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

(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.

A Catholic rosary.   (Shutterstock)
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