Sexual Satisfaction Among Married Women
Abstract: Correlates of sexual satisfaction were identified in a sample of married persons. A 70-item questionnaire was mailed to an age-stratified sample of 2,500 married women. Usable questionnaires were returned by 641 participants (a 25.5% return rate). Hierarchical multiple regression analysis, using sexual satisfaction as the dependent variable, yielded nine predictor variables that accounted for a significant portion of the variation in sexual satisfaction (Cumulative R Squared = .65). The results serve as a reminder that sexual interactions cannot be compartmentalized but must be considered within the context of the overall marriage relationship.
Satisfaction with one’s marriage or primary relationship tends to be a pivotal factor in overall happiness. Sexual satisfaction is an important aspect of marital satisfaction (Farley & Davis, 1980; Gebhard, 1966; Hurlbert Apt, & Rabehl, 19930). Given the high rates of divorce and the marital and sexual dissatisfaction experienced by many couples who do not divorce (Frank, Anderson, & Rubinstein, 1979), a study to identify the factors that have a positive or negative impact on sexual satisfaction among married women was deemed important.
A number of researchers have sought to identify factors that influence sexual satisfaction. Researchers have investigated sexual satisfaction and its relationship both to physical aspects of sexual performance (e.g., orgasm consistency or frequency or timing of orgasm) (Darling, Davidson, & Cox, 1991); Darling, Davidson, & Jennings, 1991; Waterman & Chiauzzi, 1982) and psychological factors (Farley & Davis, 1980). Additionally, religiosity (Davidson, Darling, & Norton, 1995), gender-role perception or adaptation (Jobes, 1986; Rosenzweig & Dailey, 1989), cultural variables (Ah Song, Bergen, & Schumm, 1995), and a host of other factors (Hatfield, Greenberger, Traupman, & Lambert, 1982; Hurlbert et al. 1993; Schiavi, Mandell, & Schreiner-Engel, 1994) have been studied in relation to sexual satisfaction. In this study we attempted to overcome some of the shortcomings of previous work and add to the body of knowledge relative to this important topic. Specifically, it was our goal to identify the relationship between female sexual satisfaction within marriage and a number of aspects of the sexual and non-sexual aspects of the marriage relationship. In addition, we wanted to identify the role of religiosity in female marital sexual satisfaction and the relationship of religious beliefs about sex to sexual satisfaction in marriage and to sexual aspects of the marriage relationship.
THE CONCEPT AND MEASUREMENT OF SEXUAL SATISFACTION
Researchers have attempted to conceptualize and measure sexual satisfaction in a number of ways. Renaud, Beyers, and Pan (1997) indicated that sexual satisfaction has sometimes been conceptualized as the absence of dissatisfaction. Derogatis and Melisaratos (1979) noted the concept of sexual satisfaction seems at first to be rather straightforward. A person is or is not satisfied with his or her sexual relationship.
Lawrance and Byers (1995) described sexual satisfaction as “an affective response arising from one’s subjective evaluation of the positive and negative dimensions associated with one’s sexual relationship” (p. 268). The measurement of this “affective response” is not necessarily a simple task. Some researchers have attempted to measure overall sexual satisfaction using one or two questionnaire items. For example, Zhou (1993) measured sexual satisfaction by asking subjects a single question about their satisfaction with coitus. Several other researchers have sought to measure sexual satisfaction with one or two Likert type items (Farley & Davis, 1980; Davidson & Hoffman, 1986; Ah Song et al., 1995), have used single items to measure psychological and physiological components of satisfaction, or have been unclear as to how they measured sexual satisfaction (Morokoff & Gillilland, 1993).
Renaud et al. (1997) noted that researchers have sometimes used orgasmic consistency as an index of sexual satisfaction. Other researchers have used various multi-item scales to measure sexual satisfaction (LoPiccolo & Steger, 1974; Derogatis & Melisaratos, 1979; Hudson, Harrison, & Croscup, 1981; Lawrance & Byers, 1995). The use of a multi-item scale provides the researcher with an opportunity to take into account the different components or dimensions of one’s sexual relationship. This approach may provide a more accurate reflection of overall satisfaction with one’s sexual relationship than approaches that use only one or two items to assess a person’s sexual satisfaction. In this study, we used an 11-item scale that addressed several dimensions of sexual satisfaction (e.g. pleasure, attraction, intensity, fulfillment) within the context of marriage.
