Religious Affiliation and Sexual Behavior-Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Jews

ScienceDaily (Oct. 17, 2012) — Hindus and Muslims are less likely than Christians and Jews to have premarital sex, and Muslims are the least likely among people of these religious groups to have extramarital sex, according to a new study that analyzed data on premarital and extramarital sexual behaviors in over 30 developing countries around the world.

Co-authored by Amy Adamczyk, an Associate Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Brittany Hayes, a Ph.D. student in John Jay’s Criminal Justice program, the study, “Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage,” appears in the October issue of the American Sociological Review.

According to the researchers, Muslims’ lower likelihood of premarital and extramarital sex is related to their commitment to, and community support for, strict religious tenants that only permit sex within marriage. Adamczyk and Hayes also found that national Islamic cultures influence the sexual behaviors of all residents, even people who do not identify themselves as Muslim. The authors posit that religion tends to have a more powerful effect than restrictions on women’s movement in many Muslim countries.

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