Episode 98: Navigating Sexuality and Religion

June 3, 2022 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 98: Navigating Sexuality and Religion

The impact of religion on our sex lives is complex—it is neither uniformly negative nor positive. The way that religion affects sexuality really depends upon how sexuality is situated within a given religion. But when religiosity and sexuality conflict, how do you navigate this? That’s what we’re going to be talking about today. How do sex therapists balance religious and sexual identity in the therapeutic process when conflicts arise? Is it possible to resolve this in a way that doesn’t require sacrificing one or the other?

Dr. Eric Sprankle returns for this episode (he was a previous guest on Episode 96: The Wonderfully Weird History and Science of Masturbation). Eric is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and the co-director of the Sexuality Studies program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist and AASECT-certified sex therapist. Some of the topics we explore in this show include:

  • How often do people seek sex therapy for issues relating to religiosity, and what kinds of issues are they usually experiencing?
  • How do you balance religious identity and sexual identity (or desire) in the process of sex therapy?
  • How can we make sex education something that is more inclusive of religious diversity?
  • In what ways can religiosity have a positive impact on sexuality?
  • If you’re struggling with issues of religiosity and sexuality, how can you find a therapist who is affirming of both?

Check it out! To learn more about Eric, visit his website at drsprankle.com and follow him on Twitter or Instagram @DrSprankle

Thanks to the Kinsey Institute (kinseyinstitute.org) for sponsoring this episode!

The Kinsey Institute’s (kinseyinstitute.org) 75th anniversary is underway and you are invited to join in the celebration! Follow @kinseyinstitute on social media to learn more about upcoming events. Also, please consider a gift or donation to the Institute to support sex research and education. Click here to donate.


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Credits: Jonathan Raz (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.


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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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