Beyer clutches at straws
The anti-smut campaigner “Massah” John Beyer has leapt on a new report by the Ministry of Justice entitled “The evidence of harm to adults relating to exposure to extreme pornography”. He saw it as an excuse to grind his Axe of Prudery and call on the Government to revoke all licences to pornographic TV channels.
But what is the report actually about, and what are its conclusions?
It is an rapid evidence assessment of the effects of “extreme pornographic material” which it defines as
actual scenes or realistic depictions of: explicit intercourse or oral sex with an animal, explicit sexual interference with a human corpse, explicit serious violence in a sexual context and explicit serious sexual violence
None of which, of course, are actually shown by the government licenced pornography channels which Beyer is railing against.
The report concluded that there existed “some harmful effects from extreme pornography on some who access it”, in particular “men who are predisposed to aggression”.
It is upon this evidence that the Sage of Ashford makes his demands to Ofcom:
In line with other recent warnings over swearing and violence before the watershed, it would be consistent if Ofcom issued a warning over harmful pornographic content, such as Fanny Hill on BBC4, The Secret Diary of a Call Girl on ITV2 and Californication on Five.
Shameless. Utterly shameless.
UPDATE: (4.50 pm) The report itself has been heavily criticised by over 40 academics
The evidence presented in the Rapid Evidence Assessment is extremely poor, based on contested findings and accumulated results. It is one-sided and simply ignores the considerable research tradition into “extreme” (be they violent or sexually explicit) materials within the UK’s Humanities and Social Sciences.
(Thanks to Mark in the comments)