Infidelity is less common in religious countries
New study: women in highly religious, traditional marriages are most likely to be happy
A new study of the relationship between religion and conjugal happiness has found that women who live in a highly religious, traditional marriage are most likely to be happily married and also more sexually fulfilled in their relationships.
As CNA reports, the scientific investigation breaks even further prejudices: It is precisely married couples in which men and women are strongly religious, in which important decisions are made together.
The researchers rate married couples as "highly" or "strongly" religious who pray together every day and take part in religious celebrations at least once a week - such as attending Holy Mass.
The Institute for Family Studies' analysis of family life in 11 countries found that "highly religious couples in heterosexual relationships" enjoy happier marriages and more sexual satisfaction than less religious, mixed-religious, or non-religious couples.
At the same time, the group of authors emphasizes that domestic violence is no less likely to occur among religious couples.
The 11 countries studied were Argentina, Australia, Chile, Canada, Colombia, France, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The study also relied on data from the World Values Survey (WVS) and the Global Family and Gender Survey (GFGS). The authors included scientists from Brigham Young University and the Pew Research Center.
"In many ways, the report shows that belief is a force for good in contemporary family life in America, Europe and Oceania," the researchers said.
Happiness and fulfillment
Both women and men who live as "highly religious" married couples report a significantly higher level of satisfaction in their relationship than the other two groups. Liberal, non-religious couples took second place.
The difference was particularly noticeable for women: women in "highly religious" relationships were around 50% more likely to state that they were "very satisfied" with their sexual relationship than their secular and less religious counterparts.
"For men, highly religious traditional men rate the quality of their relationships significantly higher" than men in non-religious or hardly religious marriages.
"Men and women who live an active religious faith together enjoy a higher level of relationship quality and sexual satisfaction than their peers in less or no religious relationships. They also have more children and are more likely to marry. At the same time, we do not find that Faith protects women from domestic violence in married and life communities. "
Many of the religious respondents consider family prayer to be a crucial factor in a successful, flourishing family life.
A question of justice
The group of authors focuses on four factors related to marriage: relationship quality, fertility, domestic violence, and infidelity.
The researchers found that in many societies there is indeed a departure from "traditional" family life. The concrete consequence: Fewer people in these countries get married and have children. Nonreligious - or hardly religious - people in particular often live together for years and marry later, if at all.
"Faith can buffer against this post-family turnaround, both by attaching special significance and importance to family life and by offering norms and networks that promote family ties," the authors write.
The scientists also examine the truth of a theory that is widely used among academics in their field, namely that the trend towards "gender equality" - which in practice usually means that women are employed - can help bring the birth rate back to a sustainable one Bring level.
"In modern societies in which women are exposed to high demands in terms of their public working life, the support of partners is necessary in order to make the birth of two children the norm".
Today, this support is usually provided by the husband, who has to get involved in the family to help women on the "second shift" on the home front. Working women without such a partner, the authors continued, generally have fewer children.
"People who support equality in the workplace and who pursue a progressive gender role ideology actually have significantly fewer children than those who believe that men should get preferential jobs when there is a shortage of jobs."
The study shows that even in areas like Europe, where fertility rates are very low, believers across the board have more children than non-religious couples.
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