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Pornography in Utah


Edither

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I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed. In taking a class for my CEU

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Well, my first response would be a CFR.

Second, I would wonder what sort of pornography is being talked about. If we're talking about cyber-porn, then it may be that the relative unavailability of porn shops in Utah, and the social norms against porn, leads those who wish to consume such media to do so in private stealth--online.

Finally, I think studies could be done to measure how healthy the sexual attitudes and sex lives of Mormons are and how great or poor their mental health is, all of which would go toward answering the question about unhealthful repression.

Don

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Repression can be defined as anythng a society says "no" to. Does repression give higher rates of consumption to everything that is "repressed"?

I would consider the following:

Prevalence or rates of internet by household and user

Prevealence or rates of firewalls in use

Visitors (ie out of state students) versus local poopulation

Rural versus Urban or is urban use of pornography more dense and does Utah have a higher urban to rural ratio?

Then I would also look to the statistics and how they were gathered....

Alot of unknowns there.

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I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed. In taking a class for my CEU

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Well, my first response would be a CFR.

Second, I would wonder what sort of pornography is being talked about. If we're talking about cyber-porn, then it may be that the relative unavailability of porn shops in Utah, and the social norms against porn, leads those who wish to consume such media to do so in private stealth--online.

Finally, I think studies could be done to measure how healthy the sexual attitudes and sex lives of Mormons are and how great or poor their mental health is, all of which would go toward answering the question about unhealthful repression.

Don

Thanks for both comments...good points to consider. To answer your CFR, I did look up the professors assertion and this is the first article I found from 2009: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16680-porn-in-the-usa-conservatives-are-biggest-consumers.html.

I think if there is any lack of healthy sexuality/attitudes among LDS culture it is based on a misinterpretation of what is taught. Just my own two cents.

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OK, thanks for the link, Edither.

I suspect the mostly likely explanation is that in a Mormon state people have less access to porn shops, adult theaters, strip clubs, and prostitutes, and that Mormons specifically are less likely to be having extramarital or premarital sex or to be able to comfortably subscribe to pornographic magazines or adult channels within their family environments or with LDS roommates around. So the search for nonmarital sexual stimulation shifts to the most private of environments--one's personal computer.

Don

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OK, thanks for the link, Edither.

I suspect the mostly likely explanation is that in a Mormon state people have less access to porn shops, adult theaters, strip clubs, and prostitutes, and that Mormons specifically are less likely to be having extramarital or premarital sex or to be able to comfortably subscribe to pornographic magazines or adult channels within their family environments or with LDS roommates around. So the search for nonmarital sexual stimulation shifts to the most private of environments--one's personal computer.

Don

Well, there's always LDSsingles.com

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OK, thanks for the link, Edither.

I suspect the mostly likely explanation is that in a Mormon state people have less access to porn shops, adult theaters, strip clubs, and prostitutes, and that Mormons specifically are less likely to be having extramarital or premarital sex or to be able to comfortably subscribe to pornographic magazines or adult channels within their family environments or with LDS roommates around. So the search for nonmarital sexual stimulation shifts to the most private of environments--one's personal computer.

Don

Hi Don,

I do not believe this study demonstrates a causal link between Mormonism and porn usage. But I am not sure I buy your above criticism. It is not clear the availability of conventional sources of porn strongly influences online usage of porn. For example suppose I have 100 porn users in Utah and 100 porn users in New York. Now the critical argument would be that the New York users of porn have easier access to conventional sources of porn hence of that 100 maybe 10 would get their porn online and the rest would obtain it from conventional sources. Whereas in Utah conventional sources of porn are much harder to come by hence all 100 would obtain their porn online. This then would skew the results although New York and Utah have the same number of porn users Utah shows up as having much more because of the inability to obtain porn from conventional sources.

I would argue it is unlikely that the porn users in New York would exclusively obtain porn only from brick and mortar vendors. That is of the 100 porn users in New York some of their porn would be from brick and mortar stores and some would be from online sources. In fact intuitively I would think most porn would come from online sources even if conventional sources are available due to the convenience factor and less risk of public humiliation. Actually if you take a look at the study, growth in conventional videos and rentals have dropped by ~15% since 2005 while in the same time period internet porn sites have grown by 13% which supports what you would intuitively suspect. Of the 100 porn users in New York it is reasonable to suggest they are obtaining at least some of their porn online and hence should show up in this type of study which tracks subscriptions and not overall usage. In other words it is not clear the availability of conventional porn sources would significantly skew the results of online porn subscription. Especially in this type of study which is looking at subscription rates and not frequency of usage. That is a porn user with easily accessible conventional sources of porn might use their subscription less than someone with no access to conventional sources. But they both would have subscriptions so both would be included in this study.

