Researching Porn on the Internet

Ancient Porn

Searching all the porn on the Internet might not seem like the most scientifically productive activity, but computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam did it anyway.
For their new book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire, Ogas and Gaddam analyzed the results of 400 million online searches for porn and uncovered some startling insights into what men and women may really want from each other — at least sexually. (Maia Szalavitz, author of this article, spoke recently with Ogas. Below is the last question posed, it is what most people want to know about porn.)
Did you find evidence that porn is addictive?
We looked at individual search histories for half a million people using an AOL data set [which does not identify the users]. It seems to be less than 2% of people, among the people who search for porn, who have a significantly elevated number of searches.
And there’s a [shared] characteristic among these searchers: they search for a really wide variety of porn, which is atypical. Usually, people search for the same things over and over. But these people who search for notably more porn tend to search for [many different things].
Two things tend to show up in these searches, oddly: bestiality and granny porn. There’s clearly something different about that group. Having said that, there isn’t overwhelming evidence that porn addiction exists. Probably the best way to define whether it’s a problem is if you want to stop and you can’t.
Find this article at:
http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/19/mind-reading-the-researchers-who-analyzed-all-the-porn-on-the-internet/

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