Probing the deep structure of the collective psyche, or just noise? Either way, kind of interesting.
Are people Googling “abstinence” worried more generally about children’s behavior — maybe their own children’s behavior? Compare the pattern across states in Google searches for “abstinence” and “b. f. skinner” (correlation .79)*:
Out of the top 100 most-correlated-with-“abstinence” searches, these are the others that plausibly have to do with children’s behavior (correlated between .79 and 87):
attention deficit disorder
attention deficit hyperactivity
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
girls basketball team
My mental image here is one of parental desperation, a parent who one day is thinking of how to get her daughter onto the girls’ basketball team and Googling “student motivation,” and the next day is back to “punishment.”
Two other things about the Abstinence Searchers. One is they may be health worriers generally, and/or have health problems (or live in communities with these problems), because these are also in the top 100:
coping with stress
effects of drinking
infant death syndrome
irritable bowel syndrome
sudden infant death
sudden infant death syndrome
This second list makes me more sympathetic to the Abstinence Searchers. On the other hand, it looks like there is a lot of homeschooling going on here as well (the correlation of “abstinence” with “homeschooling” is .54, not in the top 100 but pretty good). These are also in the top 100:
activities for preschool
activities for preschoolers
activities for students
list of famous people
list of the 50 states
projects for students
I am not in favor of abstinence education because it doesn’t serve children well, and I like the idea of children taught complete information by trained professionals. I would never draw conclusions from this kind of superficial analysis, but it’s a little depressing.
* Note, perhaps due to an outbreak of abstinence education in Mississippi, the number of searches there was an outlier, so I top-coded Mississippi at just over the level of the next-highest state, South Dakota.