Study: Christians feel guilty after sex

Discuss

131 Responses to “Study: Christians feel guilty after sex”

  1. abulafia says:

    Folks, please bear in mind that this appeared in the Daily Fail. Now is the time to feel guilty and ashamed. I’m lookin’ at you Rob.

    Strange absence of reporter’s name or, indeed, any citations. Par for the course at the Daily Hate.

  2. sworm says:

    Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Sex. Sex. Sex.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seeing as how Mainline denominations were only 1 point above atheists, it’s not all that shocking. All this proves is that Mormons are prudes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “The whole concept of the original sin is based on the notion that lust and sex are evil things”

    >That old line again? I would encourage you to apply more thoughtful study to your understanding of the issue rather than just blindly believing anything you hear. The original sin was willfull disobedience to God. That was the issue – fundamental breech of trust and responsibility in the relationship. It was not about any prohibition of sex. Perhaps you missed the “be fruitful and multiply” part earlier? That means sex is not only _not_ forbidden, but expected as one of the things that is very good.

    “You don’t have to be a theologian to “interpret” it this way. I mean: If concupiscence is the end of innocence, and if the original sin marks the end of walking around naked in paradise on earth, what does that tell you about lust and sexuality?”

    >Sounds like you’ve read more gnostic Golden Compass than The Bible… Regardless of whether or not you think the story more or less parabolic or literal, to get to the meaning let’s break down the facts of the story: the end of chapter two points out that they were naked and felt no shame. Why? Because they were innocent of sin. They didn’t know (among other things) how to apply exploitative means to coerce other people to do things aginst their better judgement. Now two things are used here, the promise of at least absolute knowledge with possibly the implication of absolute power (you will be like God). That was the temptation given Eve. Adam was also there, so we can readily assume that the bait was meant for him as well. The rest is considerably less clear, though we can make some inductive guesses. What we have to work with is the fact that Adam didn’t take the bait until Eve offered it vs. the serpent. Also, we know that previously, they were “naked and knew no shame” but subsequently knew they were naked and were ashamed. And also, we know that Adam passed the buck of responsibility by blaming Eve for his taking the bait – that she coerced him. The third point can’t be construed as having misled or lied to him about the fruit since he was there and knew what she knew. So it’s not unreasonable to suggest that something unique to Eve was used as an additional bait. Since sex in the garden was explicitly NOT a bad thing and was explicitly commanded as a good thing, then it’s not unreasonable to suggest that sex was the added inducement. However, even the hardcore atheist hater should agree that sex (or any other very good appatite like eating, drinking, sleeping etc.) can be warped by using it unethically as a means to coerce another to do something bad. Like committing the Original sin of _disobeying God_. Good things do not cease to be good in and of themselves, but only when used in the wrong way, or the wrong degree, or at the wrong time to in some way do harm.

    Sex is not in the least evil by Biblical or Christian standards. Quite the opposite. And for the record – I was gobsmacked at the sheer preposterousness of the claim of the article since my experience has been exactly the opposite. I have had more and more satisfactory sex as a married Christian than I ever did as an unmarried agnostic.

    “If atheists are so glib about committing crimes, why are all the prisons filled with self-professed Christians?”

    > Again… just the facts please. Are ALL the prisons FILLED with self-professed Christians? Really? And just to indulge your propositions, just because I claim to be a duck doesn’t make me one if I don’t quack. Furthermore, that some or even most prisons (you would really need some better data to confirm which) are likely to have some self-professed Christians, is not the rational thing to do to understand the phenomenon, to first ask some questions like – how many became Christians because of prison ministries?

    • redesigned says:

      I would encourage you to apply more thoughtful study to your understanding of the issue rather than just blindly believing anything you hear.

      Back at you Anon, please read: http://www.boingboing.net/2011/05/23/study-christians-fee.html#comment-1118665 (They didn’t know it was wrong, they didn’t understand the difference. That was the whole point of the tree. Think of children too young to understand their actions…that is why he damned the majority of humanity for all generations to eternal suffering? eating a piece of fruit that he said not to eat? I’d be ashamed to believe in such a god.)

  5. UncaScrooge says:

    A Christian being more likely to get their sex education from pornography is the hideous irony here — and the most disturbing line in this article.

    “I always pull out before ejaculating. Doesn’t everyone?”

    • redesigned says:

      “I always pull out before ejaculating. Doesn’t everyone?”

      Yeah, but christians don’t call it a “Money Shot” they call it “Seminal Tithing”! ;-P

  6. ThinkCritically says:

    A better headline for this article would be: “Study by Secularist Activist claims Secularists leads to better feelings about sex.”

    This is a perfectly accurate restatement of the results. But it comes across more like a creepy personal ad. LOL!

    Come on people… this study (or at least the headline) singles out Christians, and doesn’t mention whether the guilty feelings arise from unmarried sexual relations or not. Why hide that?! Christians are taught that unmarried sex is a sin. Wouldn’t a better headline then be: “Christians feel guilty when they sin”.

