Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Second Advisor

Drew Moser

Third Advisor

Steve Bedi


Pornography use appears a pervasive trend among male college students, including those who attend Christian colleges. This trend proves concerning because of the negative effects pornography can have on men’s self-perception, relationships, and neurological functioning. It also concerns Christian students at faith-based colleges because their pornography use does not align with orthodox Christian teaching and the conduct expectations of their institutions. The current study sought to understand the experience of male undergraduates who have regularly used pornography while attending a Christian college and what—if any—effect the Christian college environment has on this experience. This qualitative phenomenological study took place at a small, faith-based liberal arts institution and examined the experiences of seven male students. Interview data produced two overarching themes regarding the experience of Christian college males who have regularly pornography. In the first theme—the nature of their pornography consumption—participants discussed how it was obtained, factors associated with increased and decreased use, and the Christian college environment and its relationship to their use of porn. The second theme dealt with the effects students associated with pornography use. They connected their use of porn to negative emotions, difficulty in relationships, negative and positive effects on their spiritual life, and adverse effects on their college experience—both in and outside of class. Through this study’s findings, faith-based institutions can better understand the experience of male undergraduates who use pornography use and the help these students must receive.