Monday, July 6, 2009

Christian Women Have More Sexual Fun

This article discusses research done by two studies that both conclude that Christian women enjoy sex more often and more orgasms than the general population.

Read on to learn more...

Recent findings offer insights into therapy for the faithful

Evangelical Christian women have sex more frequently and experience orgasms more often than American women in general, according to a recent study on sexual satisfaction. Aside from these two differences, Christian female sexuality echoes previously published reports about the sexual likes, dislikes and practices of the nation's women as a whole.

Yet the study's findings illuminate avenues for marital and sexual therapy in a Christian context, 'where faith often plays a presiding role.

The study, titled "The National Survey on Christian Female Sexuality," was conducted by Debra Taylor, M.A., MFT, Archibald Hart, Ph.D, and Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D. An AASECT-certified sex therapist based in Ventura, Calif., Taylor specializes in serving a largely Christian clientele. She presented the findings in May at the AASECT annual conference.

Uncertain of how congregations would react to being the subject of sexual scrutiny, Taylor said she was heartened when church members clapped at her news about the study and entreaties for participants. Although Christian male sexuality was the subject of one previous study, she said, until now no similar effort has been made for their mates.

Working in collaboration with Hart, who conducted the study on Christian men, and Hart Weber, Taylor designed a 100-question open-ended questionnaire to gather data on more than 2,000 evangelical Christian women. The study is the subject of "Secrets of Eve" (Word Publishing, 1998), published under the three authors' names.

Respondents considered themselves "committed Christians," meaning they accept the Bible's teachings as their faith, and typically attend church services at least once per week. The women ranged in age from 18 to 85 years and were predominately white Californians, 63 percent of whom were married.

Encyclopedia Britannica defines Evangelical Christians as, broadly, any Christian church preaching the gospel, and in specific, Protestant churches that "emphasize the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, personal conversion experiences, Scripture as the only basis for faith, and active home and foreign evangelism."

The National Association of Evangelicals counts some 43,000 congregations nationwide.

The study's findings gently surprise more than shock. As a whole, many Christian women report high levels of sexual satisfaction. Factors associated with sexual satisfaction include a happy marriage, frequency of sexual intercourse, frequency of reaching orgasm and lovemaking sessions that last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Enjoying most the physical and emotional close ness that sexual activity brings, 30 percent of the respondents reported greater satisfaction levels when they engage in sex two to three times per week.

This frequency is slightly higher than that reported in the groundbreaking 1994 University of Chicago study of the general population, "Sex in America."

Taylor attributed the higher rates to a desire by Christian women to please their mates, who commonly want more frequent sex. This attitude is summed up in a comment offered by one respondent, Taylor said, who wrote that she loves giving herself to her husband, and that satisfying his needs is more important to her than achieving orgasm.

Still, the study showed that women were enjoying more frequent orgasms as well, a finding that accords with the Sex in America study, which gathered data on broader religious groups. Taylor chalks it up to the consistency that comes with more frequent intercourse. "Perhaps that works in their favor," she said.

Another significant finding was that the more the women thought about sex, the greater their level of sexual desire.

Yet fatigue threw a damp towel on the flames of passion, proving itself to be the largest obstacle to Christian women's sexual satisfaction. Nearly half of all respondents declared that finding energy for sex was their area of greatest difficulty, followed by feeling desire.

One respondent contributed this comment: "We wait to have sex until it is late at night and I am so tired I could die."

"Fatigue is a huge issue," Taylor said.

The survey also prompted questions from respondents, who amended pages and wrote in the margins. Among the most common were concerns about "normal" sex drives, frequency of sex for couples with kids and changes that come with aging and menopause.

Some questions were more personal: Is it normal to need manual stimulation to reach orgasm -- or is there something wrong with me? Is it unusual for a woman to masturbate? What are the effects of childhood sexual abuse on sexuality?

Therapists and counselors need to be aware of these concerns, Taylor said, because they can carry an extra burden for Christians. For instance, faiths in which masturbation is discouraged can make it a source of guilt and anguish for some.

The study also raises differences between Christian men and women in their attitudes toward sexual activity. Christian women think about sex less frequently than their mates and have lower energy resources for sex. Furthermore, body image plays a role in Christian women's sexual satisfaction, as do ways women connect sexually, wanting to feel emotional closeness with their mates before engaging in sexual activity.

Although consistent with couples in general, these gender differences --along with the study's other findings -- could prove to be fruitful fodder for Christian clients, whose sense of sexual satisfaction is further influenced by faith, the church and the scripture.

"When you work with Christians, don't forget to use their resources," be it the Bible or a member of the clergy, Taylor told her workshop audience.

"When you have a client who is Christian, and you will, you cannot take the God out of the therapy because that is what gives them life," she added. "You can't do sex as a Christian and leave God outside the room, because Christ is there when you have sex."

Christian women have more fun. By: Richard, Diane, Contemporary Sexuality, 10945725, Jun2000, Vol. 34, Issue 6

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