Why Buddhists Are Slutty and Muslims Are Chaste

Why Buddhists Are Slutty and Muslims Are Chaste

A recent study in the American Sociological Review titled “Religion and Sexual Behaviors,” reveals that religious affiliation has a big impact on the likelihood of sex before marriage.

418,000 people in developing countries were surveyed. All major religions prohibit premarital sex, but Muslims seem to take Islam’s rules regarding sex especially seriously. Sociologists found that Muslims were the least likely of all major religious groups to have had sex before marriage.

If I weren’t already a Jewish atheist, I’d be all over the Buddhism thing.

This isn’t particularly surprising, but what was interesting was that the probability of a Muslim woman having had premarital sex changes depending on how dominant Islam is in the country where she lives.

If this woman lives in a nation where 1 percent of residents are Muslim, her predicted probability of reporting premarital sex would be .72…In a nation where 90 percent of residents are Muslim, the woman’s predicted probability of reporting premarital sex would tumble to .28. We can thereby conclude that national culture has stronger effects than individual preferences.

As for why Buddhists rank highest in premarital sex? The researchers suppose that it could be because Buddhism is not monotheistic, it has fewer “strict rules about specific behaviors.”

If I weren’t already a Jewish atheist, I’d be all over the Buddhism thing.

You can read the original Boston Globe article here and share your thoughts below.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Angie

    This is a random fact, but my (American) friend lives in Saudi Arabia right now and she said that straight men frequently have sex with eachother since they aren’t allowed to have sex with women, and it’s considered normal pre-marital behavior.  
     
    She says that the rate of Saudi men who participate in this is close to 95%, and she’s been living there for two years now.  While I don’t have firsthand knowledge, she is a person who I believe wouldn’t make this up.
     
    I guess it makes sense that people find loopholes in their religion?

  2. 2
    Kathleen

    Its always amusing how the most devout religious guys online, who say they must have a “god fearing woman”, drop the importance of religion when I say Im not religious.
    Angie #1  that is fascinating. Quite the loophole indeed!    
    Im with the Buddists !!
     

  3. 3
    David

    I live in Thailand and it’s totally true. It’s a conservative nation at face value, but it’s such an interesting sex culture here. They have terms like “geek” which means friends with benefits…and it’s not just a guy thing. Women have geeks, men have geeks. In fact a mans status is raised if he has lot’s of geeks (because these women on the side are not just for sex, they’re girlfriends he takes care of in addition to his wife. In order to do that he needs to be a pretty successful guy).
    Even unmarried people have geeks. Like this guy is my boyfriend, this guy is my geek. Totally normal among people here. Of course though the boyfriend or girlfriend won’t know about the geeks, just the geeks will know.
    If you’re wondering too, the married women hate this geek stuff, which is one of the reasons why Thai women are attracted to foreign men: Money, physically more attracted to foreign men, the perception that we make better husbands etc.
    As for the sex, it’s so weird here to in how all the women are comfortable have meaningless sex for the most part. Going on a date having a good time, sleep with the guy that night. It’s totally normal (at least from my experiences).
    I could go on and on about this. But I’ll leave it at that.

  4. 4
    marymary

    I’ve always thought if I wasn’t christian I’d be buddhist.
    No premarital sex for me, maybe it’s time to convert …

  5. 6
    John

    Angie @1
    friend lives in Saudi Arabia right now and she said that straight men frequently have sex with each other since they aren’t allowed to have sex with women, and it’s considered normal pre-marital behavior.  
     
    Are you serious? In the USA we have a saying if you go to prison ‘Don’t drop the soap in the shower”. I guess in Saudia Arabia the phrase would be “Don’t drop the soap if you are hanging out with a bunch of single guys”.
    Seriously though, does anyone else really believe this to be true? Maybe your friend has a bunch of bisexual friends in Saudi but I find it hard to believe this is a normal part of that culture.  Even though I am divorced, if I went to that country, I would wear my wedding ring and say “Sorry guys, I am taken”.

  6. 7
    michelle

    #3, interesting David.
     
    “As for the sex, it’s so weird here to in how all the women are comfortable have meaningless sex for the most part. Going on a date having a good time, sleep with the guy that night. It’s totally normal (at least from my experiences).”

    Is this all women or women in certain age ranges?  Cause frankly, this sounds not much different than younger women in the U.S. :)

  7. 8
    AllenB

    If you follow the link to the study, you will see that Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangledesh were not included in this survey.  Why do I pick on these four nations?  About ~50% of the global Islamic population lives in those nations.
    Also note that all the nations used are developing countries. Very tenuous to apply anything from that study to the majority of readers of this blog.

    @David (Thailand isn’t included in the study either. Sorry.)

    http://asr.sagepub.com/content/77/5/723.full.pdf+html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country

  8. 9
    Tom10

    Angie #1
    Like John I’m flabbergasted that 95% of unmarried Saudi men have sex with other men. I thought that behavior was punishable by death over there? Hmm, I’m not too sure of the provenance of that statistic. In saying that, I play football with a few guys from Kuwait and the U.A.E. and they are absolutely obsessed with anal sex – I always assumed they meant with women though!
     
