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J Biosoc Sci. 1995 Apr;27(2):135-50.

Coital frequency among married and cohabiting couples in the United States.

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1
Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

Coital frequency is studied among couples as a function of marital or cohabiting status, relationship duration, number of children, religious affiliation, income, education, fertility intentions, age, race, self-assessed health, time spent in work, and perceived relationship quality. Data are from the 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households. Predictors of coital frequency that were stable across several analyses were male's and female's ages, the duration of the relationship, and the male partner's self-assessed health. When the discrepancy in partners' reports was adjusted, cohabitation status, number of children, future fertility intentions, religious affiliation, and relationship quality as assessed by the female partner were significant. The results suggest a substantial idiosyncratic component to the determination of coital frequency in relationships.

PIP:

The authors studied coital frequency among couples as a function of marital or cohabiting status, relationship duration, number of children, religious affiliation, income, education, fertility intentions, age, race, self-assessed health, time spent in work, and perceived relationship quality. Findings are based upon data from the 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households. The target population for the survey consisted of persons aged 19 and older living in households in the US who were able to communicate in English or Spanish. A national multi-stage probability sample was drawn from the population resulting in completed interviews from 13,017 respondents. The men and women were of mean ages 31.4 and 28.8 years, respectively. The average duration of the relationship was 2.29 years and the mean education for males and females was 13.3 and 13.2 years of schooling, respectively. 16% of couples were unmarried cohabitors. 3217 males and 3253 females provided responses to the coital frequency question: 5557 White, 450 Black, and 457 other; and 5116 with a partner of the same race. The overall mean level of coital frequency was 6.6 and 7.0 sexual acts per month for males and females, respectively. Black respondents reported a slightly higher frequency compared to White and other racial respondents. Respondents with different-race spouses also reported higher coital frequency compared to those with the same-race spouse. The overall frequency shows the usual pattern of decline with advancing age. Predictors of coital frequency which were stable across several analyses were male's and female's ages, the duration of the relationship, and the male partner's self-assessed health. When the discrepancy in partners' reports was adjusted, cohabitation status, number of children, future fertility intentions, religious affiliation, and relationship quality as assessed by the female partner were significant. These results suggest a substantial idiosyncratic component to the determination of coital frequency in relationships.

PMID:
7738077
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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