Now my own thoughts on this is that as I recall Utah demographics skews younger there are a higher proportion of young people in Utah than in many other states. Young people with raging hormones are more likely to want to view sexual material. Hence the study may simply be reflecting the higher proportion of young people in Utah.

All the Best,

Uncertain

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Hi Uncertain,

The issue isn't all or nothing. While much of the porn use, and a growing amount, outside of Utah is also online, Utah has offline porn in unusually low supply, which would tend to push porn users online to an even higher degree than outside of Utah. Perhaps we could confirm this by comparing Playboy sales in Utah (etc.) with those in other states, etc., etc.

Plus, my argument addresses not only offline porn but also the availability of other sources of sexual stimulation, such as strip clubs, prostitutes, and "loose" women.

However, I think your argument makes a solid contribution to explaining this phenomenon as well. Utah has a disproportionate number of young adults, who would not only be boiling over with hormones but also quite familiar with the Internet--hence higher Internet porn usage in Utah.

Cheers,

Don

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Mine is essentially a "market" perspective: If the perceived "cost," morally and socially, of offline sexual satisfications is too high for Utah singles (or dissatisfied marrieds), and the supply too low, then they will naturally go to the less "costly" online stuff--if they're going to seek such satisfactions at all.

On this same logic I would expect that despite LDS teachings (mildly) against masturbation, Mormon singles (particularly young men) would have a higher than average rate and frequency of this behavior, precisely because they're (overwhelmingly) not having sex.

In "economic" terms, this would be the substitution of one sexual "good" for another.

On that odd note...

Cheers,

Don

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Whether or not there is any sort of "causal" link between Mormonism and porn viewing, I'm more interested in the fact that it is obviously a huge, huge problem for the Church.

As I once said:

As with all losing wars, there comes a time when the leaders have to re-evaluate their strategy and survey the battlefield. Sometimes, radical new tactics must be adopted. Certainly, no competent General would assume that doing the same losing battle plan over and over would eventually result in victory, right? And sometimes, surrender and retreat is the only logical option.

With that in mind, I suggest one option LDS Church leaders may have to eventually consider: accept pornography. But I say

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Hi Uncertain,

The issue isn't all or nothing. While much of the porn use, and a growing amount, outside of Utah is also online, Utah has offline porn in unusually low supply, which would tend to push porn users online to an even higher degree than outside of Utah. Perhaps we could confirm this by comparing Playboy sales in Utah (etc.) with those in other states, etc., etc.

Plus, my argument addresses not only offline porn but also the availability of other sources of sexual stimulation, such as strip clubs, prostitutes, and "loose" women.

However, I think your argument makes a solid contribution to explaining this phenomenon as well. Utah has a disproportionate number of young adults, who would not only be boiling over with hormones but also quite familiar with the Internet--hence higher Internet porn usage in Utah.

Cheers,

Don

Hi Don,

I do think you make a valid point. I am just not convinced it necessarily applies all that much to the study under discussion which tracks online porn subscriptions not online porn usage. They are not one and the same. Yes I could see people in Utah getting a higher proportion of their sexual stimulation online for the reasons you listed. But I also think it likely a porn consumer in or out of the state is just as likely to have online porn subscriptions although the porn consumer out of the state may get a lower fraction of their sexual stimulation online by using their online subscriptions and a higher fraction in other ways i.e(premarital sex, brick and mortar stores etc.).

PS. We can fight on this thread and the other a double feature :P

All the Best,

Uncertain

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Uncertain,

A double feature would be nice!

I don't really see why people without other sources of sexual stimulation would only use porn more and not subscribe to it more. The degree to which one is inclined to use it would also affect how willing they were to pay for a subscription to it.

See you on the other thread,

Don

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Uncertain,

A double feature would be nice!

