Who Has the Most Sex?

Research has long documented that sex is important to a marriage—both the quantity and the quality. Consequently, scholars continue to be interested in what makes for sexual frequency and satisfaction within marriage. In a new study, Emma Altgelt and Andrea Meltzer of Florida State University seek to understand how premarital factors might impact both the frequency and quality of sex in the early years of a first, heterosexual marriage.  The researchers open, “Western mores regarding dating and marriage have changed over time—most notably, individuals in the U.S. are increasingly delaying marriage (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).” This later marriage means that couples are experiencing things that previously only married couples experienced—extended courtships or time together before marriage, cohabitation, and even parenting. It is possible, they believe, that such factors impact both sexual frequency and sexual satisfaction in the early years of the marriage—which then may contribute to the couple’s overall satisfaction with the marriage. Altgelt and Meltzer speculate that those who are together longer before marrying, those who cohabit, or those who have children together, may be “sliding” vs. “deciding” to enter marriage. Given that, the researchers speculate that such behaviors may lead to reduced sexual frequency and sexual satisfaction early in the marriage, but also that such differences may even out over time. The researchers conducted analyses on survey results from 226 individuals in Dallas County, Texas. At the first survey, the couples were in their first marriage, had been married less than four months, were at least 18 years old, and spoke Enligsh. At the initial survey and doing follow-up surveys every six months for four years, these couples answered questions pertaining to frequency of sex, sexual satisfaction, length of courtship, premarital cohabitation, and premarital children. They also answered questions about a num
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