Feature

Republicans and porn

The meaning of a study on obscene material use across red and blue states

You've probably seen the headlines by now, said James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal. A publication called New Scientist reported on a study finding that pornography sells well in both red and blue states. But the liberal media twisted the fuzzy findings to claim that conservatives are the nation's biggest porn consumers. The disparaging stereotype—that repressed conservatives are hypocrites about sex—makes a spicier story than the truth.

So let's look at what the Harvard study really found, said David Pescovitz in Boing Boing. Eight of the top 10 states—in terms of paid online pornography consumption—voted for Republican John McCain in the presidential election. And the largest consumer was famously straight-laced Utah. You have to admit, the correlations are "interesting."

To say the least, said Laura Harrison McBride in Examiner.com. Republicans rail against drinking and gambling and other vices that happen out in the open, as if they "want to take us back to the Puritan age." But porn is consumed behind closed doors, "where no one can see," so it provides the perfect way for hypocrites to get their jollies.

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