104: BYU Study on Porn/Anxiety Correlation

Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Dr. Brian Willoughby, associate professor at Brigham Young University, in regards to his involvement with the recent research publication written in The Journal of Sex Research titled: Damaged Goods: Perception of Pornography Addiction as a Mediator Between Religiosity and Relationship Anxiety Surrounding Pornography Use. There has been much media frenzy around what these results mean and Mormon Mental Health Podcast felt it was important to reach out to the researchers themselves and get their take on what the study was striving to understand, how it was conducted, and how they hope the public and media will interpret and best understand the results. 

Brian J. Willoughby, Ph.D. is currently an associate professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and then went on to receive a masters and doctoral degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota under the advisement of Dr. William Doherty. Dr. Willoughby is considered an international expert in the field of couple and marital relationships, sexuality, and emerging adult development. His research generally focuses on how adolescents, young adults, and adults move toward and form long-term committed relationships.

Dr. Willoughby has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on young adult development, couple dynamics, marriage, and sexuality in the leading family science, psychological and sociological journals. Dr. Willoughby’s research on sexuality and relationships has recently appeared in such top journals as the Journal of Family Psychology, the Journal of Family Issues, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the Journal of Sex Research and Archives of Sexual Behavior, the leading sexuality journal in the world. Dr. Willoughby also currently serves on the editorial boards for Emerging Adulthood, the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the Journal of Sex Research and the Journal of Adult Development. Dr. Willoughby is a sought after expert, interviewed regularly by journalists associated with both national print and online outlets. His research has been widely cited in the media, appearing in such outlets as USA Today, MSNBC, Men’s Health, the Washington Post, ABC News, and Prevention Magazine. He has appeared in live broadcasts on such news outlets as HuffPost Live and NPR. He also has a recurring guest role on the Matt Townson Show, a national radio show dedicated to dating and family relationships. His research has won international awards from organizations such as the National Council on Family Relations.

Religious Conflict Makes Porn Bad for Relationships by David Ley

Transgression as Addiction: Religiosity and Moral Disapproval as Predictors of Perceived Addiction to Pornography by Josh Grubbs et al.

Surfing for Sexual Sin: Relations Between Religiousness and Viewing Sexual Content Online by Cara C MacInnis & Gordon Hodson

Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She writes at The Mormon Therapist for Patheos: Hosting the Conversation of Faith, runs Mormon Sex Info and is the current president for the Mormon Mental Health Association.

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