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Religiosity May Determine Porn "Addiction"

Update Date: Feb 13, 2014 05:16 PM EST

Very religious people are more likely to think they're addicted to porn, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people who consider themselves very religious and look at Internet porn even once are more likely to perceive that they are addicted.

"This is one of the first studies to examine the link between perceptions of addiction to online pornography and religious beliefs," lead researcher Joshua Grubbs, a doctoral student in psychology at Case Western University said in a news release.

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

Researchers conducted three studies in which they surveyed people about their strength of faith, religious practices and online viewing habits. Participants also completed surveys to measure their perception of addiction.

The findings revealed that men reported having greater moral disapproval than women for viewing online pornography. Participants admitted viewing online pornography at least once in the past six months. However, researchers found no real connection between hours viewed and how religious a person was.

Researchers said the latest study suggests the perception of addiction is more about religious beliefs than actual viewing.

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

The findings are published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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