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Strong religious beliefs may drive self-perception of addiction to online pornography
Date:2/12/2014

People who consider themselves very religious and view Internet porn even once may perceive they are addicted, according to a new Case Western Reserve University's psychology study.

"This is one of the first studies to examine the link between perceptions of addiction to online pornography and religious beliefs," said Joshua Grubbs, a doctoral student in psychology and lead author of the study.

The research, "Transgression as Addiction: Religiosity and Moral Disapproval as Predictors of Perceived Addiction to Pornography," will be published today in the journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior.

"We were surprised that the amount of viewing did not impact the perception of addiction, but strong moral beliefs did," Grubbs said. He defined Internet pornography as viewing online sexually explicit pictures and videos.

The study is part of a $1.4 million project funded by the John Templeton Foundation to study spiritual struggles and stress. Project directors and psychologists Julie Exline, from Case Western Reserve University, and Kenneth Pargament, from Bowling Green State University, contributed to the study, as did Joshua Hook, from the University of North Texas, and Robert Carlisle, from Mesa (Arizona) Public Schools.

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.

Grubbs 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 hab
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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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