A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states.No, not exactly. The study found that a few more people subscribe to porn in Utah than Montana, and other studies found that more attend church in Utah. But we don't know that any church-goers are subscribing to porn, or that anyone is simultaneously consuming porn and outraged by porn.
"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. ...
"One natural hypothesis is something like repression: if you're told you can't have this, then you want it more," Edelman says.
Maybe people in Utah attend church more in order to pray for their non-church-going neighbors who are addicted to porn. Maybe also some porn consumers would rather have less porn on the internet. It would take a lot more research to show some sort of repression theory.