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Watching pornography regularly could make you more religious

It's not supposed to lead you into temptation, but it turns out that religion has a very sticky relationship with pornography.

That's what assistant professor of sociology and religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, Samuel Perry, discovered when he set about his study, Does Viewing Pornography Diminish Religiosity Over Time?

Most major religions aren't big on videos of people bonking, with scholars "typically" assuming that "greater religiosity leads to less frequent pornography use" - but Perry was keen to back this up with some cold hard data. He looked at figures gathered in a long-term study that asked 1,314 adults questions about life (including religion and porn) between 2006 and 2012. 

Perry found that if the participant watched porn two or three times a month, their religiosity (thoughts on religion, church attendance, prayer, that kind thing) reduced. 

No big surprises there. But things take a turn for the guilt-riddled when participants watched porn more frequently: "At higher frequencies of porn viewing however," writes Perry, "the trend in religious salience later on appears to increase slightly." 

If participants declared they watched pornography "frequently" in an early year of questioning then reduced their viewing, they were more likely to see their religiosity increase in later life.

Perry ponders whether "it may be that those who view pornography at the highest frequencies early on have completely detached their porn viewing from their religious lives... It could very well be that persons who use pornography at the most extreme levels are actually pushed toward religion over time rather than pulled away from it."

Guilt is a powerful thing, eh?

We would conclude with a pun around 'bashing the bishop', but we're more mature than that.

[Via: CNet]