Business Sought Before Sex

Apr 04, 2002
George Anderson

People are looking less for sexually oriented material on the Web and more for business and travel information, according to a new Penn State study.

The study examined the behavior of 200,000 users of the Excite Web search engine. The results were published in the March edition of IEEE Computer. Data was compared from 1997, 1999, and 2001 to track trends in search topics and in search behavior.

The study classified a random sample of sites into 11 general topic categories. From 1997 to 2001, “Sex and Pornography” moved down the list. In the first year, approximately one in six searches were about sex. By 2001, the ratio was down to one in 12, and many of these queries related not to pornography but to human sexuality.

Moderator Comment: What broader issues does the Penn
State study bring up for you?

Sex (porn actually) helped to make the video business
and it has done the same for the Internet. Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker may
have something with their theories on deviance. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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