Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


The Red States’ Porn Habit

posted by swaldman

The New Scientist reports on a new study on porn usage, which indicates high porn consumption in red states:

“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.”

In fairness, if you look at raw porn usage, the red and blue states are pretty equal. The results skew in the more, er, ironic direction when you adjust for broadband availability. The theory is that some states consume few minutes of porn just because they cant download the really vivid sex video. Mississipians in general don’t subscribe to porn that much; but Mississippians with broadband connections apparently can’t get enough.
Viewed that way, the porn-a-holic states are: Utah, Alaska, Mississippi, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, West Virginia.
Does religiosity curb the lustful appetites? Actually, three of the biggest porn-watching states — Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arkansas — are also among the most religious. And of course, the capital of porn usage also is home to Church of Latter Day Saints, one of the most culturally conservative denominations around.
Church attendance does seem to have some effect. Apparently, people don’t watch that much porn while they’re in church.

“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.”

Now, I know many of you will use these stats to point out the hypocrisy of “Christianists” (as Andrew Sullivan calls religious conservatives), just as many did when it was pointed out that red states had higher divorce rates. But it’s also possible that one of the reasons these states are conservative, and religious, is they feel besieged by negative cultural forces.
They’re not lustful because they’re religious; they’re religious because they’re lustful. They’re aware of the rampant sinfulness — in part because they’re busy sinning — and figure they need church all the more.
You buying that theory?



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Wayne

posted February 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm


“They’re not lustful because they’re religious; they’re religious because they’re lustful. They’re aware of the rampant sinfulness — in part because they’re busy sinning — and figure they need church all the more.”
No, they’re religious because they’re stupid and gullible.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 2:19 am


Jesus spoke against the religious establishment, traditions of men.
Christianity is not about “religion.” It’s about relationship to which we are called by God, in love. We love Him because He loved us first. “Religion” is not cleanse you of lusts. You are cleansed of the lusts of the flesh by the Grace of God, through Christ, but ONLY if you are born again.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 2:20 am


“Religion” is not cleanse —> “Religion” does not cleanse



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 2:23 am


==…they’re religious because they’re stupid and gullible.==
That’s what the Pharisees told the people and Jesus. That’s what the Devil tells us today. We don’t listen to the Devil.



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nothing special

posted February 28, 2009 at 2:34 am


God’s not real? I guess it’s possible that the vast majority of the world is wrong, and you are right…



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blü

posted February 28, 2009 at 3:02 am


The data seem to reinforce the conventional wisdom – where sexual expression is suppressed, sexual expression will need to break out.
If only conservatives could shuck their associations with rigid moral positions, exclusiveness, judgmental outlook and correspondingly punitive attitudes, life might be easier for them, not to mention everyone else.
But then they wouldn’t be conservatives, would they.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 3:07 am


==…where sexual expression is suppressed, sexual expression will need to break out.==
So, sexual expression is beyond the control of the individual? Sexual expression has a mind of its own?
If that’s the case, rape law, for instance, will have to be changed.
==If only conservatives could shuck their associations with rigid moral positions, exclusiveness, judgmental outlook and correspondingly punitive attitudes, life might be easier for them, not to mention everyone else.==
Yes, the Devil says that, too.



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Buzby Jo McCallistah

posted February 28, 2009 at 4:53 am


ya gotta sin to get saved



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max

posted February 28, 2009 at 9:29 am


Sexy comments.



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Zippy the Pinhead

posted February 28, 2009 at 9:38 am


Because sexual sin is so frowned upon, it becomes a special indulgence, much like the sexy disciplinarian teacher who has a riding crop to administer 10 of the best to wayward boys.



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hary

posted February 28, 2009 at 9:54 am

Daniel A Weiner

posted February 28, 2009 at 10:55 am


Clearly a case for Freud. Not surprising as well that divorce rates are significantly higher in the Red south than in blue Massachusetts. Repression is a powerful, spiritually damaging force, well documented in the 10th commandment’s singular concern for the psychology of coveting.