    Clap. Clap. Well done.

  7. erratic says:

    FWIW, I was raised mormon and am now athiest. guilt about sex disapeared right along with religious belief for me.

  8. doggo says:

    “I’ll bet Christians feel more guilty about shoplifting or parking illegally than atheists do, too.”

    I’ll bet they don’t.

  9. Teller says:

    Really not surprising that the Recovering from Religionâ„¢ founder would think up this bullshit study or come to this conclusion.

  10. Anonymous says:

    One of the authors of the study makes no bones of being an atheist and heads up Recovering From Religion. Does this skew the results? I think you can make a study say what you want.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The article left off the fact that the study claims that Jews and Unitarians have even less guilt than atheists.

  12. emmdeeaych says:

    Really, you needed a study to figure this out? Really?

    Christians feel guilty after a lot of things. Most everything it would seem. How is this news?

  13. TooGoodToCheck says:

    so, as someone who grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, I find this study highly suspect. Because, basically, as long as you’re only having sex with someone you’re married to, then JWs are actually pretty sex-positive.

    They’re not crazy about masturbation, or sex before marriage, so that’s a ton of incentive to marry someone _way_ before you’re mature enough to do so. There are many aspects of that faith that actually kind of suck, IMO, but generalized guilt about sex isn’t one of them.

  14. redesigned says:

    Question: Just curious, does any christian here know where the modern concept of christian monogamy originated? Considering that in the old testament, having multiple wives and concubines was a-okay as long as you were a MALE. If a woman lay with another man that was a death sentence.

    Answer: The Romans! :-) More info here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_marriages#Christian_acceptance_of_monogamy

    Question: Does the bible say pre-martial sex is wrong?

    Answer: No. The only two verses that people quote refer to porneia and zãnãh, both of which are reference to prostitution, not pre-marital sex. There is no reference to pre-marital sex in the bible EXCEPT….

    …wait for it…

    Sick: The old testament biblical definition of fornication for WOMEN includes sex with anyone but her father until she is married. Before she is married sex with anyone else is a sin unto her father and after it is a sin unto her husband. Ewwwwwwww…. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. Must go scrub with a brillo now. YUCK!

    Double Sick: Don’t even get me started on Genisis 19, where when an entire town wants to have forced sex (rape) with Abraham and Sarah’s male out of town guests, as is their standard custom, instead they offer the town their virgin daughters and tell them to “do with them what they like” (rape). Remember this is the “father” of all christianity, and this action is considered “holy” enough to spare him and his family from being smited like god did to everyone else in that city.

    Triple Sick: Mary never gave consent to God and she was engaged to another man.

    Is it no wonder that they have a bit of a messed up view on the subject?

    • Anonymous says:

      I must have missed the part of the bible where god appeared to Mary in a physical form and then got some lovin’ on. we’re not talking Zeus, here.

      I also dimly remember something about Mary being told she was chosen, and her saying that that was cool with her.

  15. Anonymous says:

    As the author of the report and the senior researcher, I want to say that the blurb on this site as some serious errors beginning with the fact that we are NOT associated with the University of Kansas or any university. Second, if you read the actual report you will find the answers to many of the comments and questions you are generating. You can download the full report for free (registration required) at ipcpress.com

    I think you will find that the information in the report is far more complex than this simple article.

    Dr. Darrel W. Ray, author of Sex and Secularism: What Happens When You Leave Religion and the book The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture.

    You can view a pert of my recent lecture on the survey at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vILpWJ-LKYo

  16. redesigned says:

    Remember this is the “father” of all christianity

    oh…and don’t forget that Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Did they include the Reverend Al Green in this survey?

  18. Sekino says:

    Double Sick: Don’t even get me started on Genisis 19, where when an entire town wants to have forced sex (rape) with Abraham and Sarah’s male out of town guests…

    Quick correction: That was Lot and his wife, not Abraham and Sarah ;)

    I suspect most apologists for that passage would argue that the daughters needed to have their father get drunk before sleeping with him. The were also supposedly justified because they thought the whole world was toast, not only Sodom, and that they needed to repopulate the Earth…

    Doesn’t really excuse why god just stepped back and watched the whole fiasco idly. He could have said “Whoa, there; just kidding!” like he did when Abraham was about to kill his son, to reassure them and prevent the incest, but no. They were mere females after all; he already had turned their mother into salt for glancing in the wrong direction so what’s a bit of incest under duress? Builds character… :P

    • redesigned says:

      You are correct, sorry about that, thanks for the correction! Abraham and Sarah were living there with his nephew Lot. The revelation of sodom’s destruction was given to Abraham who then told it to Lot, it was Lot that offered the daughters for rape. Abraham tried to intervene with god on behalf of the wicked in Sodom, but didn’t lift a finger when his nieces were offered for rape, guess he was too busy with his sister/wife. What a family! The old testament is awesome. :-)

  19. Cowicide says:

    This explains a lot of the repressive behavior we see from many conservatives, doesn’t it?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Jews, Unitarians, and agnostics got the atheists beat.

    http://friendlyatheist.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Guilty-550×351.png

  21. Anonymous says:

    What religion do I belong to if I pump my fist in the air afterwards and go “booyah!”?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I only feel guilty if I forget to tip the midget.

