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20 April 2006
Sexually Happiest People Live In Western Nations
by George Atkinson

Researchers from the University of Chicago have just released the results from a survey they conducted into sexual attitudes and behaviors around the world. The findings appear in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior and indicate that the people happiest with their sex lives are those living in Western countries. The results indicate that sexual satisfaction appears to be tied to gender equality; in effect, the highest levels of satisfaction were found in countries where men and women enjoyed equal status.

Conversely, men and women reported less satisfaction with the physical and emotional quality of their sex lives in countries where men have a dominant status over women, such as nations in East Asia and the Middle East.

The survey was based on interviews with nearly 30,000 people between the ages of 40 and 80 in 29 countries.

The countries that reported the greatest sexual satisfaction were Austria, the United States, Spain and Canada. At the bottom end of the sexual satisfaction scale were Japan and Taiwan. Middle-eastern countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Algeria were in the middle rankings. "Male-centered cultures where sexual behavior is more oriented toward procreation tend to discount the importance of sexual pleasure for women," said the University of Chicago's Edward Laumann. "In relationships based on equality, couples tend to develop sexual habits that are more in keeping with both partners' interests," he added.

But even in Western countries, women tend to record lower satisfaction scores than men generally. On average, men were at least 10 percentage points higher than women in their sexual health and well-being scores.

In Western nations, about half of the men and one third of the women said sex was extremely, or very, important in their lives. These scores were around the same in Middle Eastern nations, but dropped dramatically for East Asian countries, where only 28 percent of men and 12 percent of women said sex was important to them. And only 25 percent of men and women in East Asian nations reported physical and emotional pleasure with sex.

The survey also asked the respondents if they were happy with their lives on the whole. The researchers said they found that subjective feelings of sexual well-being were strongly correlated with overall happiness for both men and women across all of the countries studied.

Based on material from the University of Chicago




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