Great Christina writes an extensive article on Alternet about how atheists and religious people have the same amount of sex but atheists reports much more satisfaction in their sex life. because it is guilt-free. According to Great Christina, this is confirmed by a scientific study recently released, titled "Sex and secularism". She does point to some flaws in the study; it was an internet survey and a large chunk of responders are Pharyngulites. Given the negative impact that most major world religions have on self-esteem, as well as the sexophobia of most of these religions, it seems like a non-brainer that "atheists do it better". The article is long but worth the read. A link to the original "Sex and Secularism" report can be found in her article, below.
Do atheists have better sex? Yes. According to science, that is -- and more specifically, according to the recently released "Sex and Secularism" study.
In January 2011, organizational psychologist Darrel Ray, Ed.D. (psychologist for 30 years and author of The God Virus as well as two books on psychology) and Amanda Brown (undergraduate at Kansas University, focused on sexuality and sex therapy) conducted a sex survey of over 14,500 people -- atheists, agnostics, and other people in the secular community. The survey was looking at religion, atheism, and sex: how religion affects sex, how leaving religion affects sex, whether lifelong atheists feel differently about sex than people who have recently deconverted, and so on. The report -- "Sex and Secularism: What Happens When You Leave Religion?" -- is on the Internet, and if you want all 46 pages of the naughty details, including the charts and graphs and personal stories, you can download it free (you just need to register on the site).
But if you just want to know the gist?
Leaving religion improves people's sex lives.
Atheists and other non-believers, as a whole, experience a lot more satisfaction in their sex lives than they did when they were believers. They feel much less guilt about their sex lives and their sexuality. The sexual guilt instilled by so many religions tends to fade, and indeed disappear, when people leave religion -- much more thoroughly than you might expect. And according to the respondents of this study, non-believers give significantly better sex education to their kids than believers do.
Now, when it comes to people's actual sexual behavior, religion doesn't have nearly as much impact as you might think. Religious and non-religious people have pretty much the same kinds of sex, at pretty much the same age of onset, and at pretty much the same rate. Believers are just as likely to masturbate, watch porn, have oral sex, have sex outside marriage, and so on, as non-believers are, and they start at about the same ages. So it's not like religious sexual guilt is actually making people abstain from forbidden sexual activity. All it's doing is making people feel crummy about it. And when people leave religion, this crumminess decreases -- at a dramatic rate. Believers and atheists are having pretty much the same kinds of sex... but when it comes to the pleasure and satisfaction experienced during this sex, it's like night and day.
Okay. Before anyone squawks, I'll start the squawking myself: There are some demographic problems with this study, and it shouldn't be relied on as the absolute final word on this topic. In particular, the participants in the study aren't statistically representative of the population: they're statistically representative of whoever heard about it on the Internet, and they're disproportionately represented by readers of the hugely popular atheist blog, Pharyngula. (In fact, in several places throughout the report, the researchers themselves freely acknowledge the limitations of their research.)
But that being said: The results of this report that aren't new? They're entirely consistent with the results of other research. Lots of other research, both on human sexuality and on religion/ atheism. And that makes those results a whole lot more plausible. As researcher Darrel Ray told me, "Our data is virtually identical to other national surveys on the basics of when and how people start sexual behavior." (Citations of those studies are in the report.) Yes, it's virtually impossible to get completely accurate, statistically representative information about human sexuality under any circumstances: there's not really any ethical way to get information about sex other than relying on people's self-reporting, and it's a topic that people tend to, you know, lie about. But on the reliability scale of human sex research, this report seems to rank on the higher end.
Though not saying anyone in adult films lack morality, it s an amusing thought to think of porn and christianity as being hand in hand. If you think about it, they are definitely more moral than your local pedophile priest; pornography one, religion zero.
the article is well worth a read, it does cover that very topic brought up by Edmund: (that religion does not often really change ppl's sexual activity)
//"Now, when it comes to people's actual sexual behavior, religion doesn't have nearly as much impact as you might think. Religious and non-religious people have pretty much the same kinds of sex, at pretty much the same age of onset, and at pretty much the same rate. Believers are just as likely to masturbate, watch porn, have oral sex, have sex outside marriage, and so on, as non-believers are, and they start at about the same ages.
