Google enables anyone to quantify almost anything – what people are worried about, what people want to buy, what they do buy, what they want to learn, etc. And then, you can cross that information with almost any other parameter, such as geography. So if you want to know where people consume the most pornography, Google can actually supply that information – within seconds. A trend that has been noticed concerns the search for porn and sex related Internet content. It is commonly understood that pornography content is one of the most sought after types of Internet content worldwide. But in which regions and countries is it MOST searched?
While the answer may surprise many, it does not surprise psychologists and researchers. At the top of the lists for porn related search are Muslim countries like Eqypt, Algeria and Pakistan. In the US, there are more searches for porn in States such as Utah. In societies that tend to be more repressed in their sexual attitudes, it appears that people are driven to seeking information and exposure online.
In a study done by a Harvard University affiliated group in 2009, it was found that in the US, states where a majority of residents agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage,” bought 3.6 more pornography subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed with that statement.
“Over half of internet users in Iran have admitted searching for porn and about one third of them do it every day,” says Saeed Madani, a sociologist in Tehran. Note that in Iran, pornography is illegal and just last year, many arrests were made of suspects accused of running pornography websites. Iranian boys and girls are banned from socializing freely and demand for online adult content has exploded there.
Psychologists in these kinds of communities, where harsh laws are enacted to try to eliminate sexual content or access to it, find that many people suffer from extreme sexual problems caused by years of suppression and fear.
So what can be concluded or from this information? On one hand, it appears that enacting laws to try to prevent access to pornography is not working and is likely increasing the public’s demand for the pornography content. On the other hand, the availability of pornography and the widespread exposure is undoubtedly a danger to society’s sexual and mental health.
In societies that ban open relationships and do not allow any discussion of sexuality, even if it is educational, normal and healthy, the population is driven to seek information elsewhere. If the only available source for learning about sex, is pornography, the results can be catastrophic. So the conclusion is that indeed, something has to be done about eliminating access to pornography. But in parallel, it must be ensured that children, teens and adults all have access to the right kind of information at the right time in their life and in a highly accessible format. That would include parental guidance, sex education in school and Internet content that can enhance their understanding and remove the element of embarrassment they may be facing.