::Literate Blather::
Monday, March 09, 2009
5 Questions About: Pornography

An Interview with a Harvard PhD About Why Christian Conservatives Like Online Porn so Much


(Ben Edelman, PhD, is an assistant professor of at Harvard Business School. Not the type you’d generally associate with pornography. But, well, Ben appears to be knee-deep in it – but from an academic perspective (sounds like the people who used to claim to read Playboy for the articles). Anyway, we digress. Ben just published a study in New Scientist about the online pornographic viewing habits of Americans. The results are either unsurprising or shocking depending on your political viewpoints. The most fascinating finding? It appears that Christian conservatives really like their porn. Here’s our recent interview with Ben).

DaRK PaRTY: You recently completed a study on the Web and pornography. Can you give us a birds eye view of the study and how you conducted it?

Ben: My article looks at all aspects of online adult entertainment – including where and how this material is produced and marketed, and also patterns in who tends to buy this material.

DP: How prevalent is the viewing of pornography online?

Ben: According to ComScore Media Metrix, 36 percent of web users browsed at least one adult web site per month. For certain age/gender combinations, the usage rate is as high as 45 percent. So online adult entertainment is quite prevalent -- used by a sizable minority of Internet users each month.

DP: One of the results from your study found that states that identified as more conservative and Christian had higher rates of pornography consumption. Why do you think that is?

Ben: It's hard to say for sure. One possibility is that despite the values commonly associated with these regions, residents of these regions actually disproportionately choose to partake in online adult entertainment.

Another possibility is that those who seek adult entertainment i
Linkn these regions cannot readily find these materials locally -- for example, because local zoning rules or other restrictions make these materials hard to get locally. If so, those seeking these materials might need to get them online -- whereas people from less conservative regions could get what they wanted through more accessible, retail locations.

DP: Utah ranked first in pornography viewership online out of all 50 states. Can you give us a rundown of the top 10 and the bottom 10 what their numbers were and who they voted for in 2008 for president?

Ben: See Table 2 of my report. I favor using the third column of that table. That gives the state names, so you can cross-check with 2008 presidential outcomes (see graphic above).

DP: Has the stigma attached to viewing pornography online vanished? In other words, is pornography mainstream?

Ben: It's hard to say. For some groups, perhaps. For others, I doubt it. Adult entertainment remains disproportionately a private activity, and in many respects online access to adult entertainment further increases privacy -- no risk of seeing a colleague at a retail location.

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Friday, March 06, 2009
Poem: Sunrise Over Worcester

By Josiah Bardsley

The March sun rises over the cold Worcester hills
And his heart holds its mysteries silent and still
Grey as coal dust, this strange day breaks
And with the soft light of dawn, a new soul it takes

High above the trees, staring out across the line
Of the barren shade of beauty that still endures to shine
In the days about to come, in the weeks of recent past
The hope that has sustained me is ebbing now at last

For it’s the darkest shade of dawn that takes away the light
When the deepest breath he took was just to last throughout the night
But the dawn cannot turn around and reverse the fate of day
And we cannot last beyond what is our determined stay

And so it marches steady and so it marches on
The coal grey light of endings, this dismal Worcester dawn
So go ahead, and take what’s yours, I see no other way
And leave the rest of us to make it through this dismal Worcester day

(Josiah Bardsley lives in San Francisco where he spends way too much time hanging out in used bookstores and bars. He likes fog, small dogs and moonlit walks on the beach....really. This is his first submission to DaRK PaRTY)

More Poems:


Spanish Poetry

Stars Get in the Way of Things

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