Friday, August 29, 2014

The Higher the Percentage of Mormons in a State, the Lower the Internet Pornography Use

In “Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?,” Benjamin Edelman (2009) examined Internet pornography subscriptions of one of the top ten providers using data aggregated by zip code.  To give readers an easier to understand geographic setting, he aggregated that data to the state level and gave critics of the Church new ammunition with a single data point that found that Utah had the highest rate of subscribers per thousand home broadband users of any state in the union. Zephaniah who writes for Mormon Monsters was typical in her conclusions to other critics blaming conservative sexual practices among members for high rates of pornography subscriptions. The purpose of this post is to offer evidence that those who suggest that Mormon sexual standards contribute to pornography use equivocate logically and provide additional empirical support suggesting that pornography use falls in a state as the percentage of Mormons rises.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mormons and STDs

A funny thing happened while studying one topic.  I found that the variables I was using predict the level of STDs by state.  The variables are the percentage of women married, the percentage of highly religious as measured by a Gallup poll, the number of Mormons as a percentage of the state population (percentage Mormon), the percentage of males between 15 and 34, and the percentage with at least a high school education.  The statistical results are at the bottom of the post.  The variables explained 79.3 percent of the variation in the data and was significant at the 0.0 percent level.  Only the variable measuring the percentage of the population with at least a high school education was not statistically significant at the 10% level or better.  The remaining variables were significant at the 0.0 percent level.  More interesting than knowing variables that were statistically significant was knowing their sign.  They show that values important to Mormons result in lower levels of STDs.