Professor Hugh Mclachlan (Perspective, 31 July) overlooked a relevant difference between viewing a film of, say, a bank robbery, and films depicting rape.
Either film might inspire viewers to commit similar crimes, but, while watching a bank robbery does not enrich one, watching an explicit rape scene might provide some sort of perverted sexual stimulation.
Once this connection is made, there is the possibility of progressively seeking further and increasing pleasure through the medium of viewing rape, which can, of course, lead to actual rapes.
Again and again we read court reports stating that a sex criminal “was in possession of large quantities of pornography”.
Sex is unique in that viewing images can produce sexual stimulation; that’s why a code of privacy and modesty is needed to prevent abuses.
While we may wish to allow artistic and dramatic portrayals of rape, restraint is necessary and the possibility of abuse should always be considered.
However, surely the production and dissemination of rape images as a form of pornographic entertainment endangers the safety of women to an unacceptable extent.