Catholic 'Guilt' Over Sex Is a Myth: Poll
Other religious folk feel guiltier about such things
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2013 3:02 PM CST
A Catholic rosary.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Catholics feel no more guilty than any other religious people about "sinful" sexual activities like premarital sex and the use of pornography, according to a British survey. In fact, Catholics are slightly below average on the "guilt-o-meter," with only 14% saying they feel guilty compared to an average of 16% among religious people. Pentecostals, Muslims, and Baptists ranked as most-guilt-plagued in the survey of 4,437 adults, the Guardian reports. Other interesting tidbits:

  • The Vatican may tell Catholics not to use contraception, but just 9% of "nominal" Catholics and 12% of practicing Catholics say they experience guilt over using it.
  • Overall, 20% of religious people say they'd feel guilty over premarital sex—which is four times the finding among non-religious people. A third of religious people say they'd feel guilty about getting aroused by pornography, more than double the number among the non-religious.
  • The least guilt-plagued over "sinful" sex? Non-religious, strongly atheistic men who consider their intuition or judgment authoritative. The most "guilty": women who are actively religious, strongly theistic, and who consider their religion authoritative.

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Mar 3, 2013 8:09 AM CST
I don't think this is so much about religion as it is about gender. Women have always been made to feel guilty about sexuality. Basically, it's damned if you do and damned if you don't. Men on the other hand don't get the kind of mixed messages women get in the society. That being said, I don't think it's the sex itself that produces guilt.The guilt comes from knowing you have broken one of the rules of a faith you adhere to. Those are non-believers do not and will not get it because they don't have any sort of moral compass. However, for those who feel they have gone morally 'off course' as it were, it's natural they would want to get back on track and stay on track. What's so wrong with that? It's funny non believers accuse believers of being judgmental, but in reality it's the non-belivers denying their guilt and judging by writing articles such as this one. Maybe there should be more guilt about sex put out there..then you wouldn't have all these stupid TV shows like "16 and Pregnant"...
Mar 3, 2013 6:51 AM CST
Why should Catholics feel guilt about sex. They are simply following the leaders of their church who fell neither guilt nor shame about the sexual abuse of children by their membership or because of their efforts to cover it up.
Mar 3, 2013 4:40 AM CST
Catholic church leaders should learn to live in the real world.