Study: Religious Couples Report Greater Sexual Satisfaction

Study: Religious Couples Report Greater Sexual Satisfaction

By Rebecca, 01.07.2019

We don’t tend to mention religion very often over at Dusk TV but we came across an interesting study that has to do with faith and sex! So of course, we want to share the results with you!

Researchers from Brigham Young University (BYU) and Baylor University conducted a study to determine the association between sex and religion in a marriage. Essentially, it looked at whether couples considered their marriage “sacred” and how that impacts their sexual relationship. The result was published in the Journal of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality and it is important to note the two universities are conservative Mormon and Christian universities.

The study interviewed over 1,300 couples in the United States between the ages of 18 and 45. Both individual and joint measures of “religiosity” were taken. It turns out that individual-level reports of marital sanctification were positively associated with the reports of sexual satisfaction with wives and husbands. On top of that, performing religious activities together were positively associated with how the husbands felt sexually satisfied. Husbands seemed to be more satisfied when there were higher amounts of marital commitment, relationship “maintenance behaviours” and time spent with their wives. On the other side of things, wives’ satisfaction was partially related to the level of commitment. “Maintenance behaviours” include things like shared activities, shared values, and low levels of conflict.


It is interesting to note that it is not just about doing religious activities together like attending a religious service. It is actually about having a joint value system when it comes to these activities and not having one spouse “drag” the other one to services. Activities like praying together and reading religious texts together are better indicators. The result of an increased sexual satisfaction was related to couples who has established a spiritual intimacy and emotional closeness, where the partners have the same degree of religiosity. Again, this didn’t work if one spouse is more religious than the other.

Of course, feeling connected to your partner plays an enormous role in physical intimacy and sexual satisfaction. Beyond this, it was noted that couples who believe their marital union is blessed and sanctified might enhance the feeling of satisfaction because it takes on a divine importance. This is something that non-religious people would not experience.

One big variable to take into consideration, is that everyone has their own definition of what “sexually satisfied” means to them. This could mean that while the more religious couples in the study were shown to be more sexually satisfied, the standard they are using might be completely different from people who are less religious. There is no way to control for this.

We aren’t saying you should go out and become religious for better sex – especially as this study was founded by religiously affiliated universities. However, if there is anything to take away from this study, it is that having common values with a partner can result in feeling closer to them emotionally, which can lead to a higher level of physical intimacy. Religion might be one of those values, but it doesn’t have to be.

What do you think of this new study? Is it something you’ve noticed or is this the first time you’re thinking about it? Let us know over on Twitter.

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