There's something to this. Normal new players, used to PvP games like Fortnite, PUBG, Starcraft, etc are here for PvP. They want to fight. When they get ganked, they are like, "Alright! Let's go to war!" They think it's fun and exciting. They want to shittalk in local. They want spies, and theft, and backstabs. However, carebears teach this tiresome mantra of, "Gankers are griefers, sociopaths, bullies, meanies, ignore them, petition CCP, just dock up..." This creates a victim mentality, and causes people to disengage. If the gankers are griefers and mean bullies who abuse the mechanics, then there's no point in even playing the game, so the new players quit. They believe there is nothing they can do, because the carebears preach learned helplessness.
It's not the ganking that discourages new player retention, it's the toxic carebears who are to blame.
I want to give a shoutout to Governor Lee, the executor of Absolute Order. When we first met, he was totally a "gankers are griefers, ignore them, dont respond at all" mindset. We destroyed his previous alliance, Harmony Order. He came back as Absolute Order, tossing aside the notion of peaceful mining and embracing space tyranny. He gets it now. He wrote me, and thanked me. Instead of ignoring me, he greets me in local with a friendly wave. I see Absolute Order gankers now, killing off the competition in 'their' systems. They have an intel network, and mining defense. This is a PvP game, and people who pretend otherwise are bad for the game, but those who accept it will keep playing and get better.
The best thing CCP could do, although Mike Azariah is 100% opposed to it, is introduce actual PvP into the new player tutorial - and yes, new players should get ganked (and gank). Carebears don't want this, and they pretend it's because they want to protect the innocent noobs, but there's a more insidious self-serving reason. The lazy fatcat carebear industrial tycoons are scared to see aggressive new players, like me. They only want subservient mining drone newbies.