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William Struthers

William Struthers faculty photo

William Struthers, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

On Faculty since 1999
630.752.7046



  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology
  • Science and Religion/Faith in Dialogue
  • Novelty and the Brain
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Pornography Addiction/Compulsivity

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. Dr. Struthers has also been named a Visiting Research Fellow to Biola University's Center for Christian Thought in 2014 for his work on the impact of sexual exploitation on spirituality, and has spoken internationally on the impact of online sexual content. He has spoken at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (University of Cambridge, UK) on faith and neuroscience, and received a grant from the Faraday Institute to examine the uses and abuses of neuroscience research in society. As part of the Oxford Interdisciplinary Seminars in Science and Religion: Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities, he has been investigating how neuroscience is used in public discourse on science and religion. Dr. Struthers has recently been made a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion.

The University of Illinois at Chicago
Ph.D., Biopsychology

The University of Illinois at Chicago
M.A., Biopsychology

Illinois Wesleyan University
B.A., Psychology

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
  • International Neuroethics Society
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • International Society for Science and Religion, Fellow

Beauty of Art and Sacraments as Response to Culture of Pornography
Today's Catholic News

William Struthers, professor of psychology at Wheaton College, next shared how viewing sexually explicit material (SEM) influences the thoughts and behaviors of men. Through his neurological research he found that “men who are often exposed to SEM become less interested in real women because they have access to a controlled environment to engage their sexual desires without having to deal with the reality or messiness of a real relationship.” He also shared that “when viewing SEM, men neurologically trigger the function of vicariously engaging in the behaviors and feelings of what the performers are experiencing...

From Marijuana to Magic Mushrooms: Weighing Drugs’ Benefits and Detriments
Christianity Today
No one would suggest we study the Bible while on drugs. But each week, many Christians go to church, go to small group, or have quiet time with the Bible in one hand and a stimulant in the other. We are not afraid to admit that coffee enhances our lives—yet the key ingredient in coffee that does the enhancing is a drug, caffeine.
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Pornography in Cultural and Clinical Contexts
Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training Seminar, Orlando, FL

PornBrain. What Neuroscience is (and isn’t) Telling Us about Digital Sexuality
Love and Fidelity Network, Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL

Effects of Enriched Housing on the Expression of Novelty-Shuttling Induced Fos-Like Immunoreactivity in the Cingulate Cortex and Basal Ganglia
Society for Neuroscience 46th Annual Meeting, Struthers, W.M.; Medrano, S.P; Ansell, K.; Wu, L. - Chicago, IL

Behavioral and ERP responses to emotionally evocative images among high and low trait anger college age men
Society for Neuroscience 46th Annual Meeting, Ross, K.; Addleman, D.; Early, A.; Reyes, C.; Baker, S.; O’Hora, H.; Phinney, R.; Struthers, W.; Whitney, H.; and Thom, N. - Chicago, IL

Reducing Moral Distress in Nursing - Do Interventions Really Work?
American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Conference, Haviley, Corinne, Reid Tinio, Gina, Pugliese, Karen, Czyzewski, Katherine, and Struthers, William - Atlanta, GA - 2015

On Harms and Hope: The Myriad Injustices of Pornography and How Some are Fighting Back
Sexuality, Integrity, and the University Conference, Love and Fidelity Network, Struthers, William M. and Hawkins, Dawn - Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

  • First Year Seminar: Soul, Mind or Brain?
  • Advanced Integrative Seminar: Drugs, Religion and Society
  • Foundations of Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience Collaborative Research
  • Neuroscience Capstone
  • Introduction to Psychopharmacology
  • History and Systems of Psychology (Graduate Program)

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. Dr. Struthers also speaks internationally as an advocate against various forms of sexual exploitation (i.e. pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking).

The Neurobiology of Stress and Trauma. Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling, InterVarsity Press
Struthers, William M., Ansell, Kerryn, and Wilson, Adam, Downers Grove, IL.
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Mealtime Disruption and Caregiver Stress in Referrals to an Outpatient Feeding Clinic, Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Fishbein, Mark, Benton, Kathryn, and Struthers, William M., 2016

Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task Among a Hypersexual Sample | Journal of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity
Mulhauser, K, Struthers, W.M., Hooks, J, and Pyykkonen, B., 2014

Comic Books, Mock Trials and Zombies: Engaging Integrative Biopsychology Themes in the Classroom, Journal of Psychology and Theology
Struthers, William M., 2014

The Use of Brain Images When Evaluating Religious and Non-Religious Media Reports, American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience
Struthers, William M.; Hagan, Tim; Mulhauser, Kyle; and Schuchardt, Read., 2014

Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction and Anisometropic Amblyopia, Journal of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabisums
Kipp, Mike; Kipp, Mike A. Jr. and Struthers, William M., 2013

False Intimacy, Youthwork
Struthers, William M., 2012

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. Dr. Struthers also speaks internationally as an advocate against various forms of sexual exploitation (i.e. pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking).