Thursday, June 14, 2007

Christianity and the frequency of orgasms


(Post 10 in a series)

So far in this series, I have focused on sexual behavior in the context of immorality. Now, I'm going to turn to other sexual behaviors.

Much of these posts come from the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). This study, was conducted by Edward Laumann, of the University of Chicago, in 1994, so it's getting a bit old, but it remains about the best study on the topic. It collected data from 3,400+ people nationwide on just about every aspect of sexual behavior. Fortunately, for my purposes, it also collected data on religious affiliation.

From the NHSLS, here are the percentage of respondents who report "always having an orgasm" when they have sex with their primary partner.

Men
79%, Catholics
75%, no religious affiliation
75%, conservative protestants
73%, mainline protestants
66%, other religion

Women
33%, conservative protestants
27%, mainline protestants
27%, Catholics
22%, no religious affiliation

There isn't a lot of difference for men, but there looks to be a religious effect for women.

Maybe this explains why women tend to be much more religious than men?
Thoughts?

15 comments:

webcure - For Your Health : said...

Maybe those with a religious background do it more often.
Or do they do it better?

Brad Wright said...

It wouldn't be more often, though I'll post on that later, because this question gets at rate. "How often" versus "sometimes" versus "not very often".

It's interesting to think about why their would be religious effect.

Jerry said...

Wow--that's not a title you see too often. Anyway, I'd wonder if this might be somehow linked to monogamy. As partners get to know one another better physically, that can make a difference. Linking to other data on promiscuity might help answer that. It's interesting that conservative protestants top the list for women, since that group has such a prudish reputation.

Brad Wright said...

Yes, there's probably a good story to be told behind the finding. Could also be variation in education, but you're right, it is counter-intuitive.

Anonymous said...

Brad,

There is a minor literature on why "evangelicals have better sex." Too busy now to look it up, but I know it exists.

sarah said...

I'm just happy to be in the 33% category (though I have no empirical data as to whether or not I experience this rate). Since my husband likes to comment here, I'll stop at that...

sarah said...

I should clarify that what I meant is: 1) Being someone who might be classified in the "conservative protestant" category, I'm in the group that seems to have the highest percentage of "always" which seems like a good thing for me, 2) I by no means keep track nor assert that I "always," and 3) My husband is going to kill me when he reads my comments!

S.S.Stone said...

jerry...I agree,it's not a title you see too often...so i'm going to just agree with the majority on this one ;)

Brad Wright said...

Jerry, I'm very impressed that your wife writes about your prowess all over the web! Any pressure?

Jerry said...

Not until now...

sarah said...

I will now impale myself on nearest sharp object...

Knumb said...

What is this, Blog sweeps week?

;)

S.S.Stone said...

oh this is too funny!

Jay Livingston said...

"Oh God, oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God God God. OH GOD. Oh God, oh God, oh God. Ooooh, Gooooood. Oh God."


Ever hear an atheist say that?

Brad Wright said...

Jay, that is really, really funny...

I don't know if it is sweeps week, but if so, Jerry has won. No wonder he is smiling in his picture.