The significance of religious messages in sexual addiction

William Nicholas Abraham, Marquette University


This qualitative study investigated the relationship between religious messages and sexual addiction. Surveyed were thirty volunteers from Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, a twelve-step recovery group for people recovering from sexual addiction. From those surveyed, five subjects representing gender and sexual preference were each invited to participate in two in-depth interviews. A semi-structured interview format was designed based on each client's response to three surveys: (1) Survey of Religious Attitudes; (2) Survey of Anxiety (adaptation of Manifest Taylor Anxiety scale); (3) Survey of Religious Messages. The responses were categorized and used in facilitating the self-description of each subject's religious and sexual history, including the significance of religious messages in sexual development. Total interview time for each subject ranged from three to four hours. A profile of each subject was described and analyzed. Recurrent themes discussed were: (1) rebellion and defiance towards a wrathful God; (2) shame surrounding one's worth; (3) objectification of body and sexuality; (4) emotional withdrawal as a form of punishment; (5) concurrent and contradictory presentations of God throughout formation. Based on findings, twenty-two hypothetical considerations were constructed as well as implications for research and practice.

Recommended Citation

Abraham, William Nicholas, "The significance of religious messages in sexual addiction" (1994). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9433768.