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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

RAW on pornography

[The below ran in New Libertarian, Volume Four, Number Seven, April-June 1980, as part of a collection of short pieces, entitled "Miscellaneous Heresies." With the Hilaritas Press version of The Sex Magicians out soon, I thought it might be topical. Big thanks to Chad Nelson for making a number of issues of New Libertarian available to me. -- The Management.]

Amid the Alien Porn

Libertarians, of course, oppose censorship of pornography, on the same grounds that they oppose all other forms of censorship. In my reading, however, I have yet to encounter in print a libertarian who will admit that he or she likes pornography.

This is moderately odd. Kinsey discovered, back in the 1940s (and the Kinsey Institute confirms that there has been no change in this matter since then) that those who like pornography tend to be more intelligent than average, and to be better educated. Kinsey guessed that the reason for this was that intelligence is intimately connected with imagination and fantasy (creativity).

Such a correlation is supported by the Kinsey Institute study of imprisoned sex offenders in the 1960s, which found that these men respond less to pornography than ordinary men. Probably, this is because they are, like most convicts, lower than average in intelligence (which is why they get caught).

My own experience is that criminals in general are emotionally and semantically unintelligent (with a few exceptions). That is, they are more like children than like adults; and this is especially true of sex criminals. 

In other words, the Kinsey studies seem to confirm that those who do respond to pornography are less likely to be emotionally imbalanced; more likely to be semantically adept (verbal: rational); more imaginative and creative; less likely to be criminals.

There are only two explanations,  then, why libertarians never say they personally like pornography. The first explanation is that they are, as a group, less intelligent, imaginative and creative than average. I doubt this very much, on the basis of my experience with libertarians. The other explanation is that they are ashamed of liking pornography, i.e. that they are as subject to hypocrisy about sexual matters as most people in our society are. 

-- Robert Anton Wilson

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