  23. Gulliver says:

    I am really starting to wonder how much the very concept of “guilt” varies among each group polled?

    It does have all the makings of a highly subjective term.

    I wonder if there is an accounting for substances invloved, such as alcohol, caffeine, weed, meth, cocaine, heroin, bacon(joking), etc?

    Would sure put a new spin on Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast, a probably up the heart attack rate a little further.

    Anyone up for performing some “double blind” experiments? ;-P j/k

    For science of course.

  24. Anonymous says:

    There’s nothing here. This is apparently some guy with a “mission” in life who’s not doing academic research and is just trying to sell books. He doesn’t appear to be faculty anywhere, though the media tends to report him as being at “Kansas University.” This is not an academic study, it’s not peer-reviewed or even available to read as far as I can tell (try googling it yourself) – he just went straight to the media with some results he elicited from a biased population with surveymonkey. At least I’ll assume it’s biased until I can read up on the methodology, which I can’t and neither can any academics in relevant fields who would be able to critique this.

    The irony of it all is that this is an anti-religion, presumably pro-science guy who’s doing really really bad science.

    Blech.

  25. Gulliver says:

    I only feel guilty if I forget to whip the midget.

    I smell an internet meme. Who will step up the awesome responsibility of selling I only feel guilty if I forget to whip the midget t-shirts?

  26. GaryG says:

    “Mormons came the hardest”

    huh huh, huh huh….

  27. microcars says:

    “Mormons came the hardest, ”

    interesting.

  28. Tim says:

    A few thoughts:

    1) Whether this includes masturbation/pornography as “sex” would make a huge difference as the LDS church (Mormons) repeatedly speak about how pornography is addictive and should be avoided, so it would make sense Mormons would feel guilt after viewing it.

    2) This is the Daily Mail, which I’ve always heard is comparable to American tabloids or even The Onion.

    3) If this is true, it really doesn’t surprise me. Growing up Mormon (and still am) I can’t say this is news at all. The LDS church isn’t the best at the whole “approach sex in a healthy way” thing and the members seem to believe that if you just tell kids sex before marriage is wrong and don’t discuss it any further they’ll just believe you. Thankfully my (public) school had a pretty darn good sex-ed program and so I learned about safe sex and all that from them. I’m not going to skirt the topic with my kids and my wife agrees, so we’re not going to continue the cycle.

    • redesigned says:

      @Tim – There have been several studies showing that Mormons/LDS have the highest porn consumption in the USA. Nothing as good as that forbidden pleasure I guess! :-)

      Also: Don’t forget the 8 year study by Yale and Columbia that showed that religious youth urged towards abstinence in grades 7-12 were 4x more likely to have had anal sex, and 6x more likely to have had oral sex then their peers. Because they were saving the “regular” hole for their “one true life partner” whatever that means. So they were still participating in sexual acts despite being taught that sex was shameful. I can see how that would setup a psychological cycle of guilt.

      “Sex is Natural, Sex is Good, Not Everybody Does It, But Everybody Should!” :-)

      • Modusoperandi says:

        To be fair, in Mormon porn, the people are all wearing their magic underpants.

      • Tim says:

        That doesn’t surprise me; if you’re culture forbids pornography then you’re unlikely to go to a sex shop or adult bookstore, but online is more anonymous and thus more appealing.

        The popularity of it doesn’t effect the guilt factor though. It’s entirely possible for more percentages of Mormons to watch porn, but to feel guilt about it afterwards or later on.

        The way I see it is that biologically and genetically people want sex; it’s how we propagate the species and our genes. I think there is something to be said for faithfulness to ones partner and safe sex (and ESPECIALLY birth control), but I think the approach of “only teach abstinence and say how wrong sex is and then when they’re married suddenly say it’s ok” is quite problematic. It’s just not possible to suddenly forget 8-10+ years of being told “sex is wrong” when (if?) you finally get married.

        As I said, I disagree with the churches approach to sex education and so does my wife.

        That doesn’t mean I think intending to remain a virgin until marriage is harmful; I can see good reasons for doing so (greatly reduces risk of STDs and pregnancy except by extremely rare circumstances). But I think that’s possible without making people think sex sinful.

        • redesigned says:

          Thanks for the well thought out reply, you seem to be pretty level headed about the issue, good for you. I hope that more religious people follow your lead/line of thought on this subject.

          I do think that the popularity of porn is directly proportional to how much of a guilty pleasure it is, not despite. If you’ve never seen a boob (or whatever), then an image of one online is that much more enticing. The repression sets up a stronger pull towards it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    came the hardest? Wide spread conversion heading the mormons way?

