The Influence of Religiosity/Spirituality on Sex Life Satisfaction and Sexual Frequency: Insights from the Baylor Religion Survey

Abstract

Prior literature has generally found either a null or positive association between sex life satisfaction and religiosity. However, different studies have used various measures of religiosity and have focused on different demographics along the dimensions of age, marital status, and gender, limiting what can be determined in terms of moderating and cross-demographic effects. This shortcoming is germane because it may explain the differing findings in the literature. This study drew on the nationally representative 2017 Baylor Religion Survey (N = 1501) to test relationships among sex life satisfaction, sexual frequency, and a variety of different religious measures while testing for demographic moderators. Results suggest that religion and spirituality have a strong and significant association with sex life satisfaction while controlling for basic sociodemographic variables, and that this relationship is consistent across marital status, age, and gender. The positive association between religion and sexual frequency appeared to be limited to more intrinsic, personal forms such as self-rated spirituality and frequency of prayer. This association did not exist for non-married individuals, however, and among non-marrieds those who attend religious services more reported lower sexual frequency. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.

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Correspondence to Stephen Cranney.

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Cranney, S. The Influence of Religiosity/Spirituality on Sex Life Satisfaction and Sexual Frequency: Insights from the Baylor Religion Survey. Rev Relig Res 62, 289–314 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13644-019-00395-w

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Keywords

  • Sexual frequency
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Religiosity
  • Quantitative