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Current Campaigns

Campaign for varied quality sex research

When the last government was bringing in laws on extreme porn, it took fright, half way through the debate, and commissioned a trio of academics to carry out what it called a "rapid evidence assessment" to demonstrate the harm done by use of violent porn. The exercise was flawed from the very beginning: the scope of the exercise set the researchers to looking for evidence of harm - and therefore the final report lacked balance, deliberately excluding instances where findings were either double-edged or even showed a positive effect from pornography. More recently, a leading UK academic, seeking funding for cutting edge research into pornography was told that it was not needed, since there was nothing more to find out. That is, despite government claims to be in favour of "evidence based policyā€¯, the bottom line appears to be that it has little appetite for it: the comfortable certainties of cliche and "what everyone knows" are preferable to uncomfortable fact. Yet, given the cost of getting it wrong in this area - not just in terms of misplaced costs, but also in terms of human suffering and misery, the case for applying real resources to such issues remains beyond question. - Written by Jane Fae

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