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Pornography can actually make some people more religious, study finds

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People who occasionally watch pornography tend to become less religious over time, but those who watch pornography more than once a week tend to become more religious, according to a study to be published in the Journal of Sex Research.

Use of pornography, which the researcher in this study defines as sexually explicit material intended to arouse the viewer, has increased dramatically in recent decades, as technology has made it easier to access. Research into the social factors that may make some people more likely to watch pornography than others has identified religion as especially important in this regard, with high religiousness being related to low pornography use.

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This article was originally published at PsyPost

While the prevailing view has been that religious groups’ disapproval of pornography makes highly religious people less likely to use it, others have argued that pornography users are more prone to drifting away from religious practices.

A study conducted by Samuel Perry, of the University of Oklahoma, followed the same individuals over a period of six years (from 2006 to 2012), measuring their levels of pornography use and religiousness at each time point, to help understand in which direction this influence operates. The study sample included 1,314 adults who were representative of the US population as a whole. Study participants indicated, at each time point, how often they viewed pornography, as well as several questions about their religious practices.

Analyses showed that even after statistically controlling for background factors, such as age and gender, more frequent use of pornography in 2006 was related to lower religiousness in 2012. This was true even after accounting for religiousness in 2006, which indicates that pornography use in 2006 was related with subsequent changes in religious involvement over the course of the next six years.

The nature of this relationship was complex. Pornography consumption was related to decreased subsequent religiousness until the rate of consumption became more frequent than about once a week, at which point increasing pornography became related to subsequent increases in religiousness. These findings were the same for both men and women.

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The author concludes that pornography use may have an impact on changes in religiousness. Exposure to pornography may make people feel guilty about violating the rules of their religion, leading them to distance themselves from religious activities. The most frequent pornography viewers, on the other hand, may find ways of rationalizing their behavior to avoid feeling at odds with their religious convictions. Some may also turn to religion as a means of overcoming or atoning for a behavior that makes them feel guilty. Religious leaders in particular may find it useful to note that heavy pornography use may drive some closer to religion rather than further away.


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Navy captain fired by Trump over coronavirus letter tests positive for COVID-19: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, the Navy captain relieved of his duties by the Trump administration over a letter drawing attention to dangerous health conditions on his aircraft carrier has tested positive for COVID-19.

The report states, "Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family."

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Georgia GOP governor orders several beaches to reopen days after acknowledging he’s woefully uneducated on coronavirus spread

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported today that Kemp is reopening Tybee Island and other beaches along the Georgia coast.

Local officials in several of Georgia’s coastal communities reacted with fury on Saturday after Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order simultaneously reopened several of the state’s most popular beaches.

The stupidity and lack of regard of human life on display in Republican-run states is beyond criminal and inhumane. In fact, there are no words to describe this. Because the longer these so-called “leaders” make decisions that are in the best interests of, I don’t know who, the longer it will take to come out of this pandemic that is claiming so many thousands of lives.

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Health care insurers expected to jack up premiums as much as 40 percent to recoup coronavirus losses

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Private health insurers are expected to raise premiums by as much as 40% to recoup the costs of coronavirus testing and treatment, according to a new analysis from Covered California, the state's health care marketplace.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Though it remains unclear how much the coronavirus crisis will ultimately cost in health care expenditures, insurers will be submitting their 2021 rates to state regulators next month. Analyzing a wide range of models, Covered California expects that this year's care associated with the virus will cost between $34 billion and $251 billion, or between 2% of premiums and 21% of premiums. The analysis estimates that insurers would price the costs at double the rate into their 2021 premiums, projecting increases that range from as little as 4% to more than 40% for the 170 million workers and individuals who have private plans.

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