Religiosity and Sexual Satisfaction
In this study we also addressed the relationship of religiosity to sexual satisfaction. Davidson, Darling and Norton (1995) indicated that “our societal attitudes about sexuality continue to be dominated by the religious perspective that sexual desires are to be restrained” (p. 235) and sexual pleasures to be avoided. Thus, it seems that one’s degree of religious commitment and one’s perception of how religion (or God) views sexuality may also impact sexual satisfaction. Research that has addressed the issue of religiosity and sexual satisfaction has, however, been quite limited. Davidson et al. (1995) studied the relationship of religiosity and sexual satisfaction in a sample of nurses. They found significant differences between the degree of religiosity (as measured by frequency of church attendance) and the age at initiation of sexual intercourse and attitudes toward masturbation. They also found differences in “physiological” sexual satisfaction, by church attendance, with those women who indicated that they had not attended church services in the last year, expressing the highest level of satisfaction. There was no significant difference, however, in “psychological” sexual satisfaction between frequency of church attendance.
These researchers did not report on the marital status of their subjects. It seems, however, that since most religious denominations do not give approval for persons to engage in sexual intercourse outside of a marital relationship, religiosity may have a differential effect on sexual satisfaction, depending upon one’s marital status. Marital status may also play a role in the findings (no relationship between church attendance and sexual satisfaction) of Davidson and Moore (1996), since the study was conducted with college undergraduates, whom it appears, were mostly young and single. We were not able to identify any previous research that examined the role of religiosity and sexual satisfaction using a sample of married subjects. Thus, our study makes a contribution to the body of knowledge in this area.
Additionally, researchers who have addressed the issue of religiosity and sexual satisfaction have often used a single item measure of religiosity (church attendance) in their analysis. The concept of religiosity, however, goes beyond attendance at religious services (Glock, 1962). To address the multidimensional nature of religiosity, and to overcome the dearth of information relative to religiosity and sexual satisfaction, we decided to include religiosity as a focus of the study, using a multidimensional measure of religiosity. We also developed et unique scale designed to measure one’s perception of God’s view of sex.
Relationship Variables and Sexual Satisfaction
In this study we also examined the quality of the relationship relative to sexual satisfaction. Newcomb and Bentler (1983) found that sexual satisfaction was related to the existence of a close personal relationship with one’s sexual partner. Frank et al. (1979) indicated that level of sexual satisfaction was related to overall quality of the relationship. Other researchers have indicated that for women, the closer the emotional relationship with one’s partner, the greater the chance of a satisfying sexual relationship (Darling, Davidson, & Cox, 1991; Rosenzweig & Dailey, 1989; Hurlbert et al. 1993). Other recent research (Lawrance & Byers, 1995; Oggins, Veroff, & Leber, 1993), also has found that characteristics which are indicative of the quality of the relationship are related to level of sexual satisfaction. The Interpersonal Exchange Model of Sexual Satisfaction proposed by Lawrance and Byers (1995) takes into accounts the rewards and costs that partners exchange in their sexual relationship and predicts that greater relationship satisfaction results in greater sexual satisfaction.
In this study we obtained two measures of relationship quality. First we used a single item to query subjects about their overall satisfaction with their marriage. We also included a unique measure of relationship quality which addressed emotional intimacy, respect, and companionship.
Sexual Activity and Performance Variables and Sexual Satisfaction
Much has also been made of the role of orgasm and the timing of orgasm in female sexual satisfaction. Waterman and Chiauzzi (1982) indicate that the findings of several researchers support the notion that orgasm may play a minimal role in female sexual satisfaction. Other researchers, however, have found orgasm to be an important factor in sexual satisfaction (Darling, Davidson, & Cox, 1991; Perlman & Abramson, 1981).
Darling, Davidson, and Jennings (1991) found that multiorgasmic women were more likely to be physiologically satisfied with sexual intercourse than single-orgasmic women, but that “in general, sexual satisfaction was not overwhelmingly affected by whether or not a woman experiences multiple orgasms” (p. 538). These researchers did not include nonorgasmic women in their analysis.
Other researchers have addressed the consistency with which one (or one’s partner) achieved orgasm as a factor in sexual satisfaction (e.g. how frequently sexual activity results in orgasm) (Lief, 1980; Hurlbert et al. 1993.) Hurlbert (1993) also found that women who participated in orgasm consistency training reported a higher degree of sexual satisfaction at six-month follow-up than women participating in a standard group intervention.