  30. salvarsan says:

    The official Press Release with the breakdown by religious sect is at:
    http://ipcpress.com/index.php?id=42

    Downloading the full report requires registration.

  31. Pope Ratzo says:

    If you don’t feel dirty after having sex, you’re probably doing it wrong.

  32. bruckelsprout says:

    I feel like the level of guilt after sex is also tied in with who you just had sex with…

  33. dculberson says:

    In all fairness, the Mormons were nailing their underage first cousin, so it makes sense that they would feel dirty.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey I’m LDS “Mormon”. And they must be referring to before marriage because I do not know anyone that feels guilty about it after marriage. And we do not think birth control is evil.. I’m using it at the moment! And the “Mormon’s” you are referring to are the FLDS church and they are completely different in religion. We do not get married until we are adults and find the right person (and only a couple not multiple wives).

  34. Anonymous says:

    I must be doing it wrong; I usually take a victory lap while singing “We Are the Champions”.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t realize that the Daily Mail counted as a valid source of “news”. I thought it was the British equivalent of Fox.

  36. Laroquod says:

    And yet, Christians still have enough sex to outpace the rest of us in rate of reproduction. What this shows is that they are also extraordinarily well adapted to hypocrisy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d say it’s more likely that they’re extraordinarily well adapted to not use birth control when they do have sex.

    • chgoliz says:

      They don’t necessarily have more sex, just more unprotected sex. Because birth control is evil. Or something like that.

  37. Anonymous says:

    As a JW – I certainly don’t feel guilty.
    Dirty, maybe, but in a good way.

    However, most christians would probably tell the researcher to stuff it, thus leaving those who are borderline/guilty or just such a sense of humor to give an answer.

    I’m calling the results skewed.

  38. Anonymous says:

    And another recent study discovered that bears do shit in the woods after all.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know about other Christians, but I honestly find nothing shameful about having sex with my wife.

    Nor do I feel any guilt what so ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      I also feel no shame or guilt after sex with your wife.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nor did I but your wife didn’t feel the same way!

    • Modusoperandi says:

      Anon #9 “I don’t know about other Christians, but I honestly find nothing shameful about having sex with my wife. Nor do I feel any guilt what so ever.”
      Do other Christians feel guilty after having sex with your wife?*

      * ♫ Ba-dum tish! ♪

    • Anonymous says:

      @Anon, you might not feel shame after having sex with your wife, but I do! Especially if I’m running out the back door as you pull in your driveway! ;-P

  40. facetedjewel says:

    The article says ‘Kansas University’, not the University of Kansas. Same school?

    Would be interested to know what metrics they used to measure the velocity of the cum shots. Was it like a spittin’ contest? LOL!

  41. turn_self_off says:

    Interesting choice of color on that ruler. At first my brain wanted to interpret it as a pink dildo.

  42. Lobster says:

    Maybe so, but atheists aren’t allowed to scream, “oh God.” :(

  43. Flaminica says:

    Pity the study suffers from Western bias. It isn’t possible to accurately quantify post-coital guilt feelings in believers versus non-believers unless one also factors in the non-Christian religions. All this article confirms is that Christians are messed up about sex, which I suspect the rest of us already knew.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Not a good time to Google for links, but I saw the study reported on more directly in SkepChicks and Pharigula. Both those reports make clear that that the study was not one of differences in people’s attitudes WHEN THEY LEFT their original religions. NOT differences between believers and nonbelievers. This is a major difference. Daily Fail indeed.

    I was one of those who took the survey, and can attest that it was indeed heavily focused on how attitudes changed.

  45. halfacre says:

    Ouch. My Mormon boss thinks you should feel dirty for not attaching an NSFW warning to that Daily Mail link, Rob.

    • JonStewartMill says:

      I feel dirty every time I click on a link and end up at the Daily Mail, no matter the topic of the article. To quote the great Leon Rosselson:

      Whoever invented the Daily Mail
      Ought to be cut down to size.
      Pulped and reduced
      To a nauseous juice
      Then dried out and flattened ’till ready for use,
      Then covered in newsprint and lies.

      Because who’d do that to a tree?
      Raising its head to the sky
      Rooted in centuries, telling tall tales,
      Breathing a green lullaby?

  46. AnthonyC says:

    “Guilty” and “dirty” are two quite different feelings. Which were they trying to measure?
    And why were the atheists and agnostics even close to a 5, I wonder?

  47. leighton says:

    “Cathlolic” is a creative typo and I enjoyed it, but perhaps it was not intended?

  48. BobRH says:

    Umm…

    On a more serious note, neither the blurb above nor the original linked article (as far as I could see) made any distinction as to whether the Christian people who felt guilty after sex were married or unmarried.

    … it would make a *slight* difference in the interpretation of the results (sarcasm intended).

