Relations between sex, guilt, depression and faith
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
To conduct a study covering religion, mental illness, and sexual behaviour is a delicate task. The researcher is likely to find those involved are more concerned about the religious implications of the findings than the findings themselves. The religious are immediately anxious lest their faith be undermined or they be shown to be suffering from mental illness or sexual maladjustment, and, the anti-religious are aggressively eager to serve as controls in their firm conviction that such research will bring another outmoded and useless superstition crashing to the ground. Both attitudes reflect the emotionalism which has surrounded research and theorising on religion since Freud (1907, 1928) postulated the neurotic origin of religion. Much of the interest in the psychology of religion since then has been combined with the aim either to support religion or to attack it (Argyle 1958). Certainly the occurrence of religious hallucinations and ideation in the schizophrenias (Ferguson Roger et al. 1967), and the association of guilt feelings with behaviour (especially sexual behaviour), and religious belief among the affective psychoses, (Beck 1967), has lent apparent support to the view derived from Freudian theory. What is the empirical evidence?