Waterman and Chiauzzi (1982) found, for women, that sexual dissatisfaction (dissatisfaction with the current repertoire of sexual behaviors in which one is engaging) increased as the consistency of orgasm decreased. The consistency with which one’s partner reached orgasm was not significantly related to sexual dissatisfaction. Sexual pleasure (the average enjoyment of all sexual activities in which one engages) was not related to consistency of self or partner orgasm.
Zhou (1993) found in his survey of Chinese women, that frequency of coitus, pre-coital caressing and frequency of wives’ orgasm were all positively related to the sexual satisfaction of both husbands and wives. Bentler and Peeler (1979) also found that higher levels of sexual activity were related to increased sexual satisfaction, as did Hurlbert et al. (1993). In this study we used a single measure which reflected the consistency of orgasm for both the survey participant and the participant’s spouse, something that previous researchers have not done. In addition, we measured frequency of participation in sexual activities, the type of sexual activity in which the survey participant and spouse engaged and the level of enjoyment of these activities. Other researchers have not focused on the role of non-coital sexual activity in sexually satisfaction.
The purpose of the study was to determine how a set of predictor variables consisting of nonsexual aspects of the relationship, overall marital satisfaction consisting of self-spouse orgasm, frequency of sexual activity, participation in noncoital activities, religiosity and perception of God’s view of sexuality, combine to account for the variation in sexual satisfaction among married women.
Participants for the study were obtained from a sample, stratified by age, of 5,000 married adults (2,500 males, 2,500 females). This was a United States sample with representation from 49 of the 50 states. The sample included 1,000 potential respondents ages 20-29; 1,000 ages 30-39; 1,000 40-49; 1,000 ages 50-59; and 1,000 age 60 and older. Participants were contacted by mail. The mailing list was purchased from a national corporation that provides mailing lists of research and marketing purposes. This study reported here was concerned only with responses of the female participants.
Usable questionnaires were returned by 641 women (a 25.5% return rate). The only identification of participants was the mailing label, which was placed on the envelope sent to them. Thus, it was not possible to do a second mailing to nonrespondents. A low return rate such as we obtained does not allow one to make a valid estimation of population parameters. Because, however, the focus of this study was the examination of the relationship between variables rather than the estimation of population parameters, the low return rate was not as problematic.
The testing instrument was a 70-item questionnaire. The questionnaire was used to elicit information concerning the subjects’ sexual satisfaction, as well as information concerning a number of other variables we suspected were related to sexual satisfaction, such as overall satisfaction with the marriage, consistency of orgasm, frequency of sexual activity, enjoyment of non-coital sexual activities, and satisfaction with other aspects of the relationship, and religiosity. Specific: questionnaire items and response formats are as follows: The variable “overall satisfaction with the marriage” was measured by using a single four-point Likert-type item, worded “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your marriage?” The variable “consistency of self-spouse orgasm” was measured by summing the scores for two items: “How often does sexual activity with your spouse result in at least one orgasm for you?” and “How often does sexual activity with your spouse result in at least one orgasm for your spouse?” Each of these two items was scored on a five-point basis from “All of the time” to “Never.” The variable “frequency of sexual activity” was measured by the single open-ended question “How often do you and your spouse engage in sexual activity?” Subjects were instructed to “Indicate the approximate number of occasions per month in which you and your spouse engage in sexual activity.”
The variables “sexual satisfaction” (11 items), “satisfaction with non-sexual aspects of the relationship” (3 items), “participation and enjoyment of noncoital sexual activity” (7 items) and “one’s perception of God’s view of sex” (6 items) were measured using multi-item scales. Items that comprised these various scales (with Cronbach’s alpha) are shown in Table 1.
Table 1 Items Comprising Various Scales
Scale 1: Sexual Satisfaction Cronbach’s alpha
I am satisfied with my spouse as a sexual partner.
After sex I feel relaxed, fulfilled.
I have satisfying orgasms.
I feel that foreplay with my spouse is very arousing
I have good communication with my spouse about sex.
I am satisfied with the variety of sexual positions and activities
in which my spouse and I participate.
I am pleased with the frequency with which my spouse and I engage
in sexual activity.
I am pleased with the intensity of sexual activity in which my
spouse and I engage.
My spouse makes me feel sexually desirable.
I am sexually attracted to my spouse.
My spouse makes it clear that I provide him/her with a great deal
of sexual pleasure.
Scale 2: Satisfaction With Non-Sexual Aspects Cronbach’s alpha
of the Relationship .86
My spouse and I share with each other our goals, dreams, plans,
thoughts and feelings.
