Does Porno Lead to Rape?

DALLAS — Texas, where strip clubs have given rise to Anna Nicole Smith and many other less-generously endowed performers, is about to make it more expensive to watch a little bump and grind.

In what some have dubbed the "pole tax," the Lone Star State will require its 150 or so strip clubs to collect a $5-per-customer levy, with most of the proceeds going to help rape victims. The tax goes into effect on New Year's Day.

Club owners and some of their customers say the money is going to a noble cause, but they argue that the tax infringes on their First Amendment right to freedom of expression, that it will drive some bars out of business and that it unfairly links their industry to sex crimes. . . . .

Well, this might provide a test for the claims of sex clubs on crime rates. So if people go less to strip clubs, does that reduce rape? The problem with the test in this case is whether the "help" given to rape victims encourages more of them to come forward. It is possible that the evidence is biased against finding a drop in rapes from a drop in people going to strip clubs.