You know all those studies of what people like and do sexually that get so much media attention? Did you know that very few studies are done on just those who are married, and that many studies have more single than married subjects?
Does it matter? Actually is does. Sex is not the same among those who married are those who are not married. In The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially, [affiliate link] Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher report that married folks have more and better sex than those who are not married.
So, studies on groups of unmarried folks, or some married and some not married, are not reflecting the realities of those who are married. The “averages” that come from those studies are not valid for those who are married, and if we use them to guide our behaviour, we are using a false measuring stick.
Along similar lines, the common figure given now for “average sexual frequency in marriage” is 58 times a year. HOWEVER, that includes the 20% of couples who are in sexless marriages (less than 10 times a year). If you remove the 10% of couples who have no sex, the 10% who have sex an average of five times a year, and the 20% who have sex no more than 20 times a year, that “average” goes up to 91 times a year.
Personally, I don’t think averages like this mean anything – but if you (or your spouse) think they should be used to measure your sex life, at least understand the numbers so you can compare apples to apples.
Image Credit: © Alexandr Mitiuc | Dreamstime.com
Reference: “Sexuality of married individuals is a field on which research in psychology is much less focused. The neglect related to sexuality in marital life is discussed by Clark (1994; as cited in Timm, 1999), Apt, Hulbert, and Clark (as cited in Hayden, 1999), and Christopher and Sprecher (2000). Greenberg et. al. (2004) added “nonmarital sexual behavior has received more attention from researchers and reformers alike than sexual behavior in marriage” (p. 477).”
SEXUAL SELF-SCHEMAS: AN EXPLORATION OF THEIR IMPACT ON FREQUENCY OF MASTURBATION AND SEXUAL ACTIVITY, SEXUAL SATISFACTION, AND MARITAL ADJUSTMENT – A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES OF MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY – BY GÖZDE KOÇAK