Sex and Religion – a re-examination

“…the recent rise of fundamentalist and new age religious movements calls for a reexamination of the current link between religion and sexual behavior.”

says a recent research article which may be the first academic study to have cross-tabulated Spiritualists, Agnostics, Atheists, Jews, Monotheist Christians, Fundamentalists (and those who declare no religion) – with their preferences in the bedroom [see detailed chart, below]. The report was jointly produced Professor Cindy Meston Ph.D., from the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, together with colleagues from McGill University and the University of Winnipeg, Canada.
Via a questionnaire, the team interviewed 1,303 undergraduates (from the University of Texas), logging their declared religious affiliations (or lack of), and their sexual preferences (ditto). Results may be seen in two tables shown below [ caution : adult content ]

(click to enlarge).

Some marked differences showed up. For example, male ‘Agnostics’ were not at all keen on orally stimulating another male – 0% in fact – sharply contrasting with the 15% of ‘Fundamentalists’ who were. And 100% of female ‘Spiritualists’ were happy kissing and petting a man, as opposed to only 81% of ‘Atheists’.
To summarise :

“Findings indicated that the definition of religiosity has an important role in the study of sexuality, and we argue that religiosity subtypes are a particularly useful way to operationalize religiousness.”

It is suggested too that future studies may further tabulate still finer ‘subtypes’ – presumably along both the X and Y axes.
The paper was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, volume 38, Number 5/October, 2009, and can be read in full here: