§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 5 December,Official Report, column 192, what are (a) the terms of reference of the review, (b) the names of those he will charge with conducting the review, (c) the expected commencement and finishing dates of the review into the possible link between pornography and sexual violence towards women and children; and whether he will allow public representations to be made to the review.
§ Mr. Mellor
The Home Office research and planning unit is at present drawing up the specification for a review of research reports on possible links between pornography and sexual violence. Broadly, the terms of reference will be to review the available research in this country, the United States of America and in other European countries on the effects of pornography, including any link with violence or sexual aggression, and effects on attitudes to women.
We are considering who is best qualified to carry out the review. We plan that it should begin in January and be completed in April. The report would be published in the usual way.
It would not be right to ask the researchers to accept public representations, which would fall outside their terms of reference. We are always ready to consider representations ourselves.