The more conservative and religious you are the more likely you love porn.

At least that appears to be the findings of a recent study of porn consumption:

A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states.

“When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different,” says Benjamin Edelman at Harvard Business School.

However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.

“Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by,” Edelman says.

Hypocrisy on the part of the Values Voters? Say it ain’t so!

The biggest consumer, Utah, averaged 5.47 adult content subscriptions per 1000 home broadband users; Montana bought the least with 1.92 per 1000. “The differences here are not so stark,” Edelman says.

Number 10 on the list was West Virginia at 2.94 subscriptions per 1000, while number 41, Michigan, averaged 2.32.

Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year’s presidential election – Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama.

I suppose it could be argued that the conservative religious folks aren’t buying the porn for their own enjoyment, but so they can be aware of how horrible it is when telling other people why they shouldn’t consume porn. Or could be that all that screaming about forbidden fruit on the part of the overly religious leads folks into temptation.

The latter possibility is brought up in the news article:

To get a better handle on other associations between social attitudes and pornography consumption, Edelman melded his data with a previous study on public attitudes toward religion.

States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage,” bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed. A similar difference emerged for the statement “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behaviour.”

“One natural hypothesis is something like repression: if you’re told you can’t have this, then you want it more,” Edelman says.

Consider that this only covers porn people paid for. As an occasional viewer of online porn myself I can tell you that there are a plethora of sites offering plenty of free porn to satisfy the most active libido without ever spending a penny. Perhaps what this study is really showing is that the overly religious folks aren’t clever enough to find the free porn sites and so they end up buying more than the rest of us.

Still, I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

9 thoughts on “The more conservative and religious you are the more likely you love porn.

  1. I figured this myself…if they can’t do it then they at least want to look at it…but they have to be outraged against it so they can still seem holier than thou.  They have to keep up their rep, you know.

  2. My theory on it goes like this.  Porn is not readily available there in stores.  This means people HAVE to use the internet to get it.  Around my town you can go to any one of the 12 strip clubs, or any “news” shop.  Utah, nope it is online only.  Thus the higher numbers

  3. You wrote “…satisfy the most active libido without ever spending a penny.”

    In the UK “spending a penny” is a euphemism for ‘urinate’. If you didn’t know that, you just made an original joke. If you did, well, it’s still funny anyway wink

  4. Prop 8, anyone? Isn’t it fascinating how people love to point fingers? Yes, hypocrisy, eggs and bacon – oops, no pork, huh?  tongue wink

  5. Wow. Next thing you know, somebody will do a study that confirms that butter contains fat.

    Tell me it ain’t so, Elwed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.