The news: Christian in the streets, porn lover in the sheets?
That's the finding of a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Canadian researchers at Brock University analyzed Google Trends data from 2011 and 2012 that related to sex and porn terms and analyzed how they overlapped with a 2011 Gallup survey about religiosity and conservatism.
The result: States with big populations of self-identified religious conservatives were significantly more likely to search for terms such as "gay sex," "gay porn" and "sex." The strongest and most persistent link was between conservatism and a Google Image search for "sex."
"At minimum, these Internet-search data clearly demonstrate that those living in states with greater proportions of very religious or conservative citizenry nonetheless seek out and experience the forbidden fruit of sexuality in private settings," the researchers wrote.
This is in line with previous findings. A 2009 study also found that religious, conservative states were more likely to buy porn online. The 27 states that passed laws banning same-sex marriage had 11% more porn subscriptions than states that didn't, and states where the majority of people said they had "old-fashioned values about family and marriage" bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people.
"One natural hypothesis is something like repression: If you're told you can't have this, then you want it more," the Harvard Business School's Benjamin Edelman said at the time.
A big data experiment published by Pornhub this month also found that religious, conservative states dominated the list of states with the longest average visits on the site:
The South particularly likes searching for "teen" and "ebony":
And even in times of political divide and conflict, the country can at least be united in its love for one thing: "creampie." The popular search term topped the list in 13 different states and was the most common porn search item throughout the U.S.