The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: Seasonal Variation in Internet Keyword Searches: A Proxy Assessment of Sex Mating Behaviors.

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflAug 3, 2012 11:00 PM

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"The current study investigated seasonal variation in internet searches regarding sex and mating behaviors. Harmonic analyses were used to examine the seasonal trends of Google keyword searches during the past 5 years for topics related to pornography, prostitution, and mate-seeking. Results indicated a consistent 6-month harmonic cycle with the peaks of keyword searches related to sex and mating behaviors occurring most frequently during winter and early summer. Such results compliment past research that has found similar seasonal trends of births, sexually transmitted infections, condom sales, and abortions." Bonus quotes from the material and methods: "One means of measuring what sexual issues and concerns are on the public’s mind at a specific period of time is by assessing changes in internet keyword searches. By simply typing a few words into an internet search engine (e.g., Google), individuals are able to obtain information on any topic of interest. For example, a person might type the word “porn” into the Google search engine when attempting to find pornography. A person might type in “eHarmony” when trying to find a mate or even “prostitute” when attempting to engage in illicit sexual activities. Given that about 78 % of the population in the United States has access to the internet (World Bank, 2011), web search queries have become a valuable source of information about what issues, concerns, and desires individuals residing within the United States are thinking about." "In order to examine keyword searches for pornography, prostitution, and mate-seeking, different sets of keywords were selected. The pornography keyword set included 10 keywords used in previous research that individuals tend to use when searching for pornography (“porn,” “boobs,” “xvideos,” “tits,” “sex,” “pussy,” “hentai,” “xxx,” “nude,” and “milf”; see Markey & Markey, 2010, 2011). In a similar manner, the prostitution keyword set included five keywords that individuals might use to engage in sexual activities that are often illegal (“call girl,” “escort,” “massage parlor,” “brothel,” and “prostitute”). Finally, the mate-seeking keyword set included the names of 10 popular websites that individuals often use to find potential mates (“eHarmony,” “Yahoo Personals”, “AOL Personals,” “Plenty of Fish,” “Zoosk,” “Singles Net” “Friend Finder,” “JDate,” “Match.com,” and “Okcupid”)."

Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Great sexpectations. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: If I’m not hot, are you hot or not? Physical attractiveness evaluations and dating preferences as a function of one’s own attractiveness. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Detection and management of pornography-seeking in an online clinical dermatology atlas. NCBI ROFL. Real articles. Funny subjects. Read our FAQ!

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