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)


6 Responses to “Beyer clutches at straws”

  1. Mark says:

    It is silly that he uses this report to call for a general plan – but actually, note that many if not most of the studies cited by the report focus on pornography in general, rather than specifically “extreme” pornography. That was just one of many flaws in the report.

    The report has been condemned by over 40 academics: http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/acad_statement.html : “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.”

  2. Dan Factor says:

    Fanny Hill, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl and Californication pornographic???

    Lol! Beyer really is an illinformed silly little man!

    Of course it’s unsurprising he classes mainstream TV shows as porn when he casts his net over what he considres as porn as wide as possible…ie anything with the a whiff of sex about it!

  3. S Robertson says:

    Mr Beyer has his sights set very high and has his thumb on the pulse of public opinion. He wants to collect a million signatures for his online petition by 10th Jan. So far he has 1551 which means he only needs a little over 14,000 per day to reach his target. Good luck Mr Beyer!

  4. marc says:

    He’s done well to get 1551 if you ask me.

  5. Dan Factor says:

    Beyer is deluding himself if he believes the entire British public want all sexual entertainment banned.

  6. Chris Hall says:

    OK, childish as this is, I now have a very simple web scrape program that pulls the number of signatories from the meta data in the header of the petition of the webpage, now all I need is a few more data points and I’ll publish a daily graph showing how well he’s doing.

    Looking at Marc’s post from this morning the count has gone up by 45 in a little over 13 hours, I may have to use a logarithmic scale :-)