Study: Deeply Religious More Likely To Feel Guilt Over Porn

LOS ANGELES—Deeply religious, heterosexual men do not necessarily watch more porn than other men — but even viewing a small amount of porn can trigger deep feelings of guilt in those with pre-existing disorder known as “scrupulosity,” according to a new study by researchers at the University of South Alabama, and Chatham University in Pittsburgh. “Scrupulosity” is sometimes referred to as “Religious OCD,” according to the medical site Healthline. Classified as a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, people suffering from scrupulosity occurs when people become “overly concerned with the fear that they are doing something that goes against their religious beliefs or is immoral,” according to mental health counselor Stephanie Woodrow, quoted by Healthline. For such individuals, religious practice, rather than providing a sense of spiritual comfort, is instead a source of deep anxiety, as people with the condition will obsess on the thought that they have done something that violates their religion’s moral code. The researchers in the new study, titled “A Closer Examination of the Relationship between Religiosity and Problematic Pornography Viewing in Heterosexual Men,” tested 244 subjects who reported self-described “problems” that the believe are caused by their porn viewing‚ including aggression, poor emotional intimacy, sexism, and other mental health issues. The researchers tested to see if three characteristics correlated with mental heath issues such as anxiety and guilt felt by the men when viewing porn. In addition to scrupulosity, they also tested for “self-compassion,” as well as “traditional masculinity ideology.” Going into the study, the researchers led by Nicholas Borgogna of South Alabama, expected to find that men who exhibited self-compassion would feel less guilt over watching porn, because they would be more able to forgive themselves for any perceived violations of a religious code.  They also believed that men with “traditionally masculine” beliefs would also experience more self-described problems from porn viewing. But the results of their study showed that they were right in only one hypothesis — that men who exhibit scrupulosity feel deep pangs of guilt and shame. Religious straight men with “self-compassion” however, appeared to take no solace in their ability to forgive themselves. They felt guilty and distressed over their porn habits anyway.  At the same time, men with more traditionally masculine, that is “macho,” beliefs did not experience higher levels of problematic feelings. In fact, neither self-compassion or traditional masculinity seemed to affect the subjects’ feelings about porn in any significant way. The study also found that religious men were not more likely than anyone else to view porn, but when they did, they were more likely to experience guilt and anxiety. An earlier study showed that despite not accessing porn any more than anyone else, the deeply religious are more likely to describe themselves as “addicted” to porn — a supposed issue that is not common in the rest of the population, the study found. Photo by Pexels/Pixabay 

written by: Michael French

source: Study: Deeply Religious More Likely To Feel Guilt Over Porn | AVN

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