I’m Confused – Am I Alone?

While researching my local zoning laws regarding Sexually Oriented Businesses, I came across quite a few interesting sites that I would like to post about. I will not bombard my readers with all of it at once; I will do that a little at a time!

What caught my eye and attention at this particular time was this government website. It is from the Department of City Planning in New York City.  Although, the article itself seems to be somewhat outdated, by 10-15 years; I would like to bring your attention to Impacts Found and Regulations in Other Localities section in the article. It clearly states that jurisdictions with these establishments who have done studies report negative secondary impacts on their community. This completely goes against what we have heard in one of our lectures just a few weeks ago.  I recall hearing that areas with high concentration of adult businesses report less rape.  I guess it all depends on who does the studies and what their agenda is. This is one of many reasons why I don’t trust them! (studies)

In the meantime, I will continue to navigate this and other websites to see exactly what the zoning laws are.  According to the page above, at the time of publishing, NYC did not distinguish adult video stores from mainstream video stores in regards to zoning permits.  I am curious to find out if that has changed. I am also aware that then Mayor, Rudy Guliani, cleaned up the Times Square Red Light District.  I am not sure if it was due to this study or if it was already underway at that time.

Now my question is – if these studies show secondary negative affects, why isn’t that enough to shut them down? Are the rights of these “entrepreneurs” more important than our rights to protect our children and property? It brings to mind the argument of the rights of prisoners and their privacy, etc v. our rights as law abiding citizens to protect ourselves and the vulnerable. But that is another argument for another day and perhaps another class!

I suggest reading Jessie’s posts about her personal story. I wish her and her community much luck. [My community had a swinger’s club right down the road – it was shut down, before my husband and I knew it was there (not that we would have attended). My point is that some communities appear tolerant and others do not.  I think they were cited for other violations: fire code, liquor license, etc. – not necessarily being adult oriented business – but naturally that was their/community leader’s biggest concern.]

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2 Responses to “I’m Confused – Am I Alone?”

  1. Alex Halavais Says:

    You’re not the only one! There have been studies that show both: negative effects and no effects (and sometimes positive effects).

    This is one reason the court has mandated that the study be done. They want factual information to be able to base their decision on. Not liking pornography or nude dancing is not enough. Like all of these areas, you have to show that it actually causes real harm, not just hurt feelings.

    But there is no definitive answer yet. If you don’t trust studies, what do you trust? Yes, there is always the possibility that scientifically conducted studies will contain bias, but outside of these structures, bias is guaranteed. My hope is that over time, a clear consensus will emerge. But I think the only pathway toward that is continued study.

  2. way2much Says:

    I trust my personal experience.

    Seriously, you are correct to pose that question. I tend to blanket things and overgeneralize. Studies are very good. They are useful for research and are important tools to learn from.

    But what initially comes to mind are the studies on eggs, wine, etc. (all food related!) Years ago it was said stay away from/limit your consumption of eggs, now studies show eggs are good for you and they don’t raise your cholesterol like originally thought. I forget what they said and now say about wine! A glass a day is good…but….it also does “X” to you.

    This all stems from my “trust” issue. I always feel like there is an agenda/bias to some studies and I don’t really know whose study to believe when it comes to those that contradict one another. I suppose I don’t really pay too much attention to them in order to form an educated opinion. Is it too late to make a New Year’s Resolution!


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