Models in psychology do not consider the concept of sex addiction the same way as other substance or behavior addictions. For example, sex addiction, which is not a DSM-5 disorder, is often assigned as a label to clients based off of high frequency of sexual behavior. Despite sex addiction not being a diagnosable disorder, sex addiction therapists are conducting treatment with people who identify as sex addicts. Due to this lack of a definition, previous research has found that clinicians may identify sex addiction in clients based on their own preconceived worldviews of what types of sexual behaviors or frequencies are deemed pathological. These worldviews are typically tied into values. Arguably, the largest quality that impacts a persons' values is religiosity. Therefore there is a possibility that religiosity impacts clinical decision making regarding sexual behaviors. Thirty-eight trainee clinicians were presented with one of two vignettes. Both vignettes reported a client who had high frequency of sexual behaviors and engaged in unconventional sex acts (e.g., BDSM). Yet, only one vignette reported significant clinical distress related to the behaviors. Trainee clinicians answered various measures of psychopathology regarding the person in the vignette. Results showed that trainee clinicians reported similar ratings of pathology between the two vignettes. Religiosity was examined in an exploratory manner due to lack of participants. These exploratory analyses showed that religiosity had no effect on how trainee clinicians scored.


Eric Sprankle

Committee Member

Kristie Campana

Committee Member

Jeffrey Buchanan

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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