Religious Affiliation and the Frequency of Orgasms

Religious Affiliation and the Frequency of Orgasms May 24, 2012

A apropos of nothing, here are some data about religion and sex. They 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 a great 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.

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

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?
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  • IntoTheWest

    There’s a statistically significant drop for men who are in the “other religion” category, although that’s so vague I’m not sure what conclusions one could draw from the data.

    I wonder what the statistics would be for men and women of other cultures. American men are notoriously lousy lovers. (Sorry, but it’s true — and these statistics certainly reflect that, which is why it would be interesting to compare them to statistics from other nations/cultures).

  • In many samples Catholics are joined with other “conservative” Christians (which itself is problematic as Greeley & Hout have argued). It could be the purpose of sex as a means of pro-creation for many conservatives. There is a focus there. But that is a measure of attitudes towards sex. Beliefs can trigger physical responses so if the belief is that sex and orgasm have a direction or a specific function it might be possible that this would trigger the sexual response in the study. Almost like overlaying physical response in sex with the demographic imperative among conservatives. Seems like a long-shot, but it would be interesting to compare attitudes towards sex and frequency of orgasm.

  • George

    This is the type of data that may keep women in the faith. lol. Seriously is this just heterosexuals. I wonder if differneces in sexual preference may account for this.

  • Not to get picky or anything, but did this control for the usual suspects — age, race, SES, marital status, not to mention more specific things that might be relevant, e.g., length of relationship?

    • No it doesn’t. So we don’t know if these other characteristics would make the relationship spurious or if they would serve as mechanisms mediating the relationship or if they are completely unrelated.

  • Fritz

    Well, we are Anglo Catholics in our seventies, and my wife’s orgasm rate is 100% and has been so since shortly after our marriage 46 years ago – I have ensured that. My rate is slightly less.

  • ed

    If you think your wife has had an orgasm 100 percent of the time over 46 years you probably are so stupid you don’t know when someone is faking it.