Conservative Christians Have an Unexpected Porn Problem

Conservative Christians Have an Unexpected Porn Problem
AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

Conservative Christians in the United States have a pornography problem, though it may not be the problem you think.

It's not that they're all secretly using porn, at higher rates than average. According to a recent sociological study published by Oxford University Press, conservative Christians—the catch-all name that author Samuel L. Perry uses to describe evangelicals with certain key theological beliefs—don't actually use porn as often as other Americans do.

Yes, their porn use has risen over time, and that increase has caused significant hand-wringing in the church. (More on that in a moment.) But according to several decades of General Social Survey data, conservative Christian men's porn consumption has risen at almost exactly the same rate as other American men over the same time period. And since Christians' porn usage was lower to start with, it's still lower.

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