An Examination of Internet Pornography Usage among Male Students at Evangelical Christian Colleges (2011)


Chelsen, Paul O.


Internet pornography access among male students at Evangelical Christian colleges presents two dilemmas. First, Internet pornography access is institutionally prohibited based on a Biblical view of sexuality. The second dilemma is that individual students who choose to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ in the context of Evangelical Christian faith tradition can experience internal distress in response to Internet pornography access. No empirical study to date has examined Internet pornography access only among male undergraduates only at Evangelical Christian colleges. The first guiding research question is, “To what extent do male undergraduates at select Evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest access Internet pornography?” The second guiding research question is, “Is there a correlation between the extent of access to Internet pornography among male undergraduates at select Evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest and indicators of addiction patterns, guilt regarding online use and online sexual behavior that is social in nature?” This correlational study collected data through an online survey with 46 questions and was sent to 2,245 male undergraduate students at three different Evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest.

The purpose of the study was to provide information to help staff members at Evangelical Christian colleges design strategies to support male students in distress regarding Internet pornography access. Support for this study was found in the empirical literature regarding college student attitudes regarding Internet pornography including its effects on students. Further support came from both the general literature on sexual addiction and compulsion and specific empirical literature about college student sexual addiction and sexual compulsion. The descriptive statistical results helped to answer the first research question and demonstrated that 79.3 percent of male undergraduate students at Evangelical colleges reported accessing Internet pornography at some point in the previous year, with 61.1 percent reported accessing Internet pornography at least some amount of time each week.

Linear relationships and multiple regression analyses generated data to answer the second research question. A statistically significant relationship exists between the extent of Internet pornography usage among male undergraduates at three Evangelical colleges and indicators of addictive patterns related to Internet pornography, guilt regarding online pornography use, and online sexual behavior that is social in nature.

Furthermore, the multiple regression results overall suggest that students who do not self-identify as Evangelical, spend higher amounts of time online, demonstrate higher indicators of Internet pornography addiction and demonstrate online social behavior that is sexual in nature are more likely to access Internet pornography a higher number of hours each week. The addictive scale emerged as the strongest predictor for the amount of time, on average, spent viewing Internet pornography each week.

Descriptors: Sexuality, Social Behavior, Addictive Behavior, Student Attitudes, Anxiety, Internet, Undergraduate Students, Pornography, Access to Information, Online Surveys, Student Surveys, Multiple Regression Analysis, Correlation, Higher Education, Church Related Colleges, Males

Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses – Doctoral Dissertations

Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education

Recommended Citation Chelsen, Paul Olaf, “An Examination of Internet Pornography Usage Among Male Students at Evangelical Christian Colleges” (2011). Dissertations. Paper 150.