Does Missouri Love Porn as Much as Other Red States?

Categories: Community, Media
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A study by a Harvard professor that was published last week in the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that traditionally conservative states consume the most online pornography. 

The study, a pdf of which can be found here, looked at the zip codes from credit cards that were used to purchase "online adult entertainment" between 2006 and 2008.

The research has now been thoroughly digested by the blogosphere, which loved the fact that Republican strongholds like Utah and Mississippi led the way in per capita porn consumption. (Best line: "They're red from all the chafing")

But how does the Show-Me State, which voted red in an otherwise blue 2008 election, stack up?

Missouri actually ended up somewhere in the middle. 

According to a map that breaks down porn purchases, Missouri averages between 2.7 and 2.9 paid subscriptions to adult entertainment per 1000 broadband users. By comparison, those horndogs in Utah averaged 5.7 and Montana brought up the rear with 1.92. Neighboring Illinois was just a hair behind it's western neighbor, with 2.4 to 2.7 subscription per 1000.

Benjamin Edelman, the study's author, writes that several factors may contribute to our state's lukewarm attitude toward online T&A. Since the paper took into account several different variables (population density, religous views, state laws on porn production and other adult entertainment etc.) and middle-of-the-map Missouri tends to be about average compared to other states in all of those categories, it's only natural the state be about the same in this instance.

Here's what's most telling:

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."

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