I have long said that most sex studies are not applicable to the average married couple, much less a married couple trying to follow Jesus. At last, I have a study to support this – gotta love the irony! Are women who volunteer for sexual response studies representative of women in general? found that women who had taken part in lab studies, and women who said they would not take part in such studies, answered a questionnaire differently. In other words, women who are willing to engage in sexual behaviour while wired up, or while being observed, are not the same as women who are unwilling to do those things.
While this study looked at women willing to engage in sex research in a lab, there are similar concerns about sex survey results. A study can only be applied to the general population if the study participants are an accurate cross section of the general public. It’s not uncommon for those who take sex survey to be younger, more sexually liberal, and married for a shorter time then the population as a whole. In part this is due to bad sampling (like when the entire sample group comes from the readers of a magazine, or those who go to a particular web site) and in part it is because those who are more “sexually liberal” (read more promiscuous) are more likely to fill out a sex survey than those who are more sexually conservative.
Even if the study population is representative of the population as a whole, that does not make it valid for you. A significant percentage of our population is single (never married, living together, separated, divorced or widowed) and as a group their sexual choices do not match those of monogamous married couples. Add “Christian morality” and you get even more discrepancies.
The bottom line is that few sex surveys, and even fewer sex research projects, are drawing from a population that is similar to the primary readership of this blog. As such, those surveys and studies may not be applicable to you.
One more thought – even if the study population is valid for you and your bride, does that make what it finds a goal for you? The average caloric intake in the USofA is far higher than is healthy – trying to match the findings of a survey of daily calories consumed would be a bad plan. Average or “normal” is just a mathematical truth; it does not mean the finding is healthy, good, moral, or a worthwhile goal.