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The Pornography Debate: Religiosity and Support for Censorship


Pornography has become an increasingly salient topic in public discourse. We sought to better understand the role of religiosity in shaping people’s support of policy stances against pornography, in the form of censorship, using nationally representative data from the 2014 General Social Survey (n = 1676). Results from logistic regression indicate that high religiosity significantly increases odds of supporting censorship. Holding control variables at their sample means, the least religious persons had a predicted probability of 0.09 of supporting censorship, compared to 0.57 for the most religious respondents. We discuss these findings within the context of the current public health debate.

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The authors thank Kort Prince for helpful feedback on the methods and analysis sections of this article.


The authors declare no funding was received for this research.

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Correspondence to Brian A. Droubay.

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The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Because this study utilized publicly available secondary data, formal consent was not required nor was institutional review board approval sought after.

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For this manuscript, the authors utilized secondary data from a long-standing, publicly available, nationally representative survey, i.e., the General Social Survey. Because no original data were collected, informed consent was not sought after nor required.

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Droubay, B.A., Butters, R.P. & Shafer, K. The Pornography Debate: Religiosity and Support for Censorship. J Relig Health 60, 1652–1667 (2021).

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  • Religiosity
  • Pornography
  • Censorship
  • Public health