    I have a personal theory that much of the strife across the Muslim world is caused by young men simply being sexually frustrated. If they were getting some, they’d have a lot less to be angry about.
     
    David
    I live in Thailand…it’s a conservative nation at face value.”
     
    In what possible way is Thailand a conservative nation at face value? It’s the most licentious place I’ve ever been to in my life. Sex seems to be everywhere there!
     
    —-
     
    That’s the great thing about being a devout libertarian atheist – my belief system allows me, nay encourages me, to have lots of premarital sex. Most of my friends are laissez-faire Catholics and it’s so funny seeing them trying to rationalize how having premarital sex is ok, even though it’s at odds with the Church says.

  9. 10
    Angie

    I’m not saying that 95% is an actual statistic.  My friend works at a major university, where she is surrounded by young men.  (I think it would be on par with saying “95% of American college students engage in premarital sex with eachother.  It may not be exactly accurate, but she was just expressing it as normal behavior). I think she also said something about them trying to respect and preserve (the virtuousness?) of women, so that’s why they just turn to other men before getting married.
     
    American men, for the most part, don’t have a respect for purity.  This is a culture that is highly influenced by religion.
     
    I haven’t witnessed anything firsthand, but she has said that it’s culturally “normal” for men to engage in sexual activity with eachother, and when I heard her say that, it didn’t sound that improbable.  
     
    @John 6 – The whole prison scenario stems from the same kind of culture: one where women are not accessible.

  10. 11
    AllenB

    she has said that it’s culturally “normal” for men to engage in sexual activity with eachother, and when I heard her say that, it didn’t sound that improbable. 
     
    I don’t get it.  (Most) Women are not going to be turned on by living critters that are not male humans, (most) men won’t be turned on by other men.  While cultural mores may discourage or encourage some behavior beyond the biological norm, this is dominated by biological, not  culturally learned turn-ons.

  11. 12
    kimby

    Angie #1 and #10 is absolutely correct, there was a story on NPR that detailed the wide spead use of sex boys by the generals in the military that area, as there is very little access to women. 

  12. 13
    Karmic Equation

    Tom10 #9
    I have a personal theory that much of the strife across the Muslim world is caused by young men simply being sexually frustrated. If they were getting some, they’d have a lot less to be angry about.

    Your theory’s probably right. Have you ever watched the ventriloquist comedian, Jeff Dunham? One of his puppets is a muslim (forgot his name) — and he had an act when he talks to the puppet about the 100 virgins the puppet will meet in heaven if he (the puppet) completes his jihad. Something like that.

    Angie
    Very interesting. Sounds very plausible. What an ironic consequence. There are parts of the USA where there’s enough anger against muslims without adding this tidbit to those folks’ prejudices. Hope those folks don’t read this blog!

  13. 14
    michelle

    #13, Karmic, interesting comment about being sexually frustrated.  And I would take that further that this ‘religion’ is designed to do that so as to keep these men constantly in a state of ‘distress’ making them more violent and willing to jihad. 

  14. 15
    Tom10

    Michelle – that’s my theory that Karmic didn’t put in quotation marks! Lol. But thank you, that’s one of a few theories that I’ve been working on for some time now. :)
     
    Karmic Equation
    Yes I’ve seen him a few times with that puppet – very funny alright. Another local comedienne made a similar joke – “when the suicide bombers get to heaven they’re in for a big shock when they find out real virgins actually look like – they’re gonna find 72 Susan Boyles waiting for them up there!” Ha

  15. 16
    Karmic Equation

    #14
     
    That was actually Tom10’s thought :) I forgot to italicize the quote before I submitted my comment.

  16. 17
    michelle

    “American men, for the most part, don’t have a respect for purity.”

    This whole thing makes my stomach churn, so American men don’t have respect for purity, but it’s perfectly ‘moral’ for men to have sex with each other to relieve their natural sexual desires as humans.  Not to mention the hummiliating abuse so many women in these Muslim countries endure. 

    This whole discussion makes me have even less respect or interest for anything that goes on in predominantly Muslim countries or in the Musliim religion. 

    #15 & 16, thanks to you both for putting it out there with or without italics!

    1. 17.1
      miss mary

      Many men have a huge respect for purity, those men usually divide women into “virgins” and “whores”. It called sexism.

      Men who have sex with other men when women aren’t available – people generally don’t say its moral, they say its normal. You could also look at non-penetrative sex in Christian communities as a comparison to this. People want sex and will find ways to get it.

      You can talk about the humiliating abuse of women in the Muslim world, but look at how women are treated in the west – we are objectified, we are paid less, rape culture etc. Just have a look at rape statistics in Americal colleges, it’s disgraceful. Sharia law is pretty sketchy on women’s rights, but we have a lot to work on in our own backyard.

  17. 19
    Amy

    i am so glad I am not Muslim.

