Friday, September 25, 2015

The economist reviews the literature on the effects of pornography

As usual, the economist does a nice job of avoiding the hype.

My favorite line in the article is:
The most common effect of a porn habit, says Geoffrey Miller, a psychologist at the University of New Mexico, is a tendency to watch a bit less television.
The remarks on research funding and methodology are also useful.

1 comment:

Dan said...

A quick skim of the Economist review suggests that the direct evidence on the impact of porn on bad things is missing/inconclusive, or nonexistent.

One paper missing from their review is the excellent “Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime?", Bhuller, Havnes, Leuven, and Mogstad (2013 ReStud). The identification relies on variation in the timing of high-speed internet roll out in Norway. Sex crime reports, charges, and convictions go up as areas gain access to high-speed internet, and the authors argue that this reflects more crime rather than more reporting, since reports of other kinds of crime don't go up. The paper provides convincing evidence (to me at least) that high speed internet access increases sex crimes.

Here's a link to download the paper: