I’ve been wondering about the effects of the UK’s proposed internet porn filter on society.
A (potentially negative) side effect will be an increase in the birth rate and a subsequent increase in health care costs.
My reasoning goes as follows: people who watch porn have less sex. Thus, if people start to watch less porn because of a filter, they’ll have sex more frequently and we’ll see an increase in pregnancies.
We know that countries with high internet usage have lower birthrates, but this correlation has typically been ascribed to wealth and education, rather than internet usage. Perhaps it’s time to consider other reasons (easily accessible porn) for their lower birthrates?
Here are some interesting facts:
- >35% of all porn in the USA is consumed by individuals who earn >$75K pa. Only 11% of households earn more than $75K. See this and this.
- Wealth correlates strongly to lower birth rates. Read about the Demographic Economic Paradox here.
- High broadband penetration correlates strongly to low birth rates. Of the 34 countries with the highest internet penetration, none are in the top 75 countries with the highest birthrate. Only two, Israel & Mexico, are in the top 100. See here and here.
- One third of all internet usage is pornography.
- Porn kills your sex drive. See this, this & this or go and find any forum with 100s of replies from people experiencing the same thing.
Of course, correlation doesn’t always mean causality. And it can also be argued that low birth rates are not a positive thing (who’s going to take care of ever longer living aged people?)