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Sexual Satisfaction, Sexual Attitudes, and Shame in Relation to Religiosity


Given the historical coexistence of religion and sexuality, the main aim of this study was to examine how religiosity is related to sexusal attitudes and sexual satisfaction and, besides that, to examine the potential role of sexual shame and shame proneness in religiosity and sexual satisfaction. The study also focused on gender and marital differences in sexual attitudes, sexual satisfaction, shame, and religiosity. The research was conducted on 411 participants ranging in age from 18 to 44 years (M = 23.66; SD = 4.17). The data were obtained by the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, Sexual Satisfaction Scale, Swedish Religious Orientational Scale, Test of Self-Conscious Affect-3, and Kyle Sexual Shame Inventory. The data were analysed with correlational and regression analysis. The study confirmed a negative association between intrinsic religiosity and permissiveness. Sexual shame was positively related to religiosity and negatively related to sexual satisfaction. Intrinsic religiosity, shame proneness, and sexual shame explained 19% of the variance of sexual satisfaction, while the strongest negative predictor was sexual shame. We highlight the potential benefits of focusing on unpleasant feelings of sexual shame in therapy in order to potentially increase sexual satisfaction. This seems to be particularly important for individuals who have experienced non-consensual sexual activity in the past.

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Correspondence to Denisa Marcinechová.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Marcinechová, D., Záhorcová, L. Sexual Satisfaction, Sexual Attitudes, and Shame in Relation to Religiosity. Sexuality & Culture 24, 1913–1928 (2020).

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  • Religiosity
  • Sexual attitudes
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Sexual shame
  • Shame proneness