Scottish Parliament Committee Backs Pornography Research Plan

Jeff Berg
EDINBURGH, Scotland — Suggesting that pornography incites sexual hatred in the same way that other types of material can incite racial hatred, the Scottish Equal Opportunities Committee backed a proposal urging parliament to make pornography illegal.

Originally suggested by activist group Scottish Women Against Pornography, the petition claims that there is an incontrovertible link between pornography and sex crimes.

“I don’t think we can ignore it any longer,” said committee member Elaine Smith. “I think that since studies do exist showing the harmful effects they should signal to us the precautionary principle and they should be doing further research.”

A similar bill had been rejected by ministers in May after they found that for every study suggesting a link between pornography and sex crimes there was another that said a link did not exist.

The nine female members of Scottish parliament that sit on the committee called the earlier decision inadequate and threw their unanimous opinion behind the new bill.

“We have reviewed the relevant literature but believe that the relationship between the two remains unclear,” said a spokeswoman for the Scottish parliament. “While we have no plans to legislate, we will, of course, continue to monitor the situation.”

The decision comes less than a month after a sheriff’s department in Northern Utah also began to research whether a link exists between pornography and crime.

“We’ve been seeing an increased amount of pornography in relation to some types of crime,” Lt. Matt Bilodeau told XBiz at the time. “The problem was that when we went out to look for statistics to see if there was a relationship, we couldn’t find any material on the subject.”