Religion

Study: Religion Affects Perceptions of Porn Addiction

| by Allison Geller

A new study released by researchers as Case Western on religion and addiction shows that religious people are more likely to think they have a problem with pornography than nonreligios people—even if they barely watch it at all.

The study, titled Transgression as Addiction: Religiosity and Moral Disapproval of Perceived Addiction to Pornography” and published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that on the whole, religious people were just as likely to view pornography as nonreligious people—something that the researchers did not expect. The differences arose when it came to how they felt about their pornography viewing.

God-fearing participants were much more likely to think they were addicted to porn than those who were not religious—even if they viewed the racy content only once.

“It is a very common thing in religions to throw that word (addiction) around a lot when they talk about pornography,” said study author Joshua Grubbs.

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Grubbs says he got the idea of the research when he was an undergraduate at Liberty College, a Christian school. He say how he classmates felt they were “addicted” to porn even if they only viewed it for a short time.

“I have seen how religion affects people’s mental health and psychological lives,” he said. “And those conflicts have always fascinated me. I saw how people who viewed pornography infrequently feel guilt and dismay.”

Grubbs also points out that out of the 1,200 books on porn addiction on Amazon, over half are sold in the religion and spirituality sections.

Investigating self-perceptions of addiction in people who identified as religious and nonreligious, Grubbs surveyed students from religious and secular colleges, as well as adults. More than half of the participants identified as Christian or Catholic, heterosexual, and Caucasian across the three studies; about a third were not religious.

What Grubbs found was that there was no connection between how much porn was viewed and a participant's religious beliefs. The number of hours of porn viewed was about the same for each group. But religious participants perceived themselves as more “addicted.”

“We were surprised that the amount of viewing did not impact the perception of addiction, but strong moral beliefs did,” Grubbs said.

And interestingly, men were more disapproving of viewing online porn than women, religious or not.

Sources: The Plain Dealer