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Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal


adult business regulation, first amendment, secondary effects, Alameda Books, Daubert, empirical studies, criminology


In the decade since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alameda Books v. City of Los Angeles, 535 U.S. 425 (2002), the adult entertainment industry has attacked the legal rationale local governments rely upon as the justification for their regulation of adult businesses: that such businesses are associated with so-called negative secondary effects. These attacks have taken a variety of forms, including: trying to subject the studies of secondary effects relied upon by local governments to the Daubert standard for admission of scientific evidence in federal litigation; producing studies that purport to show no association between adult businesses and negative secondary effects in a given jurisdiction; and claims that distinct business models and/or specific local conditions are not associated with the secondary effects demonstrated in the studies relied on by many local governments. In this Article, we demonstrate that, contrary to the industry’s claims, methodologically appropriate studies confirm criminological theory’s prediction that adult businesses are associated with heightened incidences of crime regardless of jurisdiction, business model or location and thus, such studies should have legal and policy effects supporting regulation of adult businesses.