Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Ying-Chao Kao

Second Advisor

Dr. Meredith Katz

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Johnson


This research explores religious factors that influence attitudes about pornography legislation, specifically in terms of using the “three Bs” framework. This framework described by Friesen and Wagner (2012) understands religion in terms of behavior, beliefs, and belonging. Over the last four decades, pornography consumption has been a highly debated and controversial issue. However, few scholars have drawn attention to understanding how religious factors influence attitudes toward pornography legislation rather than consumption. Often, scholars hyper-focused on religiosity, specifically Christian nationalism, as a factor in understanding attitudes toward anti-pornography legislation. By building upon previous scholars, this research aims to bridge the gap between Droubay et al. (2021), who focused on how religion acts as a predictor for pornography censorship, and Perry and Whitehead’s (2022), who focused on how Christian nationalism inferenced anti-pornography legislation. This research examines religious behavior and beliefs as predictors of attitudes toward pornography laws. Using data from the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS), the results indicated that there were several statistical significances between religious factors and attitudes toward pornography legislation. Most respondents (70%) were Morris 5 supportive of having pornography legal for those at the age of 18 and above or legal for all people. Meanwhile, roughly a third of respondents reported that pornography should be illegal to all, regardless of age. Further, the researcher created a “religion index” by merging the measurements of the frequencies of religious attendance and activities and the degrees of religiosity and spirituality. The findings show that the increase in the religion index score is associated with stricter attitudes about pornography legislation. Specifically, the ANOVA test illustrates that those who reported that pornography should be illegal to all had an average religious score of 14.31, compared with a significantly lower score (10.01) of those who supported pornography being illegal to people younger than age 18. In contrast, those who supported pornography to be legal for all had a mean religious score as low as 8.27. My ANOVA results were verified by a further independent t-test result. The average religion index for those who supported that pornography should be illegal unconditionally was 14.31 while the mean religion index for those who support the legalization of pornography for people of 18 years old and above and without restrictions was 9.88. The association between religious factors and attitudes toward the legalization of pornography was discussed in relation to existing literature.


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Available for download on Wednesday, May 10, 2028