So it's not like religious sexual guilt is actually making people abstain from forbidden sexual activity. All it's doing is making people feel crummy about it. And when people leave religion, this crumminess decreases -- at a dramatic rate. Believers and atheists are having pretty much the same kinds of sex... but when it comes to the pleasure and satisfaction experienced during this sex, it's like night and day"//
The article also mentions the other remark made by Edmund about the "theist with an atheist" sex life may have trouble:
//In fact, for the handful of atheists who reported that their sex lives worsened when they left religion -- 2.2 percent of participants -- almost all tell the exact same story: Their sex lives got worse because... well, to put it bluntly, their partners or potential partners were still religious, and now that they were atheists, they weren't getting any.
Their spouses got upset because they'd become atheists; their pool of potential sex partners dried up. As one respondent commented, "My wife said to me, 'How can I sleep with someone who doesn't share my faith?'" And another, somewhat more waggishly: "When I was a Christian I could lay any girl in church, now that I am an atheist, they won't even talk to me." //
ha, i JUST posted this same article! i'll go take mine down!
but, i did smile a wry smile when i read Greta's last words of the article above:
//"But when believers make the argument from utility -- when they argue that religion is important and necessary because it makes people happy -- we don't have to just tear our hair out and say, "Does not! Does not!" We can print out this report, and hand it to them with a smile.
A satisfied smile."//
Christians can't get their story straight about atheists' sex lives. Traditionally they've asserted that atheists engage in promiscuity. But lately I've read their claims that male atheists can't get laid because of a lack of social skills.
Even without religion, however, many men face the problem caused by the fact that male sexual access follows a Pareto distribution: Twenty percent of the men get 80 percent of the sex, which means that most men have to fight for the scraps and leavings; and not a few men get pushed away from the trough altogether in every generation and become the 40 year old virgins. Evolutionary psychologist Roy Baumeister sheds some light on men's fundamentally tragic sexual situation in this essay.
Interesting article, i'm only part way down, but, this line jumped out at me:
//"But rather than seeing culture as patriarchy, which is to say a conspiracy by men to exploit women, I think it’s more accurate to understand culture (e.g., a country, a religion) as an abstract system that competes against rival systems — and that uses both men and women, often in different ways, to advance its cause."//
well, one problem with that line, (which may be further explained in rest of article, which i have not yet finished) IS this:
It is easily provable that cultures which oppress women do NOT do well, no "advancement of culture" or society or whatever, happens. None. Cultures in which women are oppressed, have less educated, more poverty stricken, unhealthier, more violent cultures/societies/civilizations. Certain small groups of men within the society may be doing well, but, the society, as a whole, is not.
Even further, the MORE oppressed the women in the society are, the MORE horribley the society is faring, in many measures of a successful society, like economic prosperity for the bulk of the ppl, higher education rates, less violence, less warring, less poverty, better health standards, longer lifespans, more equitable rational legal systems, etc etc etc.
i suppose i should provide a link, and if asked, i WILL track one down.
happens everytime. So that reaark seems slightly implausible on it's face, to me, imo.
btw, i LOVED learning a new word from you, "Pareto Distribution", THANKS!!
//" I have no conclusions to present about what’s good or bad or how the world should change. In fact my own theory is built around tradeoffs, so that whenever there is something good it is tied to something else that is bad, and they balance out."//
There is a discussion going on today, over in the "Atheist in the MIddle East" group, about allowing women to drive cars.
To me, that is a good thing. What would the "bad thing" be, that could be "tied to it", if women in middle east were granted the freedom to drive a car?
......... Like, more pollution? that may or may not be true, it is possible, it might be about the same, since the car will still be driving along, only difference would be, the woman could drive her own self where she wanted to go, instead of having male drive her.
If you say more car accident deaths, i could come back with these women are already in cars, just not allowed to drive them, and, who knows? maybe it could also save lives, if a women feared being beaten or killed in her home, she could drive the car to escape.