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non-metaphysical stephen

posted February 28, 2009 at 11:44 am


Shouldn’t we be asking why the states with lower rates of porn usage have less demand for porn? Do they have less to repress? Do they have higher rates of non-porn sexual behaviors? (E.g,. prostitution, extra-marital affairs, etc.)
Or do they have attitudes about sex that are less stressful than those in conservative churches?
Is there something the high-porn states could learn from the low-porn states about sexuality and self-control?



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John

posted February 28, 2009 at 11:52 am


I have an entirely different take on this. Porn is a basic American freedom. The red states support our constitutional rights to free speech, and that includes porn. The redblooded American conservatives in the red states who buy porn simply buy it to support an iconic, conservative institution.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm


==ya gotta sin to get saved==
No true. It’s enough to have inherited the sin of Adam and Eve to require the work of Christ. Even if you haven’t sinned your whole life, you still must be born again cuz-a Adam and Eve.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm


==Repression is a powerful, spiritually damaging force…==
“Repression” is damaging to spirit???
Then, why does Jesus tell us to repress our sin nature by Him?
==…well documented in the 10th commandment’s singular concern for the psychology of coveting.==
The attraction to porn, for instance, is the work of the sin nature, not of the Godly nature.
Coveting is wishing for worldly things, especially things not your own. It is objectifying them, especially the lusting for a woman. Those who are born again are not to be anchored in worldly things, rather eternal things. Being anchored in the things of God by definition represses worldly things, and repressing worldly things does not damage the spirit.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 1:01 pm


==repressing worldly things does not damage the spirit. ==
I’ll clear that up to say that repressing worldly things damages the ungodly spirit that NEEDS to be repressed.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm


Just cuz porn consumption is up in “red” states doesn’t mean that Conservatives/Christians are the cause. There are plenty of “blue” people goin’ for the porn in “red” states to skew the numbers.



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Bob

posted February 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm


“Not surprising as well that divorce rates are significantly higher in the Red south than in blue Massachusetts.”
But it has nothing to do with more liberal policies and everything to do with the huge Irish/Italian — thus Catholic — population which we have up here. That makes a real difference when it comes to divorce.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm


==But it has nothing to do with more liberal policies and everything to do with the huge Irish/Italian — thus Catholic — population which we have up here. That makes a real difference when it comes to divorce.==
Soooo, divorce is naturally brought on by Catholicism??? Or is it the result of the fallen nature of men and women who don’t adhere to faith in God?



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Serginho

posted February 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm


No, I’m not buying that theory. In fact, it is just the opposite.
The red-state dwellers’ lust for porn is the product of their own repressive culture and repressed upbringing.
OTOH, I think that being raised in an environment where children are taught that sex is a normal, healthy part of being human (not to mention the way the species survives from one generation to the next), leads to healthier attitudes toward sex and thus less consumption of porn.



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Your Name

posted February 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm


I’ve observed some of the most ******-up (pardon the pun) sexual attitudes and behaviors among fundamentalists. I remember working with a fundamentalist woman whose daughter — majoring in hairdressing at Bob Jones University — married her boyfriend within two months of meeting him because they had started to have “feelings” for one another, and as the mom noted approvingly, “It is better to marry than to burn.” In this particular family’s mind, one had almost an obligation to marry a relative stranger if s/he made one feel ooey-gooey in one’s erogenous zones. The idea that experiencing one’s sexuality in [i]any[/i] way until one’s wedding day is evil and sinful and dangerous, but that, like, one second after the preacher says “I do” it’s not only permissable but imperative to go at it like crazed rodents, probaby explains a lot of the porn fascination. It reminds me of my observation in college that my dorm-mates from “dry” homes got much more drunk, much more often, than students like myself from households whose ethnic/religious traditions accept moderate alcohol consumption as a normal part of mealtimes and community celebrations.



