• Moderating Effects of Religious Orientation on the Relationship Between Sexual Self-Discrepancies and Guilt and Anxiety

      Jones, Ann E. (2015-01-07)
      The current study examined the moderating effect of religious orientation on the relationship between sexual self-discrepancies and guilt. There is some evidence of a positive correlation between sex-guilt and higher levels of religiosity. In this study it was proposed that sex-guilt in religious individuals is partially driven by discrepancies between actual sexual behaviors and how the individual thinks that they ought or ideally should behave. In order to test this idea a survey was administered to 151 undergraduate students to assess religious orientation, actual, ought, and ideal sexual behaviors, and sex guilt. Gender differences were found in reporting intrinsic religiosity, sexual behavior, and sexual attitudes. Men reported more favorable attitudes toward sexual behavior, also, men reported more sexual behaviors than women, no significant difference was found between women and men in the intrinsic religiosity scores, and women reported higher levels of sex anxiety and sex guilt than men. Moderate negative correlations were found between intrinsic religious orientation and penile-vaginal sex for women; and mutual manual stimulation, and attitudes towards sexual permissiveness for men. Intrinsic religious orientation moderated the following relationships: ideal total sexual behavior discrepancy and sex anxiety for men and women combined; ideal manual stimulation discrepancy and sex guilt for men and women combined; ideal total sexual behavior discrepancy and sex guilt in men; and ought masturbation discrepancy and sex guilt in women. That is, those who reported higher levels of intrinsic religious orientation also report higher levels of anxiety and guilt, associated with discrepancies related to sexual behavior. This study contributes to the awareness of how religiosity can affect sex guilt. Based on the results of this study, the bogus pipeline methodology had limited utility when examining the relationships between intrinsic religiosity, sex anxiety, and sex guilt.