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The Strange Link Between Winning Elections and Online Porn

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Workers voting during the war between CIO United Steelworkers & International Union of Mineworkers.

A husband and wife research team may have discovered a novel way to make college kids care about politics. According to their research, online porn usage goes up in states that voted for winning candidates after elections.

The researchers, Patrick Markey and Charlotte Markey, associate professors of psychology at Villanova University and Rutgers University, respectively, published their results in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. What has looking at online porn after elections got to do with evolution, you ask? The researchers were actually trying to test the idea that testosterone levels rise after a male has won a fight or challenge, and fall after he has lost. This would make evolutionary sense, because he could be hurt or killed, and therefore not breed if he kept fighting even though outmatched. (More on Time.com: Can a Liberal Gene Make You a Party Animal?)

To see if it might be true in the political arena, the duo looked at Google Trends to track the frequency of search words commonly associated with porn in the time frame right after elections. (A rise in testosterone is associated with a rise in sexual appetite, and, as if it needs to be said, most of the people who search for porn online are men.) In Republican states, porn usage went up after President Bush won. In blue states, porn searches were higher after the 2008 midterms, which swung heavily democratic, and after President Obama won. (More on Time.com: The Internet’s Porn Domain)

Of course porn isn’t the only — or even the most effective — way to satisfy a sexual appetite. So, if the polls are right, and the Markeys are right, Republican voters may wish to wear their sexy PJs to bed next Tuesday.

More on Time.com:

5 Little-Known Truths About American Sex Lives

Study of American Sex Habits Suggests Boomers Need Sex Ed

Debunking the Headlines: Falling in Love in 0.2 Sec.? We Don’t Think So

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