Furthest Right

More bad data analysis

A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states.

Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.

“Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by,” Benjamin Edelman says.

New Scientist


  1. These receipts are anonymized.
  2. Not everyone in a conservative state is conservative.
  3. Not everyone consumes the same amount of porn.

This means that in a conservative state, a relative minority could be responsible for this porn consumption.

The headline “Conservatives are biggest consumers (of porn)” is misleading, as is Edelman’s statement.

In fact, since there’s no direct proof chain leading to his conclusion and that headline, we have to wonder: why would a scientist make such an un-scientific declaration?

Oh right: it makes a great headline. It’s ironic. It entitles us to feel a revenge impulse against those who do believe in something other than themselves.

How easily science sells itself to the highest bidder.

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