A blog about what the Christian fundamentalists believe, and taught me to believe, before I escaped. It will curl your hair.

A new study of American states has revealed that those that are most “red” — i.e. the most religious and conservative — experience a higher consumption of pornography than those that are “blue,” i.e. criticized by red state people as “liberal and decadent.”

As the New Scientist website reports in its article, Porn in the USA: Conservatives are biggest consumers, “Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption.”

Benjamin Edelman from Harvard Business School did the survey, using two years’ worth (2006-2008) of anonymized credit card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider.

We can rest easy, though, about our super-religious brethren. At least they gave it a teeny tiny rest on The Lord’s Day:

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.

There’s also an interesting correlation between states’ judgement of gay people, and the use of porn:

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

[snip]

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.”

Edelman believes that all of this has something to do with the repression that religious conservatives teach, when it comes to sex.

I agree with that, being an ex-fundie and ex-conservative, and knowing how that repression just makes things boil inside until they have to explode outward. And this ties in with another interesting fact I learned several years ago.

Studies have also shown that among identifiable sub-groups in society, the highest rate of spousal and child abuse also occurs in fundamentalist religious families. I was pretty stunned by this (though I shouldn’t have been, knowing a couple of my own fundie relatives as I did). I might even have been tempted to raise my eyebrows at this fact, if I hadn’t read exactly the same thing from both a fundamentalist feminist and an anti-religious feminist. If even the fundamentalist female sociologist acknowledged these studies — they had to carry some legitimacy, and the evidence was very disturbing.

It’s also no surprise any longer, when we see preachers and lawmakers screaming loudly about how awful The Gays are, and then watching as those same men are discovered in motel rooms having homosexual dalliances, or watching them arrested for soliciting men in an airport bathroom. (See: fundie preacher Ted Haggard and Republican Senator Larry Craig) The louder they yell and the more vehemently they condemn, the more likely, it seems, that they are repressing and desiring the very thing they condemn.

Of course, the fundies will say that this little pornography thingie just proves their point: we are all terribly sinful, and only the conservative Republican fundamentalist God can save us.

Um, no. All this proves, guys, is that you are terribly sinful, and your nasty stomping deity not only doesn’t save you from your natural urges, but makes them worse. After all, the porn trend among those liberal decadent blue state types was lower than yours:

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.

So perhaps those religious types in the red states who want to trumpet how righteous they are and how evil we are…? Should just shut up and slink away to their dank corners.

(Thanks go to the Carnal Nation website for pointing out the above article and study.)

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Comments on: "Religious Conservatives and Porn: why am I not surprised?" (4)

  1. salafrance said:

    Hmmm… I can see how this argument would be turned around with the thought that ‘Maybe the porn subscriptions are lower in these liberal, decadent blue states because people are *doing* all these nasty sinful things rather than just *looking* at them…’.

    Can’t win, really. Technically speaking, they really *are* holier than thou (and I). It’s hard to accept that people can be so deaf to the cognitive dissonance; it requires that people be complicit in their delusion, but this does fit the profile of the people with whom I’ve talked online.

    It’s a very alien mindset.

  2. I think you’re probably correct that the red-state people would claim that those nasty libruls are out there actually being decadent and wicked. Of course — that’s what they claim anyway. They claim that even the kindest saint is desperately wicked in his/her heart of hearts.

    What they never address is that their deity doesn’t seem to manage to change their own track record in the matter.

  3. And what do you want to bet that a lot of these shrill homophobes like to watch girl-on-girl action?

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