  18. 20
    nathan

    A few folks on here have zero understanding of Islam, or the wide diversity of practice and interpretation that exists in the Muslim world. AllenB’s comments also suggest to me that this study is flawed. It might offer some insights into religion and it’s impact on sexual decisions, but I have to wonder if the researchers had another agenda behind their work. It’s important to note that one of the researchers, Amy Adamczyk, has done multiple studies focusing on religious faith and practice and its “positive” – in her view – influence on delaying sexual activity. http://amyadamczyk.com/publications.html One question I’d ask about this study is how much the heightened differences displayed here would shrink if they were compared with nations where a more secular culture is present (or national culture where no one religion dominates). It seems a little too easy, given the findings of the study, to fixate on the sexual conservatism of a country like Saudi Arabia, when in reality it’s possible that any national culture tied heavily to a mainstream religion is likely to have more conservative sexual mores. Consider the Philippines, a heavily Roman Catholic nation. Or Burma, a heavily Buddhist nation. Those are just two examples. I think there’s plenty of sexual frustration due to social/religious pressure to go around, including here in the U.S.

  19. 21
    Nicole

    @Nathan,
    Very true.  For some reason it is really easy for people to assume that all Muslims are a monolith even though they are a group of billion people from every ethnic and racial group on the planet.  I lived in an area with a very large Arab American population (who most people mistakenly assume are the majority of Muslims on the planet), but have had Muslim friends/acquaintance from every possible group-Idonesian, Chinese, numerous African nations, Europeans, etc.  
    And the only consistent thing is that they were no consitent in the manner in which they practiced their faith, much like Christians and Jews.  
    How a billion people remain a mystery to so many is really a statment of how willfully ignorant people in the Western World are able to be about all things that aren’t primarily white and Christian.  
    And I always find it interesting that the extremely conservative and Orthodox branches of Judaism always get a pass.  
    What is probably more effective is to study the extent to which the devoutly religious of all faiths follow rules regarding sex, although there is a lot of hypocrisy there as well.

  20. 22
    Rose

    mmm. this article is misleading as with muslims yes it is true they have less pre marital sex, as practicing muslims do not have girlfriends. What they do is have more than one wife and the marriage is in stages. It isn’t as black and white as the article leads you to believe.
     

  21. 23
    Helen

    Evan wrote: “If I weren’t already a Jewish atheist, I’d be all over the Buddhism thing.”
     
    The thing about Buddhism, Evan, is that Buddhists would accept you as one of theirs even if you were a Jewish atheist; as long as you put in a good faith effort to follow some of their tenets that have nothing to do with belief in a particular God.  E.g., trying to follow the middle path, and doing no harm to any living creature.
     
    Maybe, in that light, it’s more appropriate to think of Buddhism as a philosophy rather than a religion. Of course, those lines get blurred often.

  22. 24
    Jennie

    There is a lot of difference between different Muslim cultures too (and different Buddhist cultures). Just think of the differences between different Christian churches. Some really emphasize the importance of not having extramarital sex and some don’t pay much attention to that at all.

  23. 25
    Nicole

    @Rose,
    Practicing Muslims dont’ have girlfriends?  A lot of my Muslim friends would be very surprised to hear that one…so would their girlfriends/boyfriends.

  24. 26
    Helen

    David, Tom10: by the way, I love the use of the word “geek” to mean what you say it does in Thailand. Can you imagine a world in which the nerds are the ones getting the most?  And the implications for future generations?  I guess it would have its pros and its cons. :)

  25. 27
    Rose

    Nicole, They may call themselves Muslims just like some people call themselves Jewish, Christian, Catholic, it doesn’t mean they are practicing and following the religion That is why I specifically used the word PRACTICING. .

  26. 29
    Nicole

    @Rose, that line of thinking is offensive and narrow minded and if you are going to say that, you need to condemn Christians who have premarital sex and Catholics who get divorced and use birth control and Jewish people who eat shellfish and pork.  
    There is a wide spectrum in all religions and it’s really obnoxious to say that their is only one way to be pious and faithful.
    My friends who dated/date and are Muslim are practicing Muslims.  There are 5 basic tenets in Islam and not dating is not one of them.  There is nothing in the Qu’ran that says anything about dating.
    And you do realize that Wikipedia is a dubious source of truth since it is written and edited by the “community”.  Or you probably don’t.  Do better if you want to find a source to back up your claims.  And don’t be so quick to judge how others practice their faith.  

  27. 30
    Rose

    Nicole those are your thoughts, which you are entitled to but do not share or agree with. I am going on the combination of what wiki says, plus of my close friends who married top person of London Mosque and what he teaches’preaches whatever you want to call it. And two relatives who have now become Muslim and married Muslim men. None were allowed to be a girlfriend. I have one other friend who sleeps with a muslin man who is not a practicing Muslim and he also says she is not my girlfriend If you find what I have read and been told by the Muslims I know offensive than that is what you think. Not a lot I am able to do about that. It is what it is.
    Now as far as I am led to believe, the other religions are allowed to have a girlfriend and this no girlfreind thing is not taught. Although pre material sex is frowned on still for people who practice the  religion seriously if you asked the priest vicar etc.

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