    • failix says:

      The whole concept of the original sin is based on the notion that lust and sex are evil things; so I don’t see why it matters whether these Christians were married or not. The results of this study reflect exactly what you’d expect to observe with people who were raised and indoctrinated with Christian “values”.

      • glaborous immolate says:

        well, the Original sin was eating a fruit, not sex. Augustine’s theology (carried over into RC theology) emphasized that the guilt of that first sin was transmitted to all who came from Adam and Eve, (which means by reproduction) and Augustine’s view, even married sex involved some sin (as in, his view, all human action involved some sin)

        Protestants have generally moved away from the view that married sex involves sin in the way sex involves the body’s motions and reactions apart from the control of the reason, and sees that as generally good.

        • failix says:

          “well, the Original sin was eating a fruit, not sex.”

          Interestingly enough though, no Christian has ever condemned the act of eating a fruit…

          “Protestants have generally moved away from the view that married sex involves sin”

          Christians in general have moved away from what their predecessors believed. Nonetheless there’s no denying that the book of genesis condemns sexuality. You don’t have to be a theologian to “interpret” it this way. I mean: If concupiscence is the end of innocence, and if the original sin marks the end of walking around naked in paradise on earth, what does that tell you about lust and sexuality? Not only that, sex becomes the essential mechanism of reproducing depraved and sinful humans. Modern protestants can ignore the book of genesis if that’s what they want to do. But they can’t tell me that it doesn’t depict a very negative view of sexuality.

        • turn_self_off says:

          The funny thing about that fruit was that it was related to knowledge. Ignorance is indeed bliss.

          Also interesting that they had to be chased out of the garden before they ate from the tree of immortality. Hmm…

          No wonder the really religious wants their kids to stay infantile for as long as possible…

        • Anonymous says:

          Except it’s the protestants who are apparently feeling the most guilty (well, with the exception of the Lutherans). The Catholics (and Lutherans) as far as I can see are almost as guilt-free as the atheists.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        The whole concept of the original sin is based on the notion that lust and sex are evil things

        Actually, the whole concept of the Fall is that undifferentiated consciousness became aware of itself, creating differentiated consciousness, ultimately devolving to a material universe. The expulsion from the Garden shouldn’t have any negative connotations, simply that it’s not possible to have universal consciousness while embodied as an individual. If it’s been interpreted as sin, that’s just the socio-political agenda of the interpreter.

        • redesigned says:

          the whole concept of the Fall is that undifferentiated consciousness became aware of itself, creating differentiated consciousness, ultimately devolving to a material universe.

          True, except the very first consequence is that they were ashamed of their nakedness. Naked Human Bodies = Bad, ergo human sexuality is bad because the only shameful parts are chests and crotches apparently, since those are all they covered up with the fig leaves.

          Nevermind that God supposedly created them in his image!

          • facetedjewel says:

            Let’s not leave the storytellers out of this ‘concept’. They had their own agendas.

        • failix says:

          Not bad! You should start a church… Honestly, you could make a lot of money! XD

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Most major religions have a tiny esoteric branch comprised of philosophers. And they mostly all say the same thing, that ‘God’ is a word meaning undifferentiated consciousness, and the different creation tales are attempts to understand how undifferentiated consciousness managed to squeeze itself into materiality. Or in other words, religions are mostly neoplatonism or something similar turned into superstitious cults.

          • Anonymous says:

            Most major religions have a tiny esoteric branch comprised of philosophers.

            And most major religions have a somewhat larger branch comprised of fanatical heretic-burners, who will often try to hunt down the philosophers and destroy them.

          • failix says:

            Apart from the fact that I have no idea what “undifferentiated consciousness” means, I have no particular quarrel with this definition of religion.

      • BurntHombre says:

        The whole concept of the original sin is based on the notion that lust and sex are evil things; so I don’t see why it matters whether these Christians were married or not.

        False. Lust, while consistently condemned in scripture, plays no part in the fall of Adam and Eve nor in the book of Genesis as a whole. And sex between a married couple is celebrated and encouraged in Scripture.

        In other words, it makes a world of difference as to whether the polled Christians were married or not.

        • failix says:

          Wouldn’t you say that their inability to resist temptation (symbolized by the snake/devil then embodied in Eve who seduces Adam) to eat the apple can be interpreted as an inability to resist lust and desire, as it has been by the catholic church (among other churches)? What is this knowledge they suddenly possess? It is that of self-consciousness and of their nakedness. God then attributes different roles for the different genders. It is basically the birth of sex. And the birth of sex occurs as a consequence or punishment for eating this apple.

        • failix says:

          For the record I should add that I don’t think that atheists necessarily have a better sex-live than religious people or anything like that… I’m just saying that it doesn’t surprise me if some Christians can feel guilty about having an orgasm (regardless of the context of their orgasm) when you look at their doctrines and the culture surrounding them.

  49. redesigned says:

    The funny thing about that fruit was that it was related to knowledge. Ignorance is indeed bliss.

