Does Marriage Really Improve Sexual Satisfaction? Evidence From the Pairfam Data Set

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Author(s): Elyakim Kislev

Series: The Journal of Sex Research 0(00)

Publisher: The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Year: 2019

Description:
Inlight ofthe growing unmarried demographic, this study analyzed theextent anddeterminants
of sexual satisfaction among seven relationship-status groups: married, never married, and
those who are divorced/separated, where the latter two groups are further divided into single,
living apart together (LAT), and cohabiting. In addition, the study measured the levels of sexual
self-esteem, sexual communication, and sex frequency for the different relationship-status
groups as predictors of sexual satisfaction. Finally, this study also analyzed sexual satisfaction
while accounting for overall life satisfaction. Using the ninth wave of the Pairfam data set and
analyzing the responses of 3,207 respondents in total, this study suggests that marriage is not
a determinant for sexual satisfaction. In fact, it can even be a negative correlate when married
respondents arecomparedtocertain unmarriedgroups.The onlyexception isthat ofunmarried
individuals who currently have no partner. Even this situation is shown to be dependent only on
less frequent intercourse, not on a lack of sexual self-esteem and sexual communication. These
conclusions challenge previous research as well as the explanations of earlier scholars. Several
directions for future research are discussed in light of these findings.
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