26 Law & Soc'y Rev. 447 (1992)
The Politics of Pornography Research

handle is hein.journals/lwsocrw26 and id is 457 raw text is: Comment
'The Politics of Pornography Research
Ber Kutchinsky
I n his review essay on three recent books on pornography,
harms, and politics in Law & Society Review, Steven Childress
(1991) has transmitted false information about my criminologi-
cal research on pornography. Since such misinformation is, in
part, responsible for considerable confusion about the out-
come of aggregate studies of the effects of pornography on sex
crimes, redress is necessary. Misinformation about crucial por-
nography research may have serious consequences for pornog-
raphy politics and makes one wonder about the politics of por-
nography research.
I
Reviewing The Question of Pornography, Research Findings and
Policy Implications by Donnerstein, Lintz, and Penrod (1987),
Childress writes: Following on the Denmark studies, which
found large and lasting drops in crime rates after pornography
became widespread, researchers measured similar correlations
worldwide (pp. 186-87). Both the Denmark studies and the
researchers refer to my research on the development of sex
offenses in Denmark and elsewhere (Kutchinsky 1971, 1973,
1985-all referred to by Donnerstein et al.).t Childress does
not mention my name or publications.
In the next sentence we are told: Some, notably Court
(1984), have pointed out the weaknesses of the earlier studies, espe-
cially their focus on reported rates of some decriminalized sex of-
fenses (p. 187; my emphasis). Childress then goes on to men-
I Ben-Veniste (1971) published a brief report on pornography and sex crime in
Denmark. This report, which, of course, could not deal with the long-term develop-
ments of crime rates, was in accord with and prepared under the same contract as my
own original research for the U.S. Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.

Law & Society Review, Volume 26, Number 2 (1992)

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