Pure fucking bollocks about child pornography

Well, we knew this sort of tossery was going to happen, didn\’t we? Always does:

As Mark Bridger was jailed for life for the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones, the NSPCC said there was a “worrying link” between his looking at indecent images online and the crime he went on to commit.

It called for “effective measures” to curb the ease with which extreme pornography and indecent images of children can be accessed.
….
Tonight Phillip Noyes, the acting chief executive of the NSPCC, said: “It seems Bridger lived in a fantasy world which included looking at child abuse images online.

“For some time we have been concerned about the growing number of these obscene images which are becoming more easily available and can fuel the fantasies of offenders like Bridger.

“This case points to the ever-growing evidence that there is a worrying link between looking at this vile kind of material and committing other serious sexual assaults. April’s death will hopefully lead to effective measures to stamp out this vile trade.”

Child protection charities say that web companies could introduce online warnings, threatening possible prosecution when users attempt to access explicit sites.

There have been calls for Google to introduce their “safe search” option as a default setting, which would automatically block hard-core pornography and make it far more difficult for children to access accidentally. The current default setting, “moderate”, does not.

John Carr, the government’s adviser on internet safety and secretary of a children’s charities coalition on the subject, has said: “Google can do more and should do more.”

Peter Davies, the chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), also warned of a link between extreme pornography and those who went on to abuse children.

He said: “The viewing of indecent images of children can lead to an escalation in offending, resulting in the offender committing contact child sexual offences.

“In other cases, such images will be viewed once contact offending has begun or even used by offenders as part of the process of grooming a child for abuse.”

Child porn and, I think at least, extremely violent porn, are already illegal. With large sentences for their possession and creation. So making them \”more illegal\” ain\’t going to do much.

But there\’s a much worse logical problem here.

That people who are interested in child pornography are intereswted in the subject of sex with children is obvious. But the assumption being made here is that more child pornography leads to more sex with children: and that\’s almost certainly not true.

The question is, as economists would frame it, is child porno a subsititute for child sex or a complement to it? Does the existence of child porno lead to more or less child sex?

Does someone viewing child porno think, ooooh, that\’s nice, I\’ll go get me some of that in real life? Or does wanking into a stupor over child porno mean the local anklebiters are safer?

We don\’t actually know about child porno: but we do about porn in general. I think we\’d all agree that porn has become huigely more accessible in recent decades. It\’s what the internet was invented for of course (and once someone starts making LoLcatporn it will collapse under its own weight). But one of the other great features of the past few decades has been the rapid and massive fall in rape and other serious crimes of sexual violence. (Do remember that we\’ve also had, concurrently, a huge rise in the reporting rate as the shame of being a victim is stripped away. So the fall is larger than straight reporting rates would say.)

So much so that several studies have been done over in the US. Tracking broadband rollout across States. And checking them against the falls in sexual violence. And yes indeed, it really does appear that widespread and easy access to porn reduces the level of sexual violence.

Now, this does not mean that everyone who see the piccies then forswears the activity. There will undoubtedly be some whose behaviour is prompted by the sights. But we\’re talking public policy here: we want to know what is the general, the average effect. And with porn it really is that the more of it there is then the lower the sexual violence rate.

As I say, we don\’t know about child porn for (at least as far as I know) no one has looked at it. But there\’s at least a very strong indeed inference that more child porn will lead to less child molestation. For porn is a substitute, not a complement, to active sexual activity on average.

All of which, if true, means that in order to keep the kiddies safe we should be subsidising the production of child porn, not banning it.

Presumably using CGI of course.

59 thoughts on “Pure fucking bollocks about child pornography”

  1. I am not sure that there is proof of a causal link either way. It may be that the greater availability of porn has no effect and the drop in general sexual predation is due to other factors like the fact that the issue is far more widely discussed now than it ever was and this ‘educates’ people prone to this sort of activity to the point where far more of them resist their urges because of the fear of being caught.

    I am against any kind of censorship but I do not think there is evidence either way.

  2. It horrifies me that I can sit down alone in a sealed room with pencil and paper, and ten minutes later be guilty of a serious criminal offence.

  3. …. making them more illegal aint going to do much…..

    This should basically be the motto of everyone who loves liberty.

    Virtually every attack on our freedom comes from people trying to make something more illegal.

    This particular instance is so stupid I was even surprised at the cheek of making the suggestion.

