Violence and Pornography

Normally, The Times presents balanced views of qualified individuals. However, the diatribes of Jerry Kirk (“Ted Bundy Shows Us the Crystallizing Effect of Pornography”) and Al Goldstein (“The Perversion of Truth Continues in Alleging a Porn-Crime Link”) ill serve the reader (Op-Ed Page, Feb. 8).

Kirk, who has a financial interest in puritanism, argues that the 1986 Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography statistics show that 81% of the serial murderers studied “said their biggest sexual interest was in reading pornography.” Thank God they usually found reading more interesting than killing!

He uses the statements of Arthur Bishop, who killed boys, to support the contribution of pornography to the abuse of women. Isn’t the indication instead that the sickness is in the mind and not the material?

I don’t know what “ ‘family’ video outlets” Kirk habits but violent sexual films are not available there although fantasy films featuring explicit sex between consenting adults sometimes are. Kirk is as confused about the difference in sex and violence as the offenders he condemns.


Goldstein, who has a financial interest in pornography, implies that any censorship of pornography leads to Soviet-style repression. This is a lot like the National Rifle Assn. worrying about a ban on AK-47s leading to the Nicaraguan invasion of Texas.

He also uses loaded illogic, discrediting the Meese panel because of the former attorney general’s alleged improprieties which, if true, are reprehensible but have nothing to do with sex.

There is a point at which censorship has a certain validity, Mr. Goldstein. There is certainly validity in further studies in deviant behavior, Mr. Kirk. Neither of you presents much validity in your self-interested arguments.