22 May 2011

Atheists have better sex than believers

Here's a whopper, but one that should come as no surprise to apostates: atheists have better sex lives, while believers tend to be overwhelmingly plagued by guilt. A "Sex and Secularism" study out of Kansas that surveyed more than 14,500 people found that believers did not enjoy sex as much because of the stigmas created by their belief systems. And the margins weren't small, either:
The study found that in individuals, the stronger their religious beliefs were the more powerful their feelings of sexual regret
Of people raised in very religious homes, 22.5 per cent said they were shamed or ridiculed for masturbating  compared with only 5.5 percent of people brought up in the least religious homes.
Some 79.9 per cent of people raised in very religious homes said they felt guilty about a specific sexual activity or desire while 26.3 per cent of those raised in secular homes did.
Worryingly, children raised in strongly religious homes were more likely to get their sex education from pornography, as they were not confident enough to talk with their parents.
However, there was some good news for religious groups. People who had lost their belief and became atheists reported a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction.
That last one's a doozy, but none of this comes as a surprise, particularly given the last line, a quote from one of the authors:
'Of course, they have to return to their religion to get forgiveness. It's like the church gives you the disease, then offers you a fake cure.'

I've discussed this several times in the past. It's commonly believed that religion exists to offer comfort to its believers. But, as Pascal Boyer pointed out in his book Religion Explained, "If religion allays anxiety, it cures only a small part of the disease it creates." This is precisely what religion does so masterfully, and so insidiously: it contrives feelings of guilt, then offers you respite from the guilt it contrived. One of the best things about being an atheist is being free from such nonsense, and being able to enjoy sex openly and responsibly.

Read the full article here.

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