News and Commentary

NY Times Op-Ed Admits Something The Times Must Hate About Religious People

Much to the chagrin of The New York Times, an op-ed in the paper discussing a study of married couples acknowledges that the happiest wives by far in America are those in politically conservative, religious marriages. The study, conducted by a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, a professor of marriage and family studies at Brigham Young University, and an adjunct lecturer in the sociology department at Georgetown University, found that 73% of wives “who hold conservative gender values and attend religious services regularly with their husbands have high-quality marriages.” Another statement in the op-ed to make the Times crazy: “Women in highly religious relationships are about 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship than their secular and less religious counterparts.”

That figure dwarfs the numbers in less religious and conservative marriages. The authors write that only a little more than half (55%) of secular progressive wives in the United States, who are not religious and champion egalitarian family values, say they have high-quality marriages. The oped notes, “fewer than 46 percent of wives in the religious middle — who attend only infrequently or don’t share regular religious attendance with their husbands — and only 33 percent of secular conservative wives — who think men should take the lead on bread-winning and women on child-rearing but don’t attend church — have such marriages.”

The study, titled, “The Ties That Bind: Is Faith A Global Force for Good Or Ill In The Family,” made some statements sure to upset the anti-religious members of the Times staff, including:

“When it comes to relationship quality in heterosexual relationships, highly religious couples enjoy higher-quality relationships and more sexual satisfaction, compared to less/mixed religious couples and secular couples.”

“When it comes to fertility, data from low-fertility countries in the Americas, East Asia, and Europe show that religion’s positive influence on fertility has become stronger in recent decades. Today, people ages 18-49 who attend religious services regularly have 0.27 more children than those who never, or practically never, attend.”

“For instance, women and men in highly religious couples were significantly more likely to report higher quality relationships than their peers in less/mixed religious couples or shared secular couples. While both women and men in highly religious couples reported significantly higher overall relationship quality and satisfaction with their sex life, the results in both cases were strongest for women in these couples.”

Don’t tell the Times, but another study conducted by researchers at BYU and Baylor University of more than 1,300 couples ages 18 to 45 that was released in April found that the more religious married couples were and the more they had religious activity in the home, the happier they were with their sex lives. Lead author Jeffrey P. Dew stated, “Religion helps encourage people to improve their relationships overall. And a better relationship leads to higher reports of sexual satisfaction. That is really important, at least to me. In a hyper-sexualized culture, sex has almost become an end in and of itself. Well, religion is one of those things that will help people improve their relationship, which will lead as a byproduct to better sex.”

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