Pornography: Who buys the most? Utah Conservatives!

This article was last updated on June 18, 2022

Sexual Intelligence: blog by Dr. Marty Klein
Science Shows What Sexual Repression Actually Looks Like – Nov 7/2010

As reported in the Journal of Economic Perspectives,
  • The rates at which people buy pornography are not wildly different from state to state;
  • States where people vote for conservative candidates buy more porn than states in which people vote for progressive candidates.

According to credit card receipts from a national provider of adult entertainment, eight of the top ten pornography-consuming states went Republican in the 2008 election. And the trend goes beyond voting. For example, states where a majority of residents agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage” bought more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed. The same difference emerged for the statement “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behavior.”

And of course the state with the highest per capita purchase of online pornography is…Utah. Of course.

To repeat: porn subscriptions don’t just come from California, New York, and other Liberal-Jewish-Urban-Latte-Sipping nests of perversion. They come from every state. And they really come from states in which people claim their values make them uninterested in or resistant to porn.

One technical term for such people is liars, but let’s be more compassionate, the better to understand our fellow creatures.

There are large groups of people who claim certain negative attitudes about sexuality, yet do those very same things. Porn. Prostitutes. Premarital sex. Same-gender stuff. Affairs. Adult masturbation. Wild fantasies.

What are they saying? That they reject their own sexuality. What are they feeling? Frightened, anxious, alone. Guilty, ashamed, tormented; as if, to quote a Jonny Lang song, “even God has lost track of my soul.”

Progressive politics MUST address these feelings in so-called conservative people. Until we do, we’re just reinforcing a phony us/them divide cooked up by politically powerful people. Talking about a sexually in-control “us” and a sexually out-of-control “them” is how the Religious Right made its fortune, and stays in business. The regulation of other people’s sexuality is a theme that never gets boring—for people who are afraid of their own sexuality.

Journal of Economic Perspectives – Winter 2009
Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment? PDF
by Benjamin Edelman, Assistant Professor of Business Administration,
Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts
The online adult entertainment industry is most often in the news for attempts to limit its availability. As early as 1995, when only 7 percent of U.S. households had Internet connections and home broadband connections were nearly nonexistent, politicians like Senator Charles Grassley decried the “flood of vile pornography” available online and called for legislation “to stem this growing  tide” (Congressional Record, 1995).

…measured levels of religiosity in American are high—for example, 68 percent of Americans state that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, according to the National Election Survey. At the same time, social critics like Levy (2005) and Paul (2005) often argue that the rise of Internet pornography is contributing to a coarsening of American culture. Do consumption patterns of online adult entertainment reveal two separate Americas? Or is the consumption of online adult entertainment widespread, regardless of legal barriers, potential for embarrassment, and even religious conviction?

Who buys online adult entertainment? From a top-10 seller of adult entertainment, I obtained a list of the zip codes associated with all credit card subscriptions for approximately two years, 2006–2008.

[map showing all states: Utah is the highest]

As shown in Table 4, subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where surveys indicate conservative positions on religion, gender roles, and sexuality. In states where more people agree that “Even today miracles are performed by the power of God” and “I never doubt the existence of God,” there are more subscriptions to this service. Subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where more people agree that “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage” and “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behavior.”

New Scientist – February 2009
Porn in the USA: Conservatives are biggest consumers by Ewen Calloway
Church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays – a 1% increase in a postal code’s religious attendance was associated with a 0.1% drop in subscriptions that day. However, expenditures on other days of the week brought them in line with the rest of the country, Edelman finds.

Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don’t explicitly restrict gay marriage.

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.

Conservatism elsewhere
Fox News: No. 1 Nation in Sexy Web Searches? Call it Pornistan
By Kelli Morgan – July 13, 2010
They may call it the "Land of the Pure," but Pakistan turns out to be anything but.

The Muslim country, which has banned content on at least 17 websites to block offensive and blasphemous material, is the world’s leader in online searches for pornographic material, FoxNews.com has learned.

“You won’t find strip clubs in Islamic countries. Most Islamic countries have certain dress codes,” said Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame. “It would be an irony if they haven’t shown the same vigilance to pornography.”

So here’s the irony: Google ranks Pakistan No. 1 in the world in searches for pornographic terms, outranking every other country in the world in searches per person for certain sex-related content.

Pakistan is top dog in searches per-person for "horse sex" since 2004, "donkey sex" since 2007, "rape pictures" between 2004 and 2009, "rape sex" since 2004, "child sex" between 2004 and 2007 and since 2009, "animal sex" since 2004 and "dog sex" since 2005, according to Google Trends and Google Insights, features of Google that generate data based on popular search terms.

The country also is tops — or has been No. 1 — in searches for "sex," "camel sex," "rape video," "child sex video" and some other searches that can’t be printed here.

A conclusion? Or a question?
Utah buys the most pornography. Ring wing religious conservatives buy more porn than everybody else. There is something odd about this and I wonder if Dr. Klein has a point.

There are large groups of people who claim certain negative attitudes about sexuality, yet do those very same things.

What are they saying? That they reject their own sexuality. What are they feeling? Frightened, anxious, alone. Guilty, ashamed, tormented; as if, to quote a Jonny Lang song, “even God has lost track of my soul.”

As Benjamin Edelman points out, "One natural hypothesis is something like repression: if you’re told you can’t have this, then you want it more."

"Hardcore" conservative indeed.

Click HERE to read more from William Belle

References

Wikipedia: Dr. Marty Klein
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_Klein
Dr. Marty Klein is an American sex therapist, educator and public policy analyst. His goals are to educate the public and policymakers about sexuality, help people feel sexually adequate and powerful, and to support the healthy sexual expression and exploration of both women and men.

Klein is critical of censorship, the concepts of "sex addiction" and "porn addiction," and the anti-pornography movement. He has written five books on sexuality, most recently America’s War on Sex, honored as the year’s Best Sexuality Book by AASECT. It documents how the issue of sexual regulation is being used to undermine secular democracy.

Klein’s work continually challenges American society’s (and psychotherapy’s) assumptions about sexuality; he is particularly critical of what he calls the “Sexual Disaster Industry” and the “Oprah-ization” of psychotherapy and medicine. More recently he has spoken out against the criminalization and cruel punishment of teen “sexting.”

Klein has written over 100 articles for publications such as The Journal of Sex Research, San Francisco Medicine, The Journal of Homosexuality, and Contemporary Sexuality, as well as Parents, Playboy, American Baby, Modern Bride, and New Woman.

Dr. Klein has lectured at over 50 American universities, including Columbia, Stanford, and Syracuse. He has addressed the annual meetings of dozens of national organizations.

official web site: http://www.sexed.org/

blog: http://sexualintelligence.wordpress.com

Benjamin Edelman
http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=417579
Assistant Professor of Business Administration,
Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts
Ben holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at Harvard University, a J.D. from the Harvard Law School, an A.M. in Statistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College (summa cum laude). He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

personal web site: http://www.benedelman.org

Congressional Record, June 26, 1995 – Senator Charles Grassley
http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/classes/6.805/articles/cda/grassley-congressional-record.html
There is a flood of vile pornography, and we must act to stem this growing tide…

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