Title

Religion and Guilt: Predicting the Demonization of Sex Workers

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Experimental Psychology Graduate Program

2nd Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

2nd Student Major

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Jana Hackathorn, PhD.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Previous research shows that religiosity and attitudes about sexual topics are strongly correlated, and often negatively (Ashdown et al., 2019). That is, as religiosity increases, views toward sexual topics tend to become more conservative and generally more negative. However, current research also suggests that one’s own sexual guilt may be the mediating influence in the relationship between religiosity and sexual attitudes (Hackathorn et al., 2016). The present study sought to replicate and extend research (Jones & Hackathorn, 2018) that examined the extent to which an individual's religiosity and sexual guilt influences their perspective of pornography and sex workers. To replicate Jones and Hackathorn (2018), we hypothesized that religiosity predicts demonizing views of sex workers, mediated by one’s sexual guilt. Additionally, we hypothesized a second mediator, such that religiosity leads to sexual guilt, then to conservative/negative views of pornography and ultimately to the demonization of sex workers.

Participants were recruited from MTurk (n=209; Mage=35.68, SDage=11.99; 64.60% male; 76.10% Caucasian) and SONA (n=173; Mage=19.10, SDage=2.50; 79.20% female; 88.40% Caucasian) to complete an online survey. Mediated regression analyses show that findings replicated those found previously (F(3,378)=55.05, R2=.30 p<.001), in that sexual guilt has an indirect effect (β=.008, 95% CI[.003, .030]) in the relationship between religiosity and the demonization of sex workers. However, attitudes toward pornography did not mediate the relationship as hypothesized. This provides further evidence for the importance of including sexual guilt when examining the effects of religiosity onto sexual views.

Fall Scholars Week 2019 Event

Psychology: Completed Projects

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Religion and Guilt: Predicting the Demonization of Sex Workers

Previous research shows that religiosity and attitudes about sexual topics are strongly correlated, and often negatively (Ashdown et al., 2019). That is, as religiosity increases, views toward sexual topics tend to become more conservative and generally more negative. However, current research also suggests that one’s own sexual guilt may be the mediating influence in the relationship between religiosity and sexual attitudes (Hackathorn et al., 2016). The present study sought to replicate and extend research (Jones & Hackathorn, 2018) that examined the extent to which an individual's religiosity and sexual guilt influences their perspective of pornography and sex workers. To replicate Jones and Hackathorn (2018), we hypothesized that religiosity predicts demonizing views of sex workers, mediated by one’s sexual guilt. Additionally, we hypothesized a second mediator, such that religiosity leads to sexual guilt, then to conservative/negative views of pornography and ultimately to the demonization of sex workers.

Participants were recruited from MTurk (n=209; Mage=35.68, SDage=11.99; 64.60% male; 76.10% Caucasian) and SONA (n=173; Mage=19.10, SDage=2.50; 79.20% female; 88.40% Caucasian) to complete an online survey. Mediated regression analyses show that findings replicated those found previously (F(3,378)=55.05, R2=.30 p<.001), in that sexual guilt has an indirect effect (β=.008, 95% CI[.003, .030]) in the relationship between religiosity and the demonization of sex workers. However, attitudes toward pornography did not mediate the relationship as hypothesized. This provides further evidence for the importance of including sexual guilt when examining the effects of religiosity onto sexual views.