My apologies in advance to all the people who Googled the word “porn” and ended up, well, here.

I swear there is more to this post than an attempt to drive site traffic with the keyword porn. Or pornography. Or gratuitous sexual references. Or porn.

There is substance to this post.

It is this.

If you use pornography, you are more likely than the average Australian to vote for the Greens, watch the ABC and have a tertiary degree.

Fact.

This is a good moment to remember, I think, that correlation does not equal causation. Getting hot and sweaty over Hustler will not automatically lead you, panting, to Lateline and Bob Brown.

I stumbled across this extraordinary fact while reading the Sydney Papers (as you do). The Sydney Papers is the quarterly periodical of Gerard Henderson’s The Sydney Institute, and is a compilation of the speeches given by the Institute’s guests.*

In this case the speaker was academic journalist Catharine Lumby, who was talking about an Australian Research Council funded survey of porn users, or “porn consumers”, as she calls them. (Personally the phrase “consuming porn” conjures up images on which I would rather not dwell.)

Anyway according to this survey – of 1023 “self selected” porn consumers – a higher proportion of porn consumers than average Australians vote Green, watch the ABC (or no TV at all) and have tertiary degrees.

Hmm. We may need to drop latte sipping as the identifier of choice.

Some other interesting results of Lumby’s research:

  • 33 per cent of Australian adults use pornography
  • 58 per cent of porn consumers are religious
  • Porn consumers are as likely to be Coalition voters as Labor voters

So there you are. Couldn’t resist passing it on.

*If Gerard responds to this post, the correspondence will be published here in full. Something to look forward to.

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