  4. I particularly like Philip Noyes’ comment about “the ever growing evidence ” of a link.

    I am faced constantly by acquaintances telling me about “the great weight of scientific (scientific: the new abracadabra) evidence” or “all the evidence points to…” To which i always reply “evidence you say…show me!”

    They never – and I really mean NEVER – show me.

  5. You could probably find a stronger correlation between kiddy fiddling and ‘sitting in the park’ than kiddy fiddling and child porn.

    Also, in what sense is the link ‘proved’ because it happened once?

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Roue le Jour – “You could probably find a stronger correlation between kiddy fiddling and [sitting in the park] than kiddy fiddling and child porn.”

    I find that rather hard to believe. Just as roughly 100 percent of heterosexual males have some interest in heterosexual porn I would think that 100 percent of kiddie fiddlers will have some level of interest in kiddie porn.

    Whereas some will hate gardens and parks.

    I too would not be 100 percent sure that the decline in rape was caused solely by porn. After all, this period also saw an increase in DNA testing. Which presumably removed a lot of the point in being a rapist.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L – “It horrifies me that I can sit down alone in a sealed room with pencil and paper, and ten minutes later be guilty of a serious criminal offence.”

    You can go into Waterstones and buy a book – and be charged with a serious criminal offense on the way out. An Australian was charged for a perfectly legal book bought in a book shop. A lot of Victorian porn is politically incorrect in that respect – and the Marquis de Sade probably should be banned anyway.

    But it is still worse. You can buy a legal DVD and I suspect you might be in trouble if they played it with the original Japanese sound track as opposed to the English dubbed version – a lot of Japanese DVDs of this sort raise the age of the female characters in the English, but not in the original Japanese. The cartoon stays the same of course.

  8. I think that this is being approached from the wrong direction. Whatever the effects of child porn on the viewer, good or bad, the fact remains that it has to made. The studio made, clever effects and the use willing paid participants as in most porn, cannot be applied to child porn. For every film, picture etc there is a child being abused. Its very illegality, not to mention the mob violence that greets those suspected of an offence, ensures that it will remain unregulated and underground.
    To argue that achieving a decline in child abuse by allowing child abuse to be recorded and distributed is not an argument that should even be started.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Nick Luke – “For every film, picture etc there is a child being abused. Its very illegality, not to mention the mob violence that greets those suspected of an offence, ensures that it will remain unregulated and underground.”

    A man was arrested and charged in Australia with the possession of child porn. To wit, a copy of some Simpson’s characters on which he had drawn extra large genetalia. By all means tell me what child was abused in the process of making that.

    It is trivial to find the names of Japanese cartoons that are banned under British law as child porn. In fact the impression you get from fans is that they are all child porn. A Swedish man has just been arrested for his collection of Japanese cartoons. Any children hurt in the production of those you think?

    It took me all of one search on Wikipedia to come up with a Japanese cartoon that has been banned in the UK:

    The U.S. release of the La Blue Girl,altered the age of the heroine from 16 to 18 and removed sex scenes with a dwarf ninja named Nin-nin, and removed the Japanese censoring blurring dots.[22] La Blue Girl was outright rejected by UK censors who refused to classify it and prohibited its distribution.[22][23]

    Tell me how many children were hurt in the production of that.

    (Actually to be honest I am a bit worried how little time that took. Maybe that shows signs of expertise and not luck. Let me assure people it is a total coincidence that it was so quick. Next time I am sure it would take me six searches at least)

  10. The NSPCC gang are flush with success at the moment, what with the Yewtree caper still in the ascendant. They are pushing for all the power they can grab. The fact that they are helping the scum of the state with their ambition to gain censorship powers over the Net is a bonus for all concerned.

    Never mind the effects of porno.There is no evidence that having ANY particular sexual desire leads anyone to become a sex criminal (in the real sense of the term–ie someone who goes out and forces their desires on others who don’t want to be involved). The billion pound abuse industry says that anyone who looks at forbidden CP material WILL become a molester but that is self-evident, self-serving rubbish. Why?. Because there are lots of sexual desires that stay as fantasy only. Lots of men are interested in, say, girl-next-door-tied-up -by burgler type bondage(as are lots of women) and look at websites of such. How many of those men then go on to take up a career in burglary so that they can tie-up attractive housewives for real?. Few to none is my contention–and if there are any they are a vanishingly small group

    In my area a local figure has been done for child porn images. The person is 50ish and has lived a gay lifestyle (with adults) since his teenage years but seems to have had a side interest in child porn images for all that time. However, altho’ he has been convicted on the images, there is not the slightest suggestion that he has ever been anywhere near any real children in all that time. The majority of paedos are probably the same. The entire “porno leads to evil actions” routine is a crock.

