‘Strong religious beliefs may drive self-perception of addiction to online pornography’

From Case Western:

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….

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

Men generally reported having greater moral disapproval than women for viewing online pornography.

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.”

This study makes sense to me. The more religious the person, the more distress he has about using pornography.

Every Orthodox Jewish bachelor I know well regards himself as addicted to porn and almost all of them feel ashamed about it.

I asked one Orthodox friend after he finally got hitched what marriage was like. “It’s tough,” he said. “My wife won’t let me watch porn.”

They divorced soon after.

Another friend would periodically become overwhelmed with guilt and purge his computer of his porn collection.

Another guy I knew who worked in the porn industry but came from a religious background dramatically swung against porn and would post all these Bible verses on his former porn sites.

When you can’t help looking at something even though you know it is wrong, you are likely to call yourself addicted.

Last year, the BBC showed a one-hour documentary called, “No Sex, Please, We’re Japanese.”

John Derbyshire writes:

“That’s a catastrophe for Japan,” observes Ms. Rani. “So why are the Japanese having fewer children?” She cuts to the chase:

[14m22s]: Couples are thought to have very little sex. In one survey just 27 percent of them reported having sex every week—way less than us Brits. It appears that relationships between Japanese men and women are becoming increasingly dysfunctional…

A survey carried out by Spa magazine last year reported that 72.3% of 600 men aged 35-45 surveyed were single, and over a third of them had not had sex in three years, often citing work fatigue as their main affliction. More worryingly, work-related anxiety affects an estimated 1 million people in Japan suffering from the effects of hikikomori, or withdrawal.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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