I don't really see why people without other sources of sexual stimulation would only use porn more and not subscribe to it more. The degree to which one is inclined to use it would also affect how willing they were to pay for a subscription to it.

See you on the other thread,

Don

Hi Don,

You could be right. In the end my argument is really based on my personal intuition that a porn user in or out of Utah are equally likely to purchase online porn subscriptions. Although the porn user out of Utah may use it less. And personal intuition is not exactly the most rigorous of foundations :P.

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Hi Don,

You could be right. In the end my argument is really based on my personal intuition that a porn user in or out of Utah are equally likely to purchase online porn subscriptions. Although the porn user out of Utah may use it less. And personal intuition is not exactly the most rigorous of foundations :P.

Hey Uncertain,

My hang up with your argument or intuition is the idea that there would be no difference in subscription rates or number of subscriptions per user-subscriber where there is higher use and lower availability of alternatives. That's a nonstarter for me.

Don

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Hey Uncertain,

My hang up with your argument or intuition is the idea that there would be no difference in subscription rates or number of subscriptions per user-subscriber where there is higher use and lower availability of alternatives. That's a nonstarter for me.

Don

Almost you persuadest me to be a Christian :P. You win, as I have further thought about this higher usage of online porn could be reasonably expected to lead to higher subscription rates. Hence higher dependence on online porn in Utah could indeed lead to higher subscription rates of porn sites.

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The notion of "repression" is a hold-over from the failed Freudian psychology, and mistakenly attributes unhealthy practices to overly stringent social standards, and as such, tragically advocates for permissiveness. Much of the increase in social problems since the early 1900's, with things like teen pregnancies, higher divorse rates, and so forth, can be attributed, in part, to the spread of this incideous notion.

Wise people these day prefer a proven and workable explanation and treatment for unhealthy practices. They attribute it to people making irresponsible choices. If the incidence of online pornography is higher in Utah than in other states, it is because there is a higher number of people who are irresponsible and making bad choices in that regard. The way to curb it, isn't to become lax on sexual standards (that would tend to only increase or encourage the unhealthy behavior), but rather to teach and encourage and show the value of responsible and healthy behavior.

By the way, if I remember correctly, Utah is one of the top, if not the top, states in the nation for internet access. So one would expect that where there is proportionally greater access, there will be proportionally greater incidence.

Also, the incedence of online pornography tends to be clustered around the universities, the U of U in particular, where the incidence of irresponsible and unhealthy behavior would be expected be high.

P.S. Besides, if sexual "repression" were supposedly a problem in Utah, why does the state lead the nation proportioanlly in births (the obvious result of human sexuality).

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Almost you persuadest me to be a Christian :P. You win, as I have further thought about this higher usage of online porn could be reasonably expected to lead to higher subscription rates. Hence higher dependence on online porn in Utah could indeed lead to higher subscription rates of porn sites.

Wait, are you sure? Do people really change their minds on these sites?! Even if I may have led you astray (which I doubt), I think it's cool to see a demonstration of openmindedness here! ;)

I suspect you're right that the different in porn subscription rates would not vary as much as the usage rates, possibly limiting the explanatory power of this idea. However, I think that combined with your insight about age brackets, we probably have an explanation for most of Utah's variance from the national norm.

In fact, let's combine the two explanations more fully. Utah has higher numbers of young people and a higher "cost" to pornography and other nonmarital sexual stimulation; and young people are both more likely to use the Internet and to be unmarried. Not that I think all this porn consumption is among singles, but where you have a bunch of young people who can't have sex outside of marriage and are not married....

There may be flaw in this, but in any case I think we've hit on a big part or parts of the explanation.

Cheers,

Don

BTW, I don't really have to persuade you to be a Christian (LDS-style), do I?

=)

Don

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In fact, let's combine the two explanations more fully. Utah has higher numbers of young people and a higher "cost" to pornography and other nonmarital sexual stimulation; and young people are both more likely to use the Internet and to be unmarried. Not that I think all this porn consumption is among singles, but where you have a bunch of young people who can't have sex outside of marriage and are not married....

There may be flaw in this, but in any case I think we've hit on a big part or parts of the explanation.

Add to this the proportioanly higher access to the internet in Utah than most other states (see 2007 Census statistics for internet use per state), you may just have nailed it. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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