Holy Matrimony – The Unexpected Connection Between Religion & Sexual Fulfillment

by Robin Phillips, Salvo Magazine

In our culture we hear a lot about things that are supposed to help couples have better sex, from skimpy lingerie to sex-enhancing drugs. What we don’t hear a lot about is the role that religion can play in improving a couple’s “sex life.”

The mere suggestion that religion can improve sex will seem laughable to many. Our society has largely bought into the narrative that religion is the enemy of sexual pleasure. In the wake of the sexual revolution, many people have come to believe that someone whose sexual habits are constricted by religious values cannot at the same time experience fulfilling sexual happiness. While religious believers have often disputed these claims, only comparatively recently has science taken their side. Evidence meticulously gathered by social scientists has conclusively shown that religious people as a whole are more sexually fulfilled than any other group in Western society.

The Chicago Study

Recognizing that the findings of Alfred Kinsey in the mid-20th century were methodologically flawed, in 1992 social scientists Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, and Edward O. Laumann initiated a comprehensive study into the sexual habits of Americans. They commissioned a staff of 220 interviewers, stationed at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Instead of relying on unrepresentative groups of volunteers, as Kinsey had done, these researchers selected random samples. Over a period of seven months, they interviewed 3,432 respondents and asked them questions about all aspects of their sex lives.

Much of what their study uncovered was predictable, while some things came as a surprise. The greatest shock of all concerned the relationship between sexual pleasure and religious belief.

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