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Gerard Nadal

posted February 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm


Are we criticizing because they are inconsistent? Hypocrites? Sinners? Some combination? The study in question dealt with online porn. Is it that more fundamentalist states have social constraints the discourage the establishment of brick and mortar porn shops, leading the predisposed to visit online sites with greater frequency? While we may take the more fundamentalist states to task for their inconsistency, it is well to remember that porn is an addiction. I don’t fault sinners with addictive disorders for trying mightily.
Teddy Roosevelt said it best,
““It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”



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Eric G

posted February 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm


“But it has nothing to do with more liberal policies and everything to do with the huge Irish/Italian — thus Catholic — population which we have up here. That makes a real difference when it comes to divorce”
There’s a big myth in America that Catholics are deeply conservative.
In general, Catholic laypeople are quite secular, certainly more secular than Evangelicals and Southern Protestants, let alone Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pentecostals. Americans who identify themselves as Catholic are more likely to live very secular lifestyles (and less likely to attend church regularly) than Americans who identify with several other Christian denominations. Of 6 countries that recognize same-sex marriage (Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain), 2 are predominantly Catholic (Belgium and Spain), and 2 have large Catholic minorities (Canada, Netherlands). Quite a few other predominantly Catholic countries and territories (such as the Czech Republic, Portugal, Uruguay, and two states in Mexico) recognize same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships. In Canada, the strongholds of social liberalism are Quebec (an overwhelmingly Catholic province) and Ontario (large Catholic population), while the stronghold of social conservatism is Protestant Alberta. There is a similar pattern in the United States: the entire Northeast and much of the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan), areas with large Catholic populations, are strongholds of the left. Some Catholic countries are indeed quite conservative, like Poland, but this a cultural characteristic that many other Catholic populations don’t share. As an Irish friend of mine (from Ireland, not “Irish”-American) once told me: in Ireland everyone is Catholic, but no one is *really* Catholic (and then she giggled). Most of Catholic Europe is like this. A lot of people may practice Lent, but almost no one saves themselves for marriage.
The reason Massachusetts has fewer divorces per capita than the socially conservative Southern states, is probably because people in Massachusetts marry later in life than people in Alabama. And people who marry later (mid-20s and later) are statistically less likely to divorce than people who marry early in life (late teens / early 20s). Of course, there’s also the question of just how conservative self-professed “conservatives” truly are. Many conservatives do stick to their principles, but a lot don’t.



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marcm

posted March 1, 2009 at 9:25 am


“Of course, there’s also the question of just how conservative self-professed “conservatives” truly are. Many conservatives do stick to their principles, but a lot don’t.”
Yes, and many conservatives stick to their principles when the principles affect someone else, but fudge on them otherwise. Hypocrisy is not unique to conservatives by any means. But it often is more apparent since so much of conservatism is about controlling the behavior of other people.



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Charles Cosimano

posted March 1, 2009 at 2:11 pm


Actually it is rather hard to find porn shops anywhere now simply because online porn has put them all out business. Why drive miles to a seedy neighborhood when all you have to do is click a mouse. As far as the red/blue thing goes, it may be the forbidden fruit phenomenon. Folks in blue states don’t feel as great a need to indulge what to them is simply commonplace. If porn is no big deal, then there is no secret longing for it.



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Robert

posted March 1, 2009 at 3:51 pm


Well, Charles Cosimano, you may have hit on the explanation here. People in states McCain carried are less likely to have internet access.



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Christie

posted March 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm


What a bunch of asbsolute bull crap! I don’t believe this study for a second. I do believe “conservatism” is under attack and this is just the latest of many coming down the pike! Watch those red states when the dollar crashes! When it comes to protecting our families WE CONSERVATIVES who own guns, know how to live off the land, and are buying gold will be ready! We don’t participate in porn because it is an abomination before God! We have happy marriages and don’t need porn in our lives. What a bunch of bunk!



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MarkC

posted March 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm


I don’t think anyone would argue Texas is a red state, very Christian, and very conservative, however, in every major city one can’t drive five miles down the highway without seeing the Adult XXX MegaPlexes, adult entertainment establishments, and such. Someone has to be supporting these businesses and it would be my guess that some number of these patrons are conservative Christians. Might the same be true of the online vice with similar purpose that presents less risk to a patron in terms of exposure?



