Home U.S Atlanta spa murders were not about sexual addiction

Atlanta spa murders were not about sexual addiction


Joshua B. Grubbs

It was “a temptation for him he wanted to eliminate…”

These were the words offered by Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday afternoon as an explanation for the motives of Aaron Long. Roughly 24 hours earlier, Long— a white man — had entered three different massage parlors in the greater Atlanta area and murdered 8 people, the majority of whom were Asian women. As more details have emerged, it has become abundantly clear  that Long was a devoutly religious, evangelical Christian who claimed that a multi-year struggle with sexual addiction led him to commit these murders.

I am a psychology professor, and for more than a decade, I have researched the relationships between religious beliefs and sexual addiction. These domains may not seem related, but over dozens of peer-reviewed studies, my research program has shown that the two are often indistinguishable. Allow me to explain.


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