William Struthers (Ph.D., University of Illinois, Chicago) is Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College, in Wheaton, IL. Dr. Struthers' lab research interests are in the neural mechanisms that underlie behavioral arousal and the processing of novel environments. His research employs the use of stereotaxic surgery, immunochemistry, and behavioral manipulations to investigate gene expression in the cingulate cortex and basal ganglia. He is actively involved in the campus Animal Care and Use Committee and the Institutional Review Board which oversee the ethical treatment of animals and human subjects respectively in research conducted at Wheaton College.
Dr. Struthers' animal lab research is on the effects of environmental enrichment on neural responses to novelty challenges. His clinical research is in the area of compulsive sexuality and pornography use. In addition to this empirical work, Dr. Struthers' theoretical research interests are in the areas of neuroethics, the biological bases of spirituality and personhood, and science/faith dialogue issues. In addition to his research, Dr. Struthers speaks internationally as an advocate against sexual exploitation (i.e. pornography, prostitution, trafficking).
The impact of sexual brokenness on spiritual formation and development is evident in Scripture and in the world around us. Christian theology speaks to the sacredness of our sexual nature which makes it an easy target for impeding healthy spiritual formation and development. Recent psychological research in mindfulness and forgiveness research have the potential to inform the recovery, healing, and spiritual growth processes in those affected by sexual sin. My proposal involves exploring how this research informs the processes of spiritual formation within a Christian context through empirical research on those struggling with sexual sin, and those involved in the commercial sex work. My goal is to examine the developmental process of healing when mindfulness and forgiveness research are actively included in the recovery process of those who are seeking treatment for sexually related issues, and examine the impact of commercial sex work on healthy psychological and spiritual development.