  11. this is one of those classic examples of “something is bad and it is already illegal, but since that doesn’t appear to stop people getting hold of it, we will make other things illegal as well, because we are cretins.”

    Child porn is illegal. Accessing it online is illegal. If you do it, and you get caught, you are in trouble. So having a warning from your service provider is redundant.

    “Child protection charities say that web companies could introduce online warnings, threatening possible prosecution when users attempt to access explicit sites.”

    Right, so is that ‘explicit’ or is that ‘illegal’? Because quite a few people might want to access explicit sites, full of naked ladies – or gentlemen for that matter – frolicking and gambolling and – let’s face it – inserting. And none of this is illegal.

    Unless they are trying to say that it’s a slippery slope from watching consenting adults getting a good seeing to down to becoming a paederast. I don’t think that’s true, personally.

  12. Interesting to consider what might happen if the do-gooders got their wish and it all became inaccessible. Would not the crimes increase, the fantasy option having been removed? And would the NSPCC want to be complicit..?

  13. Well, this article infuriated me when I saw it. The headline is so misleading as to be a lie. The article, as the campaigners do, deliebrately conflates three different things- child porn, “extreme” porn and hardcore porn.

    One also has to say that these people sitting in their Turd Sector office suites waiting for something terrible to happen so they can use it as a crowbar in their obsessive compulsive battles against people doing stuff must have something funny in the head.

    And, we only have to remember that this is going on simultaneously with the celebrity paedo panic, all of whose alleged offences occurred when there was no internet, and no legal hardcore porn in Britain at all.

    Grrrr.

  14. It makes you wonder how policemen cope with looking at all that stuff. It must turn them into monsters…

  15. I expect that the “evidence” amassed by these child protection campaigners will be used in Bridger’s appeal. Obviously it was the evil internet which done make ‘im dun it, he’s just a victim.

  16. David Moore-

    Of course, this is insane. But insane laws are the norm in a puritan driven society. After all, for the past century we’ve been larding out very serious jail sentences and other punishments to people simply for intoxicating themselves.

    It’s frightening and crazy that, as Matthew L puts it, one can commit a criminal offence with pencil and paper; but also frightening and crazy that one can be jailed for inhaling the smoke of a burning plant. Puritans are crazy people.

  17. this sure is a strange site sometimes. People working to combat child abuse are labelled as puritans? crazy

  18. They’re not “working to combat child abuse”. They’re working to impose arbitrary and draconian censorship, which is entirely different.

  19. @roym

    erm, have you read the above posts? No one here is holding a torch for child abuse. We don’t like dem child abusers. Lock ’em up for a good long time and for many of ’em throw away the key for good measure.

    We just query why the existence of nonces and nonce-porn means that you and I and anyone else should be threatened if we want to look at or – gasp! – tittillate ourselves with the undraped adult form. And that is what the puritans want. Because they don’t like it, and therefore it must be bad, see?

  20. David Moore

    “while the cartoon characters were elves and pixies, they were also clearly young elves and pixies”

    Oh FFS!

  21. There’s another aspect which the NSPCC has overlooked, and it’s the same on that the anti-piracy crowd have overlooked: anything illegal on the internet can easily be found on Russian websites, be they knocked-off films, music, e-books, and computer games. I haven’t done too much digging around, but I get most music from Russian sites and my wife assures me she can get *any* e-book in existence from Russian servers. They get away with it because the FBI and other American law enforcement bodies have no access to Russia’s servers, and the Russians would laugh in their faces if they asked for it; and most people who are hot under the collar about illegal files online can’t read or write Russian.

    Now I have not personally checked whether child porn is available on Russian servers, but given an awful lot of child porn originates in Russia and the Russians really don’t give a shit what goes on their servers, then I think it’s safe to assume it’s there in buckets and spades (sorry, couldn’t resist). So are British ISPs going to be able to detect the content of Russian websites? I doubt it. The NSPCC assume kiddie porn sits on western servers and the sites are coded in English, which I’m pretty sure won’t be the case.