I have a great deal of respect for the person who is my spouse.
My spouse is a valued companion in recreational activities.
Scale 3: Participation and Enjoyment Croubach’s alpha
of Non-Coital Sexual Activity .78
I enjoy using my mouth and tongue to stimulate the genitals of my
I enjoy my spouse using his/her mouth and tongue to stimulate my
I enjoy participating in anal sex with my spouse.
I enjoy participating in masturbation.
When you and your spouse engage in sexual activity, how often does
this activity involve your spouse performing oral sex on you?
When you and your spouse engage in sexual activity, how often does
this activity involve you performing oral sex on your spouse?
When you and your spouse engage in sexual activity, how often does
this activity involve anal sex?
Scale 4: Perception of God’s View of Sex Cronbach’s alpha
(First three items were reversed scored.) .63
God intended sex to be only for procreation.
Within marriage participation in sexual activities solely for
pleasure is a sin.
Within marriage participation in sexual activities other than
penile vaginal intercourse, such as oral sex, would not be
approved of by God.
Within marriage, sexuality is a gift of God and as such should be
Within marriage, God regards reproduction as only one purpose of
sexual activity, it is also for mutual enjoyment and pleasuring.
Within marriage, any sexual activity that is agreeable and
pleasurable to both partners is approved of by God.
Religiosity (degree of religious commitment) was measured using Faulkner and DeJong’s (1966) Religiosity Scale. This scale enables one to measure deviations from traditional Judaeo-Christian beliefs in five dimensions: ideological (beliefs), ritualistic (religious behavior), experiential (feeling, emotion), intellectual (knowledge), and consequential (the effects in the secular world of the prior four dimensions). Subsequent work (Young & Luquis, 1995) demonstrated that the 23-item scale could be reduced to 13 items while still maintaining the integrity of the five dimensions. Scores from all items were averaged to obtain a single composite religiosity score (alpha = .89).
We had also thought it would be interesting to examine sexual satisfaction and its relationship to religiosity and one’s perception of God’s view of sex when the two latter factors were considered together. While one’s perception of God’s view of sex may not be related to sexual satisfaction among those people who indicate a low level of religiosity; among people who indicate a high level of religiosity, one’s perception of God’s view of sex may be strongly related to sexual satisfaction. Thus, we created an interaction variable (religiosity x one’s perception of God’s view of sex). This terra consisted of the z-score for religiosity multiplied by the z-score for one’s perception of God’s view of sex.
Design and Procedure
Mailing labels for the participants were obtained from the Zeller Corporation, a national corporation that provides clients with mailing lists for research and marketing. A cover letter explained the purpose of the study and requested the subjects’ participation. The questionnaire was sealed in a second envelope, printed with the message “Do not open this envelope until you have read the enclosed letter.” This procedure was used to allow those whom the study might offend to throw away the envelope without exposure to the questionnaire. Subjects who chose to complete the questionnaire returned it via a postage-paid envelope. Subjects could also receive a free gift from the company that provided financial support for the project by sending the company a postage-paid post card, which was included in the mailing. Data were analyzed using SPSS programs, including descriptive statistics, zero order correlation, and multiple regression.
To identify a combination of factor’s affecting sexual satisfaction, a hierarchical regression model was hypothesized. All independent variables were entered into the model in order of theoretical importance: (a) nonsexual aspects of the relationship, (b) overall satisfaction with the marriage, (c) consistency of self-spouse orgasm, (d) frequency of sexual activity, (e) participation and enjoyment of non-coital sexual activity, (f) a block of variables consisting of religiosity, one’s perception of God’s view of sex, and the interaction of religiosity and one’s perception of God’s view of sex, and (g) age. Variables are removed from the model if they do not make a significant (p [is less than].05) contribution to the model.
Of the 606 respondents who provided their age, 102 (17%) subjects were in the under 30 age group, 196 (32%) were in the 30-39 age group, 146 (24%) were in the 40-49 age group, 94 (16%) were in the 50-59 age group, and 68 (11%) were age 60 or older. Information concerning age was missing for 35 participants. Racial composition of the respondents was predominately White (n = 602, 89.4%) with Black (n =20, 3%), Hispanic (n =9, 1%), Asian (n = 3, less than 1%) and American Indian (n = 2, less than 1%) subjects also represented. There were five respondents who did not indicate their race. Descriptive statistics and a correlation matrix for sexual satisfaction and eight predictor variables are shown in Table 2.
