Vice Squad
Saturday, February 09, 2008
 
Internet Porn Stats


Top Ten Reviews hosts a webpage that is chock full of statistics relating to pornography generally and internet pornography specifically. For instance, it seems that China is the largest market (in value terms) for pornography, though in per capita value terms, South Korea is dominant: porn "revenues" in South Korea exceed $500 per-capita per year, versus less than $50 in the US of A. (Revenues for porn may well be falling in the US.) Search engine requests for "sex" are most prevalent (in per capita terms?) in Pakistan, whereas South Africa is top of the table for "porn" searches. Among US cities, one stands out for naughty internet searching, leading the country in the "sex", "porn", and "xxx" categories. I am sure that by now you have guessed that this hotbed of perversion is, er, Elmhurst, Illinois.

Do you think that Elmhurst (located in the Northern District of Illinois) leads in those searches because some Elmhurst residents are trolling for potentially obscene material to pass along to the Feds? Or maybe there is one very active fellow who lives in Elmhurst?

Incidentally, I am uncertain about the provenance of many of the numbers reported on the Top Ten webpage, so I would take them with a grain of salt. (I am pretty confident about the "Elmhurst factor," however.)

Update: Please drop what you are doing right now and go watch Michael Pollan (of, among other things, The Omnivore's Dilemma) give a TED talk. Just in case you are new to this, TED talks are the best things on the web; while there, check out Freakonomics guru and general good fellow Steve Levitt. [I almost forgot: Pollan has been mentioned on Vice Squad before (surely his greatest honor) in part for the following quote: "As a result of the war against cannabis, Americans are demonstrably less free today." Levitt, too, has had his days in the Vice Squad sun.]

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