  22. @SMFS #7, Considering the vast majority of rape is carried out by people known to the victim, the testing of DNA doesn’t make much difference to lowering it’s incidence.

  23. One thing I picked up from the interviews that the NSPCC people were giving is that they want to impose these draconian rules to protect the vulnerable. So Mark Bridger is a vulnerable person and he is not responsible for all his evil actions because the existence of child porn and violent films made him do it. That’s what the NSPCC are implying. The progressives really are stupid in saying that no one is responsible for their actions so therefore everything that could corrupt should be banned.

  24. Well, one important element in this is understanding the (second and third wave) puritan mind. The basic paradigm is that hedonistic or sensual pleasures (including, particularly, sex) are corrupting. (This derives from an older Christian/Judaic model which sees “worldly” pleasures as harmful because they distract one from the spiritual pleasure to be found in faith).

    So, having presumed that sex is corruptive, the next step is to assume that the sexual indulgent is deriving pleasure from corruption.

    From this stems the concept of a “corruptive path”. The person starts with minor corruption (looking at laydeez’ ankles) but tires of this and thus seeks a greater level of corruption; from ankles it’s on to chambermaids, prostitutes, perverse practises, violence, animals, children…

    It is worth noting that a primary reason for the Gay Panic 100 years ago was the belief that the last station on the railroad to Corruption was homosexuality. Nowadays, paedophilia has taken that place. It is rather frightening in fact to note that the rhetoric is basically identical; the eternal homo has been replaced by the eternal paedo, stalking society with the sole intention of spreading his corruption.

    Hence the continued obsession with attempting to prevent porn and, particularly, wanking. This is the first step on the road. The paradigm says that anyone who takes the first step on the road is doomed to end up at the end of it, kidnapping and murdering children for sexual pleasure, as each level corruption loses its thrill. As such, porn is a Minority Report type “pre-crime”. And hence, the justification for suppressing it.

  25. The Thought Gang

    @ roym

    This is how the puritans and authoritarians do their thing. They start with something which is hard/impossible to argue against. Then the foot is in the door and off they creep.

    So tobacco advertising is banned.. and that was able to happen because when anyone protested the response was (if I may paraphrase) “People working to combat lung cancer are labelled as puritans? crazy”

    Now they’re back to ban booze advertising, unhealthy food advertising, toy advertising.. and whatever else *they* don’t think should be advertised.

    And so they will go with restricting what consenting adults can enjoy watching other consenting adults do on the internet. And once they’ve defacto banned internet porn, they’ll move on “Hey, we banned the advertising of fatty foods, but now these food company websites have recipe pages telling people how to make unhealthy desserts. We must ban recipe pages.”)

    People who abuse children are evil and I will not weep for any who inadvertently find their genitals in a brick sandwich. People who directly or indirectly fund/facilitate that abuse are already, rightly, crimilised.

    The point being made is that imposing further restrictions on what people can and cannot access online seems highly unlikely to do anything to prevent child abuse. And the people proposing these measures probably know this.. so we have to ask why they’re doing it.

    Just like none of the people demanding plain packaging for tobacco seriously think it achieve the stated aims. They’re just expaning the power base.

  26. From the latest crank of the handle in the Telegraph-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10090793/Google-must-show-moral-leadership-and-block-porn-sites-says-Government-adviser.html

    “Child protection charities say that web companies could introduce online warnings, threatening possible prosecution when users attempt to access explicit sites.”

    Note how we’ve slid from kiddie porn to mere “explicit” sites and a demand that people be threatened.

    Also-

    John Carr, a member of the Internet Task Force on Child Protection, said hardcore porn sites are accessible from search engines, which carry links to other websites advertising “Teen Sex” and “Barely Legal”.

    He said these are code words used by paedophiles who use them to get to images of child abuse.

    This is a common activist approach known as “making shit up”.

  27. I’m not sure about the “several studies” Tim mentions. Google found me this one by Kendall (which seems not to have been published in a journal). It also threw up this Norwegian study, which reaches the opposite conclusion.

    I’m asking myself these questions:

    Supposing hypothetically it could be established that banning CGI child porn would reduce the incidence of child abuse by some specified amount, should we then ban it?

