Does the frequency of sex and how happy a couple is with their sex life reduce the chance of them getting divorced? The obvious answer seems to be yes, but according to Kristina Dzara at Southern Illinois University it really hasn’t been studied very much.
So to examine how sex life affects the success rate of marriage, Dzara used the Marriage Matters Panel Survey of Newly Wed Couples that followed over 1000 couples in Louisiana from 1998 to 2004. The average age of the wives in this study was 28 and the average age for men was 30 years.
They looked at three aspects in the first three to six months of marriage: frequency of sexual intercourse, sexual satisfaction, and agreement between spouses about their sex life.
She used these measures to predict if they would be divorced by their fifth year of marriage. (For more on the controls and limitations (such as that all the participants were from one state) of the experiment read the link.)
“So, first, does frequency of sexual intercourse matter in terms of couples staying together? No, say these findings. On average these young couples had intercourse between one and several times a week, but frequency didn’t seem to matter. “
“What about satisfaction with sex and physical intimacy? The author tests this effect for both husbands and wives. For wives, satisfaction with physical intimacy decreased the likelihood of divorce, but overall marital quality and satisfaction with intimacy appeared to have the same effect. In other words, marital quality and satisfaction with sex could not be teased apart for wives.”
“So what about the effect of husband’s sexual satisfaction and the prospects of divorce? The probability of divorce is dramatically reduced when husband’s report being sexually satisfied. Dzara writes, “a couple with a husband who has the highest self-rated satisfaction with physical intimacy, compared to a husband with the lowest self-rated satisfaction with physical intimacy, decreases their odds of experiencing a marital disruption by around 83.7%.” Overall, husbands’ satisfaction with physical intimacy is a stronger influence on divorce than any other measure in this study.”
I am unclear if the level of sexual satisfaction is linked to the amount of times they are doing it or it purely how well things go when they are having sex? It looks like not linked to the volume of times but I’m not sure how those feelings can be separated out.
The article goes on to say that they know there are many other factors that can break up a marriage. It would seem that even having sex at all is a good sign – if you’re not having sex then you are in trouble.
Also I wonder if the sex predictor would be more accurate later in a marriage. It seems like everyone would be pretty happy in the beginning or else you wouldn’t have just got married – right??
So what so you think of this study? What do you think of 83 percent less likely to divorce if a man is happy in bed? (That is a pretty high number!)