Sexual satisfaction among newlywed conservative christians: The role of sexual anxiety, sexual assertiveness, sexual communication, and religious coping
Johnston-York, Jessica M.
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Conservative Christians are often underprepared for the initiation of a sexual relationship in marriage due to receiving negative messages about sex and sexuality (Brotherson, 2004; Ellison, 2011) as well as limited or no sexual experience prior to marriage (Beck et al., 1991; Davidson et al., 2004). In addition, religious orthodoxy and rigidity is related to more impaired sexual functioning among married couples (Purcell, 1984). Given that conservative Christians prohibit divorce (Francoeur, 2001), these individuals may continue to suffer in their relationship unless they rely on coping mechanisms, social support, or psychotherapy. There has historically been a lack of focus on marital sexual experiences in the literature (Christopher & Sprecher, 2000), despite the prevalence of sexual dysfunctions among married couples (Laumann et al., 1994). Past research examining religiosity and sexual satisfaction has yielded inconsistent results, likely due to the variable definitions used for religiosity (Davidson et al., 1995; Davidson et al., 2004; Laumann et al., 1994; Purcell, 1984; Simpson & Ramberg, 1992). The present study examined factors that impact sexual satisfaction among a total of 111 adult newlywed Christian men and women recruited through MTurk. It was determined that sexual anxiety and sexual assertiveness did not significantly mediate the relationship between religious fundamentalism and sexual satisfaction, and sexual communication did not moderate this relationship. Religious coping moderated this relationship such that individuals who reported higher levels of religious fundamentalism with greater religious coping experienced greater sexual satisfaction. Contrary to expectations, gender did not have an effect on religious fundamentalism, sexual anxiety, or sexual assertiveness. Finally, negative religious coping more strongly predicted sexual satisfaction than positive religious coping. Theoretical and therapeutic implications of these results are considered, and recommendations for future studies were made with regard to the unanticipated positive relationship between religious fundamentalism and sexual satisfaction.
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