    Exactly Right…as this horrible story goes:

    The original sin was eating a piece of fruit, the punishment is that most of the human population must suffer for all of eternity for something our ancient ancestors supposedly did. If this isn’t F***ed I don’t know what is.

    Even worse, was that this tree was the KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil, you see supposedly God didn’t want humans to have the knowledge necessary for free will, yet he still put the F’n tree in the garden and told Adam and Eve not to eat from it. Problem is, they had no knowledge of right or wrong. So when that same god let the ultimate tempter into the garden to hang out on the forbidden tree, adam and eve had no way to know that eating from that tree was wrong until after they ate from it. In other words they were totally setup/duped by God, who supposedly even knew beforehand the outcome of this rigged situation.

    The way the story goes, the majority of humans must suffer for all of eternity because they were unable to understand that their actions were wrong and hence were easily setup by a God who knew fully well what he was doing by placing the tree there and letting the devil in, and knew in advance what was going to happen. To make matters worse, he rubs their faces in it by pretending not to be able to find them and makes them come out cowering in shame.

    It is a horrible, horrible, story. I’d be ashamed to believe in the God described in this story. As a loving parent, I’d never treat my kids the way this way. Shameful. In the next chapter he goads one of their sons into killing the other, knowing fully well what will happen when he unequally praises their offerings, and again pretends not to know what happened. What and awful, awful, god… Rinse, Wash, Repeat.

    Christians have been eschewing knowledge ever since.

    • Sekino says:

      It is a horrible, horrible, story.

      True that. It’s no different than all the other mythological stories where humans are the hapless, dumbfounded little playthings of fickle and capricious deities.

      I personally favour the Norse myths because they feature an astonishing amount of uproarious humour and their gods aren’t total hypocrites and passive-aggressive: They’re assholes, they know it and they let everyone get the memo. Odin FTW!

  50. glaborous immolate says:

    If they are referring to sex outside of marriage (fornication/adultery), that’s not a bug, its a feature.

  51. Gulliver says:

    Wait. Why in the world would any agnostics or atheists feel post-coital guilt? What is their reason for feeling guilty? It makes no sense.

  52. rebdav says:

    The question is was the guilt after banned type intercourse? Were these people just fine getting with their spouse or if allowed spouses?

  53. Anonymous says:

    No we don’t, it is part of celebrating this life God gave us, why should we feel guilty if it isn’t a sin? Nor did we have to learn from porn either, we learned the best way, reading good materials as teens, from sex ed in school, from our parents about birth control at the dinner table (yup, my Christian parents discussed this at our dinner table 25 years ago), and from experimenting with our partner. Y’all are weird.

  54. commenterx says:

    The way the article is worded, it seems like masturbating to porn and adultery were included.

    I’ll bet Christians feel more guilty about shoplifting or parking illegally than atheists do, too.

    • chgoliz says:

      The way the article is worded, it seems like masturbating to porn and adultery were included.

      I’ll bet Christians feel more guilty about shoplifting or parking illegally than atheists do, too.

      Love the conflation of religious sin with petty (but still illegal) crime.

      Yes, I understand that adultery is an ethical crime too, not just a sin.

      If atheists are so glib about committing crimes, why are all the prisons filled with self-professed Christians?

      • commenterx says:

        chgoliz, you’re reading things in my comment that I didn’t intend. I should have picked better examples than shoplifting and illegal parking.

        How about smoking marijuana and exceeding the speed limit?

        I still think my original comment was true, but I see how it could be construed as combative or offensive to many readers here and I didn’t mean it that way. Don’t we have any atheist anarchists here to back me up on this, though? Shoplifters of the world unite?

        • chgoliz says:

          From “shoplifting and illegal parking” to “smoking marijuana and exceeding the speed limit”…how is the second list not “petty (but still illegal) crime” as well?

          But you still haven’t answered my question:

          If atheists are so glib about committing crimes, why are all the prisons filled with self-professed Christians?

          • commenterx says:

            Most Americans are self-professed Christians, so it’s not surprising that Christianity is common in prison. If there is an over-representation of Christians in prison, I do not know the actual reason, though I can think of several possibilities that don’t connect religion with crime.

            According to the study in the article, the Christian groups were similar to atheists and agnostics in their sexual behaviors, they just were more likely to report feeling guilty about it and being less satisfied.

            Masturbating to porn and adultery are proscribed by religion, as understood by most Christians, but not by law (though adultery kind of is). Smoking marijuana, speeding and parking illegally are all proscribed by law, but most people don’t feel bad about doing them. Most people avoid doing them because they don’t want to pay a ticket or go to jail, not because they feel they have transgressed some moral boundary. Christians, I believe, would be more likely to report feeling guilty. You can disagree, but there’s no way to find out for sure without doing a study, and I don’t think studies like this are very scientific. But they make for interesting lifestyle articles.

