some recent news on sex

SEX AND THE HEALTHY MARRIAGE

Geriatric Sex

Not sure if you’ve seen it, but I caught last month’s issue of Family Circle while waiting for a haircut.  Hey; they didn’t have sports or hunting magazines — what was I supposed to do?  Anyway, there was an interesting poll on mothers, with a couple of questions about “frequency of sex”.  Despite what you may be reading on the cover of Cosmo, it seems that a situation I have described previously (DIMINISHING SEXUAL FREQUENCY) is a bigger bigger issue than previously believed.  

When the question was asked of mothers as to how long they had gone without sex, the answers were rather shocking.  One third said that they had gone “a few years” without sex, while 36% said they had gone “a few months“.   Over a quarter said they had gone “a few weeks” without.   This means that 7 out of 10 mothers are going very long periods of time without sex.  And unless there is some extracurricular hanky-panky going on, this would likewise ring true for their husbands as well.  “I am not interested in sex” was also the number one topic that women (6 out of 10) said they would talk about with their best friend but not their doctor.   How big a deal is this as far as quality of marriage is concerned?  Let’s look at a brand new study that was published in the January 27 issue of the Oxford Journals Journal of Gerentology to give us some potential insight into this matter.

Gerentology is the study of older folks and of the aging process itself.   Researchers from Johns Hopkins University (Sexual Activity and Psychological Health As Mediators of the Relationship Between Physical Health and Marital Quality) recently concluded that, “We find that own fair or poor physical health is linked to lower positive and higher negative marital quality, spouse’s health to positive quality, and that own and spouse’s mental health and more frequent sex are associated with higher positive and lower negative marital quality. Further, we find that (a) sexual activity mediates the association between own and partner’s physical health and positive marital quality, (b) own mental health mediates the association between one’s own physical health and both positive and negative marital quality, and (c) partner’s mental health mediates the associations of spouse’s physical health with positive marital quality. These results are robust to alternative specifications of the model.

There is a lot of meat in these author’s conclusions.  Let’s break them down a piece at a time to get a better handle on this situation.

  • Poorer health is linked to lower marriage quality.
  • Poor mental health (although they were not mentioned in the Abstract, the most likely culprits here are things like DEPRESSION, or neuro-degenerative diseases such as ALZHEIMER’S, PARKINSONS, and MS) is related to poor marriage quality.
  • If your spouse is healthy, your marriage quality will be better.
  • More frequent sex is associated with better marriage quality.
  • Sexual activity mediates / controls / is a determining factor not only in the quality of your marriage, but in both the husband and wife’s physical health.
  • Your mental health mediates / controls / is a determining factor not only in your physical health and quality of marriage, but in your spouse’s as well.

Although this would seem to be commons sense, what are the implications for American marriages?   In light of what we already know, not good.  Health-wise, we know that when you count those who are SKINNY FAT, nearly 80% of our nation’s adult population is either OBESE OR OVERWEIGHT.  Furthermore, if you go back and look at the same Family Circle survey that was mentioned previously, nearly 60% of those polled said they exercise no more than once a month.  Do you think that these two factors might be playing a role in the fact that America has the highest divorce rate on the planet (and other than Puerto Rico — an American territory that will likely be our next state — it’s not even close)?  Absolutely!  But it does not have to be this way.  If you understand the relationship between things like GUT HEALTH, DIET, INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, and AUTOIMMUNITY, you can literally begin the process of regaining control of your health and your life.  Face it.  Your doctor visits and medications aren’t cutting it.  It’s time to take the bull by the horns and make some real changes.  If you value your marriage and your family, it might be one of the most important decisions you’ve ever made.

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