Perceptions of Adult-Sex Industry 2019

Project Abstract

This is a continuation and replication of a project that was completed last academic year by Hackathorn and another student. Previous research shows that religiosity and attitudes about sexual topics such as pornography are strongly correlated. Some research suggests that religiosity is related to lower well-being among religious people, and that relation is mediated by thought suppression of sexual behaviors, and compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB) that happen due to the thought suppression (Efrati, 2019). Additional research has examined the relationship between sexual satisfaction and pornography use, and how religiosity can impact this relationship (Perry & Whitehead, 2019). Perry and Whitehead (2019) found that use of pornography was negatively associated with sexual satisfaction, but only for those who are religious and feel that they are not in compliance with their moral religious code. Moreover, some studies have shown that viewing pornography can actually have positive consequences (Kohut et al., 2016). The present study seeks to further examine the extent to which an individual's relationship with religion relates to their perspectives of pornography, and other individuals in the adult-sex industry. Specifically, we will be examining demonizing perspectives toward illegal and legal sex workers, and how factors such as one's religiosity and sexual guilt might factor into this relationship. The study conducted last year found that individuals who are highly religious felt more sexual guilt, and therefore were more likely to demonize individuals in the adult-sex industry. However, there was a severe lack of power, and as such these particular findings need to be replicated. Additionally, there was not enough power to adequately test other components of the hypotheses. We hypothesize that religious and spirituality levels will correlate with demonizing views on pornography and adult-sex industry workers. However, the relationships may be different for religiosity vs. spirituality. Furthermore, the relationship between religiousness and sexual views will be mediated by sexual guilt. That is, we expect a double mediation, in that religiosity leads to sexual guilt then to conservative/negative views on pornography which leads to demonization of adult-sex workers. This is the additional hypothesis that we have for the present project that was not able to be tested in the previous project. Lastly, we are collecting from an adult sample, in addition to the college sample in an attempt to replicate the findings across populations.

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

College of Humanities and Fine Arts


Experimental Psychology


Master's Degree




Jana Hackathorn, PhD.

Academic College

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

This document is currently not available here.