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Simon

posted March 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm


Come on people. Is anyone really surprised that the ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ states are also the most depraved!? When the Christian faith is so absolutely out of step with modern society it surely can be no surprise that people who are wrapped up in the who guilt/sin trap would turn to more secretive ways of getting their rocks off. After all, those God fearing ‘praise the Lord’ types have to “avoid the appearance of evil”, avoiding evil itself is somewhat harder to do.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm


==Is anyone really surprised that the ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ states are also the most depraved!?==
Are there NO “blue” people in those states? Just cuz the stats seem to show that “red” states prefer porn doesn’t mean that it’s the fault of only “red” people. It could be majority “blue” people in those “red” states that prefer porn.



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Steve

posted March 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm


This is not surprising at all where you’re talking about the Protestant theology of salvation through faith alone–i.e., you can force God to take you into heaven (usually by saying a magic prayer) which gives you “assurance” of salvation without regard to your actions.
However, you run into a definitional problem when you are talking about authentic Catholic theology (i.e., what the Church actually teaches, as opposed to what dissidents claim it is). The Catholic view is that we must pursue holiness: the fundamental question is “whose child are we?” (God’s or Satan’s?) Unconfessed mortal sins lead to hell.
So, for the Catholic, if you are downloading and financially supporting pornography, you fall outside the definition of a devout Catholic during that period of time in your life. And if you say otherwise, that would just make you a liar on top of it all.
So, in Catholic areas, records of downloads indicate the extent to which an area is, in fact, authentically Catholic.



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John

posted March 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm


Here are the people that criticize everyone that isn’t born again. They claim to have the moral high ground but they are anything but. I’m not surprised by this at all !!



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 4, 2009 at 8:34 am


==Here are the people that criticize everyone that isn’t born again.==
We’re just following Jesus’ lead. So, address your complaints to Him:
God
c/o Jesus Christ
Heaven
ATTN: Complaint Department
== They claim to have the moral high ground…==
We say what our Father says.
==… but they are anything but.==
Scoffers wouldn’t know.
== I’m not surprised by this at all !!==
Translation: “I made it all up and I’m not surprised by my own conclusions.”



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 4, 2009 at 8:41 am


==the fundamental question is “whose child are we?” (God’s or Satan’s?)
Joh 1:10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
(Joh 1:11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
(Joh 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
(Joh 1:13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
So, those who receive Him are, and those who don’t are not.
Gee, THAT was easy.



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Darrell b

posted March 9, 2009 at 12:22 am


What the study actually shows is Republican perverts are willing to pay for their porn while Democrat perverts feel entitled to free or stolen porn.



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Your Name

posted March 13, 2009 at 3:31 am


Really people the question is here is Porn really worth YOUR SOUL SALVATION?
(have u prayed OR read your bible today? if u havent please proceed to do so now)



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 13, 2009 at 9:06 am


==Really people the question is here is Porn really worth YOUR SOUL SALVATION?==
The Devil has them believing that it IS worth it.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm


Questions not considered in the study are:”What is the level of education in the red and blue states?” and, “Is it possible that higher levels of porn may coincide with lower educational achievement?” I don’t know the answers, but suspect that there is a correlation. To press the conclusions of the study further, I belive it is necessary to search out the percentage of the populatoin that completes high school and has some college or higher education beyond high school.
Religious and political assumptions, and generalizations are not as helpful to the debate. More informatoin is needed than the apparent preconceived conclusion in htis report.
My personal observation is that while driving north on east coast, mid west interstates the billboards advertising XXX-Adult book/video establishments and “GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS — Full nudity!” stops as soon as one moves above the Mason – Dixon Line, with the notable exception of eastern Virginia and Maryland. These blatant advertisements appear to be absent in those areas with a high density of higher education institutions.



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BelieveMe

posted June 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm


Those Alabama spinsters lead the nation per capita in the purchase of Lesbian pornography. The religous conservatives go to church on Sunday praying for forgiveness and then watch porn, abuse children and beat their women the rest of the week. There is little good to say about those poor southern states.



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