Tech + Health

01.17.14

Anti-Gay Countries Love Gay Porn

Uganda doth protest too much, Google thinks: it’s one of the highest ranking on search terms for man-on-man love.

Search trends released by Google indicate that the African nation, which recently passed a bill sentencing those guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” to life in prison, is the third-most popular source for searches of “man fucking man.” The gold and silver medal winners for search terms related to gay pornography? Kenya and Pakistan—two more nations where gays face legal punishment ranging from two to 14 years in prison. In fact, of the ten nations where searches for same-sex porn are the highest, nine are places where homosexual activity is explicitly banned. Uganda’s recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill is actually a softening of the original proposal, which would have executed repeat offenders.

This isn’t the first time that the loudest anti-gay voices have been coming from behind a closet door. According to the Journal of Economic Perspectives, straight-laced Utah—site of the most recent dust-up in the battle over same-sex marriage in the U.S.—has America’s highest online porn subscription rate per capita. Even on a personal level, empirical studies have suggested that self-identified “highly straight” individuals who favor anti-gay policies are more likely to tacitly harbor their own latent same-sex attractions.

If repressive societies are accidentally boosting one-handed Google searches for gay content, the same search data seems to suggest that more liberal views of homosexuality are actually boosting red-blooded searches for straights—of the ten nations most fervently Googling “straight porn,” gay marriage or civil unions are legal in seven.