Happier with Sex Life: Men or Women?
All over the world, men are more satisfied with their sex lives than women, a new study shows.
The study included 13,882 women and 13,618 men in 29 countries. All participants were at least 40 years old.
No matter where participants lived, men generally rated their sexual well-being higher than women, write the University of Chicago's Edward Laumann, PhD, and colleagues.
Participants completed surveys on their "sexual well-being," which was defined as the physical and emotional satisfaction of sexual relationships, satisfaction with sexual health or function, and the importance of sex in one's life.
Women rated themselves lower than men in all of those categories, Laumann's team reports in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. International Sex Survey
Participants were randomly chosen. They were told that their answers would be confidential.
Survey questions included:
The researchers split the countries into three clusters, which included:
Cultural differences in sexual attitudes, practices, and sexual well-being between "East" and "West" deserve more study, the researchers write.
Participants who rated their health as being good also gave their sex lives better ratings. Health was a bigger influence than age, the study shows.
As for the gender gap, Laumann's team writes that "true parity remains an ideal even in countries where beliefs about gender equality are more widespread."
Many potential participants refused to take the survey. No one knows if their views match those noted in the study.
Also, the surveys weren't given the same way worldwide, which could have affected the results, the researchers note.
For instance, the surveys were done by telephone in many Western countries, by mail in Japan, door-to-door in the Middle East and South Africa, and in public places in Asian countries except Japan.
People who hadn't been sexually active in the past year weren't included in some of the results, including those related to sex's impact on overall happiness.
The study was funded by the drug company Pfizer. However, the researchers state in the journal that Pfizer had no input on how the researchers analyzed, interpreted, and reported the findings.
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