The economics of porn

Harvard’s Benjamin Edelman has issued a fascinating study Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?

Internet porn was a $2.8 billion market in 2006, but who buys the cow when you can you have the milk for free?

Hypocrites, that’s who.

Subscriptions are slightly more prevalent in states that have enacted conservative legislation on sexuality. In the 27 states where “defense of marriage” amendments have been adopted (making same-sex marriage, and/or civil unions unconstitutional), subscriptions to this adult entertainment service are weakly more prevalent than in other states ( p=0.096). In such states, there were 0.2 more subscribers to this adult web site per thousand broadband households, 11 percent more than in other states….

As shown in Table 4, 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.”

The state that subscribes the most to Internet porn? Utah

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