            I think shoplifting is different kind of crime and I regret including it, though I still think shoplifting Christians would be more likely to report feeling guilty than shoplifting atheists would since stealing is explicitly forbidden in the ten commandments. There are situations where the harm of shoplifting is negligible, like eating a single grape in the produce isle of a grocery store, so to feel guilty over it you would have to believe in some transcendent wrongness about stealing.

            Here are some legal behaviors that I think Christians would also tend to feel more guilty about than atheists and agnostics: going to Hooters, drinking vodka, listening to Howard Stern.

            Vice versa? Shopping at Walmart, eating meat, owning a large vehicle. Illegal things? How about bombing an abortion clinic.

            Chgoliz, consider this long answer proof that I found your comment worth responding to, and not proof that this study is worth commenting on.

          • chgoliz says:

            You have the oddest sense of ethics I’ve heard in quite some time.

            Although, I do thank you for taking the time to answer my question so fully.

    • Talia says:

      Quite right! Since I believe there’s no consequences in the afterlife, I feel its quite fair of me to commit wrongdoings left and right. BBL, time to go stab some people for fun.

    • Sekino says:

      I was raised without religion and I’m crippled with guilt if I forget to pay my fare on the bus, make noise after 10:00pm or accidentally drop a piece of litter. I also can’t lie to save my life. I’m far from criminal material.

      My ethics came from my family raising me to be mindful of other people’s well-being and rights.

      I have never felt an iota of guilt from sex. I am grateful for having been brought up without stigma against my nature, gender or body.

    • EvilSpirit says:

      I’m not aware of any commandment against parking illegally, so you seem to be implying that the religious are Just More Ethical.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, he’s just suggesting that they’ll feel guilty after it not that they’re any less likely to do it. They may in fact be more likely to do it, because they can excuse it with, “ohh, I feel so guilty about it, but what the heck, Only Jesus is perfect, and I’m saved anyway.”

    • housewarmer says:

      That’s beyond asinine. The bible is hardly the only path to becoming an ethical human being.

    • Anonymous says:

      The interesting thing is that while Christians may feel more guilty, it doesn’t stop them from doing it. How does that apply to illegal parking?

  55. Drabula says:

    Guilt?? The only post-coitus guilt i’ve ever felt was from the realization that i just ruined the uber-satiated woman from ever enjoying any other man. ladies, it’s all down hill from here.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Guilt? No, that feeling is regret. Regret at not being able to have sex with more all you sexy ladies.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t the first line of the article be “Atheists have far better sex lives than “Christian* people who are plagued with guilt during intercourse and for weeks afterwards”? I don’t see any mention of the sexual attitudes/guilt of Hindus, Muslims, Jews or Buddhists. This is hardly a case for atheism when there are so many other kinds of “religious people” out there in the world besides those mentioned in the article.

    • SuperDragonMaster79 says:

      So true man, and how do you measure a “better sex life” anyways? I’ve read a lot that says, long term, religious people tend to have more satisfaction with their partner in regards to the whole relationship. Sex is a very small part of what it means to love someone.

      • archanoid says:

        “Sex is a very small part of what it means to love someone.”

        In my case, a very small part indeed.

        DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! GET IT?! SMALL PART! SELF-DEPRECATING PHALLIC JOKES!!! HAHA! I KILL ME! I’M SO PUNNY!

        *sigh* okay…i feel better. sorry ’bout that. I had to.

  58. dculberson says:

    From the second photo caption:

    “Religious people had as much sex as non-believers but they felt bad afterwards and often preyed for forgiveness (file picture)”

    Who or what did they prey upon for that elusive forgiveness? “Give me your purity!”

    (And yes, thanks halfacre, I only went to the link in search of the NSFW.)

  59. Mujokan says:

    I only feel guilty for not working out more.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Aaaaaaah! It’s Sister Mary Stigmata!

    Jake: What are we doing here?
    Elwood: You promised you’d visit the penguin the day you got out.
    Jake: Yeah? So I lied to her.
    Elwood: You can’t lie to a nun. We got to go in and visit the penguin.
    Jake: No… fucking… way.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians.

    -W.Odom

  62. glaborous immolate says:

    according to the full report they only ask how old you were when you first had sex. And report a 9% difference between most religious and least religious. But don’t seem to question whether those having the sex at 18 (or 21, where the difference is nil) are actualyl married or not.

    Now, the study references another study’s claim that 95% of Americans have had premarital sex. but it still would have behooved them to ask the question.

    I also wonder about that 95% figure. Is there a big difference between premarital and pre-engagement sex? is it only counting genital sex?

  63. archanoid says:

    I am Lutheran. I don’t feel guilty after masturbating. I feel like I wish I had just had sex instead of masturbating. Except sometimes when the masturbating is particularly good. But I don’t feel guilty after sex at all. I’m married and when we have sex I sing the “I just had sex!” song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQlIhraqL7o

  64. redesigned says:

    @Guliver – Good Question. My take is that North American society is based loosely on puritanical roots, so sometimes we have related vestigial societal issues that no longer make sense or serve us in any capacity function. Like shame and the illegalization of the naked human body or the related issue of shame after sex. Etc.

