Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Conservative States Use More Porn

So says a new study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives and discussed at New Scientist. The study was based on the number of subscriptions for dozens of online porn sites that came from each state over a period of time. Some of the findings:

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.

And here’s a very interesting bit from the study:

The fourth column reports that in regions where more people report regularly
attending religious services (per National Election Studies 2004), overall subscription rates are not statistically significantly different from subscriptions elsewhere (p = 0.848). However, in such regions, a statistically significantly smaller proportion of subscriptions begin on Sundays, compared with other regions. In particular, a 1 percent increase in the proportion of people who report regularly attending religious services is associated with a 0.10 percent reduction in the proportion of purchases that occur on Sunday. This analysis suggests that, on the whole, those who attend religious services shift their consumption of adult entertainment to other days of the week, despite on average consuming the same amount of adult entertainment as others.

Temporary piety. Clearly, these people should attend church every day and their eyesight would improve. Another interesting comparison:

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

And there appears to be a specific correlation between use of online porn sites and various religious positions:

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.” Survey results come from the Pew Value Surveys (1987-2007 combined dataset).

And yet another interesting little tidbit:

Furthermore, I found no
significant relationship between subscriptions to this adult entertainment service and presidential voting in 2004, based on poll data by congressional district. However, using individual-level data from a Hitwise sample of ten million anonymized U.S. Internet users, Tancer (2008), finds that adult escort sites are more popular in “blue” states that voted for Gore in 2004, while visitors from the “red” states that voted for Bush in 2004 are more likely to visit wife-swapping sites, adult webcams, and sites about voyeurism.

And the #1 state, by a fairly wide margin, was Utah. Surprised?