Sexual and pornographic Web searching: Trends analysis

Amanda Spink, Helen Partridge, Bernard J. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The level of sexual or pornographic Web searching is a major subject of political debate, particularly in the United States. United States federal prosecutors recently, as of 2006, requested that the major Web search engines, Yahoo, American Online (AOL), MSN and Google provide a sampling of their search queries and indexes of Web sites, in order to allow the examination of various aspects of pornographic searching and retrieval. This paper examines studies that have analyzed Web search logs to determine the level of sexual or pornographic searches on publically available Web search engines from 1997 to 2005. Results show that sexual or pornographic queries have declined as a proportion of all Web queries since 1997 and currently represented less than four percent of Web queries. In conclusion, the paper provides perspectives on the results, including issues of self-regulated choice and human mating behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalFirst Monday
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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