    Alternatively, supposing hypothetically it could be established that allowing child porn made using child actors would reduce the incidence of child abuse by some specified amount, should we then allow it? (With all possible legal protection for the actors.)

    Supposing it could be established that the availability of [my favourite pornography] increases sex crimes by some specified amount, should we then ban it?

    Supposing it could be established that the availability of material depicting the enjoyment of luxury goods increases property crime by some specified amount, should we then ban it?

  28. Paul B-

    This is why us crazy libertarians don’t get into utilitarian outcomes based reasoning. You can never actually do the Benthamite calculus in any reliable manner, so what you end up is with people estimating costs and usually ignoring benefits. This is the intrinsic flaw in the regulatory State.

    And the second point is this; the implicit assumption that a prohibitive law will actually prevent the availabality and thus incidence of some damned thing. A person says, “should we ban marijuana?” implying that doing so will prevent the smoking of marijuana. But it doesn’t. What it does instead is criminalise the smokers of marijuana. The choice is not between X and Not X. It is between legal X and illegal X. So, it is a choice between imprisoning or not imprisoning the doers of X.

    Obvious examples; drugs and homosexuality. Neither prohibition prevented either practice. What it perpetrated was a civil rights disaster of jailing drug users and (formerly) gays.

    Whatever you do, people will have porn. The question is whether you want them to be thrown in jail for possession of it, or not.

  29. its old (actually it’s not) that the new Puritans and their supporters never run with their own arguments.

    They argue that exposure to child pornography leads to child abuse. So, by exactly the same argument a woman who enjoys rape pornography (and there are many) will

  30. Whatever you do, people will have porn. The question is whether you want them to be thrown in jail for possession of it, or not.

    and I’d say at the mometn we’ve got it about right; eg if it depicts non-consensual sex or minors then yes, pretty much anything else, then no.

    I do think it would be good if we could decide whether paederasts are a) criminals or b) mentally ill though. Becuase it seems to me that the two are distinct, and also demand different treatment.

    or is there option c): mentally ill criminals?

  31. In 1967 Denmark repealed all laws banning pornography. Almost immediately serious sex crimes, including rape, dropped by almost 50%.

  32. IanB: Bans don’t stop things altogether, but they do reduce them, to an extent depending on factors such as ease of detection, public attitudes to the ban, and the strength of the desire you’re trying to suppress. Prohibition (of alcohol) in the US did reduce consumption, as measured by cirrhosis deaths.

    sam: Wanting to have sex with children is a paraphilia. Having sex with children is a crime.

  33. So Paul, how do you calculate the balance of the moral cost/benefit of, on the one hand reducing behaviour X against the other hand of imprisoning/punishing people who have harmed nobody?

    If we accept that the anti-gay laws reduced gayness, or at least the expression of it, and that (supposedly) had some social value (e.g. reinforcing the family, reducing pederasty, etc), how can you measure that against the price of punishing harmless gay men?

    Where do you start with this calculus?

  34. “… Several studies have been done over in the US. Tracking broadband rollout across States. And checking them against the falls in sexual violence. And yes indeed, it really does appear that widespread and easy access to porn reduces the level of sexual violence.”

    Got cites? (That’s not a challenge, just quicker to hear from you than to go start researching).

  35. A lot of people did, Paul. How are you going to judge social value? Do your values have higher merit than those of others? How do you prove that?

    To use your thought experiment, suppose that it were the case that anti-gay laws reduced pederastic assaults by some (perhaps small) amount. Would that justify the anti-gay laws?

    As to the second point, my dodgy memory was that you asserted that Nick Griffin was asking for it (arrest for racial incitement). But it may have been another of our progressive contingent, in which case I apologise.

  36. PaulB, That’s a weird way of measuring the success of prohibition in the US when everyone acknowledges that it was a failure. Measuring by cirrhosis doesn’t really measure alcohol consumption. Its too indirect.

    Yes, I acknowledge that deaths by cirrhosis did drop during prohibition. Some other stuff did drop too like traffic accidents. But what you ignore, deliberately or though ignorance, is that deaths and violence due the black market in alcohol more than made up for the drop in cirrhosis etc. Plus the increase in criminal activity would make the whole of society a more dangerous place.