[TABULAR DATA 2 NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
Results From Multiple Regression
The multiple regression procedure, using sexual satisfaction as the dependent variable, was used to identify several different models, where each accounted for a significant portion of the variation in sexual satisfaction. The initial model consisted of all nine predictor variables (R Squared = .650). When age was deleted from the model there was an R Squared change of only-.007, but the change was statistically significant (F = 3.019, p=.000), indicating that age did make a significant contribution to the model. Thus, the full model was considered the final model, and consisted of nine predictor variables (non-sexual aspects of the relationship, overall satisfaction with the marriage, consistency of self-spouse orgasm, frequency of sexual activity, participation and enjoyment of non-coital sexual activity, the three variables dealing with religion, and age) and accounted for 65 percent of the variation (cumulative R-square) in sexual satisfaction. These results supported our hypothesis. The regression model summary is shown in Table 3.
[TABULAR DATA 3 NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
In this study we identified a set of variables that accounted for a substantial amount (65%) of the variation in sexual satisfaction in a sample of married women. The set of nine predictor variables that comprise the final model included: non-sexual aspects of the relationship, overall satisfaction with the marriage, self-spouse orgasm, frequency of sexual activity, participation and enjoyment of non-coital sexual activity, the three religion variables, and age.
Overall Satisfaction With Marriage
The inclusion of overall satisfaction with the marriage in the model supports the research of Schenk, Pfrang, and Rausche (1983), who found that husbands’ and wives’ ratings of satisfaction with their sexual interactions were significantly related to the; overall quality of their marital relationship. Our findings confirm that overall satisfaction with the marriage does appear to have an impact on sexual satisfaction.
Satisfaction With Non-Sexual Aspects of the Relationship
The variable “satisfaction with nonsexual aspects of the relationship,” was also included in the model. This variable, as well as the variable “marital satisfaction” does seem to reflect relationship quality. Lawrance and Byers (1995) and Oggins et al. (1993) have found that characteristics which are indicative of the quality of the relationship are related to level of sexual satisfaction. Other researchers have also found the quality of the relationship to be related to sexual satisfaction. Newcomb and Bentler (1983) in their study of female orgasmic responsiveness, found greater sexual satisfaction to be related to involvement in a close personal relationship. Findings by Frank et al. (1979) also support the notion that the general quality of the relationship influences sexual satisfaction. Other researchers have also reported emotional closeness to be positively related to sexual satisfaction in marriage, (Darling, Davidson, & Cox, 1991; Hurlbert et al., 1993; Rosenzweig & Dailey, 1989). Relating emotional closeness to sexual satisfaction appears to be a popular notion that is supported by our findings (to the extent that the “non-sexual aspects” factor does reflect emotion).
Consistency of Self/Spouse Orgasm
Consistency of self/spouse orgasm was the third variable in the model, indicating that a high level of sexual functioning is important to overall sexual satisfaction. Lief (1980) indicated that there is a presumption that sexual activity that is regularly accompanied by orgasms is associated with greater satisfaction, or happiness, than is sex without orgasms. This was certainly this case in our study. Other researchers also have examined the relationship of orgasm frequency to sexual satisfaction. Perlman and Abramson (1981) indicated that their subjects who reported the greatest sexual satisfaction also had more orgasms than those who reported dissatisfaction. Newcomb and Bentler (1983) found that female sexual satisfaction was related to the partner’s emphasis on the woman experiencing an orgasm and the consistency of orgasmic response. Hurlbert et al. (1993) also found orgasmic consistency to be predictive of female sexual satisfaction. Waterman and Chiauzzi (1982) indicated that the women in their study who reported the most frequent orgasms expressed greater satisfaction with their sexual activities than did those with relatively infrequent orgasms. These researchers found that an individual’s sexual pleasure was independent of whether his or her partner experiences orgasm. In contrast, in our study we examined self/ spouse orgasm as a single variable and found that this was indeed an important factor in sexual satisfaction.
Frequency of Sexual Activity
The fourth variable in the model was “frequency of sexual activity” indicating that those who indicated a higher frequency of sexual activity tended to have higher levels of sexual satisfaction. Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) found that degree of sexual satisfaction was directly correlated with the frequency of sex. Other researchers (Bentler & Peeler, 1979; Hurlbert et al., 1993; Zhou, 1993) have also found that higher levels of sexual activity were related to increased sexual satisfaction. Kelley (1994) commented on Blumstein & Schwartz’s (1983) work, indicating that while the correlation between sexual satisfaction and frequency with which one has sex could suggest that people are more satisfied simply because they have sex more often, this correlation could also indicate that the couples who had sex less frequently did so because it tended to be less pleasurable and satisfying for them. In any case, our findings mirror those of Blumstein and Schwartz indicating either or both situations (i.e., frequency has an impact on satisfaction or satisfaction has an impact on frequency).
