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Religious Beliefs Fuel Concerns of Porn ‘Addiction’

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on February 14, 2014

Religious Beliefs Fuel Concerns of Porn 'Addiction'A new Case Western Reserve University’s psychology study discovers that some people fear they are addicted to pornography after viewing Internet porn once.

“The study is one of the first to examine the link between perceptions of addiction to online pornography and religious beliefs,” says Joshua Grubbs, a doctoral student in psychology and lead author of the study.

Grubbs, who attended a conservative university as an undergraduate, became interested in the topic after observing fellow students in distress because they thought something was terribly wrong with them after watching online pornography.

“I also discovered that half of the more than 1,200 books about pornography addiction on Amazon.com were listed in the religious and spirituality sections. And many of the books were personal testimonials about the struggles with this addiction,” he said.

To find out why people have self-perceptions of addiction, Grubbs conducted three studies in which he surveyed people about their strength of faith, religious practices, and online viewing habits.

Respondents also completed a survey to measure their perception of addiction.

Two studies involved a general student population of men and women (with an average age of 19) from non-secular (331 participants) and religious (97 participants) higher education institutions.

A third study captured the views of an online adult population of individuals 18 and older (208 participants), with an average age of 32.

“Across the three studies,” Grubbs said, “more than half of the participants reported being Christian or Catholic, heterosexual, and Caucasian. About one-third reported no religious affiliation.”

Men generally reported having greater moral disapproval than women for viewing online pornography. Overall, the three studies showed no significant gender differences in being religious.

“The respondents acknowledged viewing online pornography at least once in the past six months,” Grubbs said. “But the findings revealed no connection between hours viewed and how religious a person was.”

The number of hours spent viewing were similar for each study: about 25 percent viewed pornography one to three times in six months; 13 percent, four to six times; about 8 percent, seven to nine times; and the remaining participants about 10 or more times.

The information may help therapists understand that the perception of addiction is more about religious beliefs than actual viewing, researchers concluded.

“We can help the individual understand what is driving this perception,” Grubbs said, “and help individuals better enjoy their faith.”

Source: Blog@Case

 
Young man praying photo by shutterstock.

 

APA Reference
Nauert, R. (2014). Religious Beliefs Fuel Concerns of Porn ‘Addiction’. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/02/14/religious-beliefs-fuel-concerns-of-porn-addiction/65886.html

 

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