This is the cry being heard across the land after the release of a study done by a Harvard economics professor who tracked subscriptions to online porn sites. Yes, Utah, ground zero for family values, the Osmonds, Stadium of Fire Patriotic displays, draconian liquor laws, muted sex education, etc., is the nation's top porn consumer over the Internet. This news came as a bit of a shock to the faithful and I wondered how long it would be before someone would find a way to rationalize this published study.
There are a couple of ways to look at the Harvard study. One could say, goody for us, we are not as insular and strange a people as may think. On the other hand, Utah can be looked at as the state with the highest number of horny perverts in the country. To the rescue comes BYU law professor Cheryl B. Preston. Professor Preston claims to have done extensive study on the subject of pornography consumption in Utah and offers some questions to be asked that might mitigate the seemingly large lust for porn by Utahns.
She bases her argument on the fact that physical porn, magazines and videos are not as readily available as they might be in other states and that if they were, Utah wouldn't even show up on such a study. She misses the point entirely in her defense of the morals of Utahns. Granted we don't have porn shops on every corner, then again most other cities don't either. She failed to note that we used to have porn theaters downtown but they all went out of business with the advent of VCRs. The shops that dealt in adult videos have all but disappeared with the advent of the Internet. Ergo, people who are into porn needn't leave the comfort of their keyboard to get their jollies. She also failed to mention that the states that are the most outwardly repressed exhibit the highest usage of online porn. We have seen in the past that those who protest the loudest seem to have a bigger problem with these activities than those of us who give little notice or interest. Do I need to give you a list of pastors, priests, politicians and civic leaders who have been caught with their ... uh ... pants down?