SAN ANTONIO - The annual list of America's most sinful states has been released and Texas has dropped in the rankings.
But when it comes to lust, Texas stands alone.
Texas ranks as the Most Lustful State and seventh in the Most Sinful States in the US, according to a study. Texas was No. 6 in Most Sinful in 2023.
In a new study by WalletHub, states were ranked on their sinfulness across five categories: Anger, hatred, excesses and vices, jealousy, greed, lust, vanity, and laziness.
Texas ranked 1st in the nation for its lustfulness, which was determined by looking at the teen birth rate and persons arrested for prostitution per capita. WalletHub also took into account the Google Search Interest Index for Adult Entertainment as well as the average time spent on such websites.
Texas also ranked in the Top 10 in two other metrics, ranking 6th in jealousy and 7th in vanity.
WalletHub talked to experts about why we sin, where the idea of sinful behavior came from, and how to measure "sinfulness."
Linda Gorman, Director of the Health Care Policy Center at the Independence Institute, discussed what criteria we use to determine how "sinful" something may be.
"Depends on the definition of sin," Gorman said. "Historically, it has been a religious concept. As used in secular language, its definition varies. In some places you are a “sinner” if you vote one way or support the “wrong” things. Probably more fruitful to just stick to ranking states in the usual ways—a disorder index perhaps that uses homicides, violent crime, DUI, drug abuse, car insurance rates (which likely reflect car theft and accident rates), vandalism, and so on. Stick with things with numbers that are vetted."
Other experts, like Dr. Yuliya Zabyelina, Associate Professor at the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice of The University of Alabama, were quick to caution that measuring a state's sinfulness may not be the best thing.
"One cannot assume there exists a universal standard for 'sinfulness.," Zabyelina said. "Applying a singular standard based on culture assumes a hierarchy of cultural values, which can be ethnocentric."
Texas ranked more modestly in other categories, ranking 33rd in the country for anger and hatred, 38th in excess and vices, and 40th in terms of greed.
To see more on how the other states ranked, the testing methodology, and how we can work on combating sinful behavior, check out the full article on WalletHub.
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