Sex and Secularism: The Report

Submitted by freedom on
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I can't figure out how to post a link directly to the report. The press release is at the same link. One can access the report free (I think) from but one has to register. You can also search this title to find articles that discuss this. They seem to have an agenda so perhaps take things with a grain of salt.

I'm coming at the world from a somewhat religious perspective but without as much guilt as many. It's hard to say that definitively given my relationship inexperience, but I don't overall feel much guilt, even about porn. I'm on the edge of most distributions in this study so my view probably doesn't reflect the reality of many. I feel bad that anyone would have any more guilt that I might have surrounding sexuality. I wonder if this contributed to the widespread acting out and preference for non-connection. I don't understand what the religious dogmas were trying to accomplish.

I think I remember reading about

this when it was released.

I was not raised in a religious household, but over the past few years I've become as skeptical of today's sexologists as I would be of any other fundamentalist.

For one thing, they seem to measure "good sex" in number/intensity of orgasms, and to do their best to persuade everyone else to do the same. For another, they have no conception of how overstimulation can change brain sensitivity, so they're not asking the right questions to see phenomena that result from desensitization. Therefore, such phenomena (e.g., porn-related ED) remain invisible to them. Third, many have an agenda they aren't even aware of: They don't understand humanity's pair-bonding inclinations or their implications for wellbeing. Nor do they understand which behaviors support (or impair) pair bonding. In fact, they often do their best to persuade others that pair bonding is "just a religious construct."

Given these fundamental biases, which we see all the time among the academics on the listserve we're members of, we take such "insights" with a grain of salt.

The trouble with academic surveys and questionnaires is that the biases of their creators are hidden behind the illusion of "impartial findings." That's why we think a lot of these kinds of questions have to be settled by scanning the brain. Not sure how you could measure religion's effects on sex that way, but I'm pretty sure these guys haven't accurately achieved that either.

My understanding of

My understanding of religious guilt suggests that an aspect of it is manifesting because of the type of sex people are having. Those in healthy relationships might feel no guilt while those in poorly devloped realtionships shakily suported by incomplete sex might feel more guilt. That seems to show in blogs here. The guilt might be a natural manifestation of the human desire for wholeness that the person senses isn't there in many of today's sexual relationships. If religion is more aligned with the bonding humans need and they are not getting that, then of course those indoctrinated into having that need in their conscious will feel more guilt than those that think their actions are fine and don't have any direction in which to point their dissatisfaction.

Garbage in, garbage out is unavoidable. Scanning the brain might not work either because though brains are similar, the programming for each has been different. Researchers can also select the subjects to perhaps prove anything. Time will tell.

One aspect of this that could be valid is that many people who became less religious have dealt with inner issues. That could lead to a more fulfilling sex life. It's hard to know given the apparent dogma I didn't experience.

Very true

Capacity for bonding is huge, and a strong sense of tribe is very healthful. It's too bad that it often comes with a high price in terms of discouraging more comprehensive thinking and the consideration of less obvious options.