    And then I go and look at the real figures rather than ones you cherry pick.

    http://alcoholism.about.com/library/ncirmrt1.htm shows that cirrhosis levels were dropping before prohibition and leveled out afterwards. Only after the world wars when society was going through many changes did it rise again. And then it rose to levels last seen before prohibition in the 60s to 80s. Currently levels are down to levels below prohibition levels – without any prohibition in place.

    Back at you.

  37. SBML: I wasn’t making an argument for Prohibition, I was discussing the question of whether it reduced alcohol consumption. And it did.

    IanB: if, as the judge says, she was effectively the boy’s stepmother, then yes.

  38. On what basis? I’m not asking about whether or not you approve, but why you support the criminalisation of this situation.

  39. “As I say, we don’t know about child porn for (at least as far as I know) no one has looked at it. ”

    People have studied it: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21116701

    From the abstract: “Of particular note is that this country, like Denmark and Japan, had a prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal and, like those other countries, showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.”

    I got the study from this article originally (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/30/smut_freakonomics/ ), it was written by one Tim Worstall. You may want to get in touch with him for more on the subject.

    Tim adds: Thanks. I’d completely forgotten that I’d written that.

  40. The Telegraph may not be aware of this, but what she did would be a crime in England too, under the law against sexual activity with a family member under 18 – the partner of a parent is deemed to be a step-parent. I’m comfortable with that law.

    To be precise, the set of things I’m comfortable with (as in your original question) is larger than the set of things I support.

    Since we’re answering questions, and since you seem to be against the criminalization of anything not obviously and directly harmful to a third party, are you (a) comfortable with laws against conspiracy to commit a crime (b) comfortable with laws against possession of an offensive weapon in a public place?

  41. I didn’t ask what you’re comfortable with Paul. I was asking you to explain the justification for criminalising it. While you’re at it, do the same for the British law you just referenced (since the ancient times of 2003, was it not?).

    On your other para, I’m not discussing my comfort level either. In practical terms-

    (a) yes since the conspiracy is part of the crime itself. So long as an actual crime is plotted. You don’t have to wait for the gun to be fired, if the perpetrator is clearly planning to fire the gun at someone.

    (b) No. This should not be illegal in itself.

  42. PaulB, and if you looked at the cirrhosis figures that I linked to you will see that I show that prohibition didn’t make much difference to alcohol consumption. Levels were going down before prohibition.

    So it can’t have been the restriction on alcohol that lowered cirrhosis as the single cause. Cirrhosis is only possible from excessive alcohol consumption after a decade of drinking. The cause of cirrhosis is not primarily from alcohol consumption. It can also be caused by other diseases such as Hepatitis.

    Using cirrhosis as a measure of alcohol consumption is just plain stupid. It’s too indirect.

  43. IanB: perhaps you would read your comment #48 and then reconsider #53.

    SBML: if you look at the paper I linked to, you’ll see that they took into consideration the cirrhosis data from before Prohibition.

  44. So they took cirrhosis data from before prohibition into account. But they still say…

    “Further examination, however, suggests this conclusion is premature. To begin, there is substantial variation in the cirrhosis death rate outside the Prohibition period (as well as substantial variation in countries without prohibition). This suggests that other factors play a substantial role in causing fluctuations in cirrhosis death rates.”

    “The fact that cirrhosis had declined to essentially its minimum level before constitutional Prohibition took effect, and that it had been declining for at least a decade, is more problematic for the view that Prohibition caused the low level of cirrhosis during the 1920s and early 1930s. Indeed, the general downward trend in cirrhosis stops in the very year Prohibition took effect. Thus, a critical issue is understanding the pre-1920 decline in cirrhosis.”

    “Several factors, however, cast doubt on the hypothesis that state-level prohibitions caused the pre-1920 decline in cirrhosis. Although the number of states with prohibition was large, these states were predominantly rural, low population states. … ”

    and from the abstract

    “State prohibitions had a minimal impact on cirrhosis, especially during the pre-1920 period. Pre-1920 federal anti alcohol policies may have contributed to the decline in cirrhosis that occurred before 1920, although other factors were likely substantial influences as well. Constitutional prohibition reduced cirrhosis by about 10-20 percent.”

    But that 10-20% is the highest range they estimate. Elsewhere in the doc they say prohibition has an effect of 1-6%.

    And finally (and I’m not a statistician, nor know a huge amount about stats), the R2 value in fig 1 is inconclusive. It should be closer to 1 to have more of an effect.

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