Participation and Enjoyment Of Non-coital Sexual Activity
The fifth item in the model was “participation and enjoyment of non-coital sexual activity” (r =.265). An examination of the items that make up this scale indicate that participation in and enjoyment of noncoital sexual activities (focusing on oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation) play a role in sexual satisfaction. Thus, this variable reflects an individual’s interest in and willingness to participate in a variety of sexual activities; perhaps an increased sexual uninhibitedness.
Of the 641 women who completed and returned questionnaires, 35 women failed to report their age. Since we were already concerned about a low return rate, we were reluctant to include age in the model because doing so would lower the usable returns even more. Thus, our first analysis included the other eight variables in the model, but did not include age. This resulted in a Cumulative R Squared value for the model of .632. A second analysis, this time with age in the model, retained all of the eight variables that were in the first model and increased the Cumulative R Squared value to .650. When the age variable was correlated only with the variable sexual satisfaction, a non-significant, negative correlation was obtained. When entered into the multiple regression model, however, the variable age made a positive, statistically significant, contribution to the model. Thus, age can be viewed as a suppressor variable, (i.e. when examined by itself) without taking into account the other variables that tend to co-vary with age, like non-coital sexual activity (r = -.31), it appears that any effect is in the direction of less satisfaction with age. When the other variables in the model are taken into account, however, it can be seen that the opposite effect is true: other factors being equal, older women express higher levels of sexual satisfaction.
Three variables related to religion were entered together into the multiple regression model: religiosity, one’s perception of God’s view of sex, and their interaction. Individually, only one’s perception of God’s, view of sex yielded a statistically significant correlation with sexual satisfaction (r = .098, p=.009). Together, these three variables accounted for a small but statistically significant contribution to the regression model. In addition, individually, religiosity (r =.285, p [is less than] .001) and one’s perception of God’s view of sex (r = .187, p [is less than] .001) were significantly correlated with participation and enjoyment of non-coital sexual activity. Though statistically significant, these were relatively weak correlations. Religiosity x one’s perception of God’s view of sex was also significantly (r = .091, p=.014) correlated with frequency of sexual activity. This was not a strong correlation. Additionally, one of the three religion variables, one’s perception of God’s view of sex, as significantly correlated with orgasm was (r =.072,. p=.042). Though statistically significant, this was a weak correlation.
Previous research has produced mixed results. Davidson et al. (1995) reported that religious commitment (as measured by frequency of church attendance) did impact on “physiological” sexual satisfaction, but not “psychological” satisfaction. Davidson and Moore (1996) found no relationship between sexual satisfaction and religiosity among female undergraduates.
We had anticipated that in this study, religiosity, especially one’s perception of God’s view of sex, would account for a substantial amount of the variation in sexual satisfaction. The three items related to religiosity, when considered together, did account for a small, but statistically significant amount of the variation in sexual satisfaction. Individually, only one variable, one’s perception of God’s view of sex, exhibited a statistically significant correlation. The correlations between the other two religion variables and sexual satisfaction were only .016 (religiosity) and .012 (interaction between religiosity and one’s perception of God’s view of sex).
It should also be noted that almost none of the respondents in this study perceived that God viewed sex negatively (on a scale of 1 – 5, 3 people scored less than 3). This finding does not mean that there are no people who perceive that God views sex in a negative light. It may, however, be difficult to persuade people who have that perception to participate in sexuality research.
We have presented results from a survey in which we examined correlates of female sexual satisfaction in marriage. Readers should note that the low return rate may severely limit the generalization of these findings. Factors that accounted for a substantial amount of the variation in sexual satisfaction were identified. These included factors reflective of sexual functioning but also included factors dealing with other aspects of the relationship. The results serve as a reminder that a couple’s sexual interactions cannot be compartmentalized but must be considered within the context of the overall marriage relationship. These findings may be of value to therapists and counselors who work with couples and to couples who want to enhance the quality of their sexual relationship.
This study was funded, in part, by Biofilm, Inc., makers of Astroglide.
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