlets (heh-heh, alternative outlets)
2. Demographic shifts = fewer men and women in prime rape years to bring down raw numbers
3. Demographic shifts = much lower overall proportions of men and women in prime rape years to bring down rates.
4. Better evidence (DNA) = much more risky to commit rape
5. More women now with tattoos and/or piercings = fewer attractive women who don't look like sailors or freaks
6. More casual sex occurring in society today? It's easier to get?
7. Roofies = the rapes are still occurring, but women don't remember them.

In looking at these reasons, I think that Factor 4 above on the decrease side overpowers everything else. 25 years ago, a man could rape a woman and she first had to prove that he was the one who had sex with her, and then it moved on to the he said/she said phase. Now, there's 99.9999999% proof that an act occurred, so he's already on trial as soon as she calls the police. I think it's so much more risky today to commit a rape that the actual incidence is plummeting.