Sexuality and marital life: results of a survey

J Sex Marital Ther. May-Jun 2002;28(3):229-49. doi: 10.1080/009262302760328271.

Abstract

This article presents the results of a telephone survey regarding the conjugal and sex life of men and women from the Montreal region. Surprising as it may seem, the relationship between sexual and marital functioning within the couple has been the focus of little study to date. In fact, relatively little is known about the relationship among sexual behavior, sexual attitudes, sexual fantasies, and marital functioning. In this survey, a questionnaire covering these four variables was administered to 996 subjects chosen at random. The results indicate that women seem to have a more positive perception of their sexual behavior, whereas men seem to have a more positive perception of their marital life. Multiple regression analyses were run to examine the relationship between marital functioning and items related to sexual functioning. The links between sexual satisfaction and other items of the questionnaire concerning sexual behavior, sexual attitudes, and sexual fantasies were also analyzed. For this purpose, we subdivided the subjects into two age groups (under 60 and 60 and over) based on the loss of interest in sexual activity that the questionnaire allowed to discern in the 60+ group. The relationship between marital functioning and items related to sexual behavior proved statistically significant. Various items pertaining to sexual functioning also proved to be related to a global assessment of sexual satisfaction. Cognitive variables (sexual attitudes and sexual fantasies) were found to influence sexual satisfaction but had a lesser impact on marital functioning. Gender and age (under 60 or 60 and over) also had an effect on these relationships.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Libido*
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Random Allocation
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Social Desirability
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*