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Watching more porn makes you more religious. We’re totally not kidding

Researchers followed a group of participants over a period of six years and measured their pornography use and religiousness along the way.

sex and relationships Updated: May 31, 2016 09:15 IST
Researchers followed a group of participants over a period of six years and measured their pornography use and religiousness along the way.
Researchers followed a group of participants over a period of six years and measured their pornography use and religiousness along the way. (Shutterstock)

A lot of you will ridicule the possibility of this idea but researchers from the University of Oklahoma have claimed that those who watch porn more than once a week tend to become more religious and it may be because of the sense of guilt associated with it.

According to lead researcher Samuel Perry, assistant professor of sociology and religious studies, exposure to pornography may inspire guilty feelings, especially if a person is violating the rules of their religion.

“As pornography viewing increases, people may find ways to rationalise their behaviour or even turn to religion to try and overcome the behaviour that is making them feel guilty,” he noted in a paper appeared in the Journal of Sex Research.

However, watching less porn may not necessarily mean that you will be less religious. (Shutterstock)

To reach this conclusion, the researchers followed the participants over a period of six years and measured their pornography use and religiousness along the way.

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The sample included a representative group of 1,314 adults who answered questions about their pornography use and their religious habits, Medical Daily reported.

“After controlling factors like age and gender, use of pornography was associated with low religiousness at the end of the study until the rate of consumption became more frequent than once a week. At this point, religiousness increased,” the study noted.

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While scholars typically assume that greater religiosity leads to less frequent pornography use none have empirically examined whether the reverse could be true, the authors noted.

“The findings suggest that viewing pornography may lead to declines in some dimensions of religiosity but at more extreme levels may actually stimulate, or at least be conducive to, greater religiosity along other dimensions,” Perry explained.

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