    @Anon – You are astute in observing the similarity to Zeus, as the jesus story is most likely an amalgamation of Greek, Egyptian, and Babylonian, myths, but that is another conversation of another day. The accounts in the gospels and old testament, like much of the bible, are not internally self consistent. The version you are thinking of is in Luke in which she is told beforehand and says the ancient equivalent of “Hurray”! That contradicts other versions in the bible in which she is informed after when she inquires, but how is it possible that i am pregnant? (If one believes in the holy trinity then at the very least god got his own mom pregnant with himself…lol. ;-P)

    Mary might not be the best example, there are many other better ones, such a the one i mention previous to that:

    Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
    And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

    *BARF*

    • Gulliver says:

      Good Question. My take is that North American society is based loosely on puritanical roots, so sometimes we have related vestigial societal issues that no longer make sense or serve us in any capacity function. Like shame and the illegalization of the naked human body or the related issue of shame after sex. Etc.

      That occurred to me. And Bob knows religious folks don’t have a monopoly on irrationality. But if this study is an accurate accounting then something like half of all atheists and agnostics have internalized this neurosis despite not sharing the belief framework responsible it. I have to admit, that sort of worries me. Even if it’s vestigial guilt from a religious upbringing, that means half of all atheists and agnostics haven’t done the introspective work needed to root it out and deal with it; which makes me wonder what other baggage their carrying.

      Another possibility which, although it seems unlikely, I cannot rule it out, occurs to me is that maybe there exist secular memes that spread this neurosis independent of religion. It would certainly better account for the ~50% irrational guilt rate.

      • redesigned says:

        Good thinking, giving your message some though I came up with the following:

        There aren’t always clear lines between where something like vestigial guilt ends and secular memes start or physical causes start, or psychological causes…there are a lot of grey areas when talking about things like “guilt” which there is no way to objectively quantify and may mean different things to different groups.

        I’d suggest these are possible vestigial culprits from puritanism:
        shame of the naked human body even though we all have one.
        denial of the flesh, the idea that if it is pleasurable then it is wrong/sinful.
        (i’d bet 50% of people would describe things like eating chocolate as a “guilty” pleasure. guilt doesn’t mean they didn’t like it.)

        I’d suggest these are possible secular memes:
        the objectification of people’s sexuality for marketing.

        I’d suggest there are physical causes as well:
        The buildup of anticipation and pleasure hormones, followed by a sharp drop in said hormones and anticipation.

        I’d suggest there are psychological causes as well:
        Experiences like giving your heart to someone who it turned out was only there for the sex, ie. associated let down or self judgment.

        Also, just to remind myself, these are just averages/generalizations. I’m sure that there are people in every group that have healthy great sex lives and people that have tons of sex hangups.

        • Gulliver says:

          There aren’t always clear lines between where something like vestigial guilt ends and secular memes start or physical causes start, or psychological causes…there are a lot of grey areas when talking about things like “guilt” which there is no way to objectively quantify and may mean different things to different groups.

          Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

          (i’d bet 50% of people would describe things like eating chocolate as a “guilty” pleasure. guilt doesn’t mean they didn’t like it.)

          Yeah, I never really got that either. It seems to me that if the potential detriment is to oneself (i.e. gaining excess weight) then it’s just a cost/benefit analysis. I guess even in our relatively individualistic Western societies a lot of people still feel shame for not meeting perceived cultural expectations. I wish there was some way to snap them out of it.

          the objectification of people’s sexuality for marketing.

          That one is at least rooted in a shred of sense, though generalizing it to the biological urges strikes me as deeply fallacious. Perhaps when one is bothered by something in one context, superficial similarities with other situations bring it to mind even if they know the comparison is irrational. I think psychologists have a term for unwanted thoughts during sex, but ironically I can’t remember it off the top of my head.

          The buildup of anticipation and pleasure hormones, followed by a sharp drop in said hormones and anticipation.

          But doesn’t sex release large quantities of oxytocin into the brain to strengthen pair-bonding? Granted everyone’s neurochemistry is a little different and there are bound to be outliers, but I’d be surprised if it was even 10% of a given population. Not to be graphic, but I know after sex I feel a sense of emotional bonding with my partner and I think it would take a lot of psychological conditioning to override that.

          Experiences like giving your heart to someone who it turned out was only there for the sex, ie. associated let down or self judgment.

          That makes sense too. Certainly people can develop psychological neuroses from abandonment, insecurity, ect…

        • Gulliver says:

          It also occurred to me: if someone is experiencing guilt after sex, wouldn’t that be kind of detrimental to the relationship or, if there is no romantic relationship, then at least to the friendship?

          • redesigned says:

            It also occurred to me: if someone is experiencing guilt after sex, wouldn’t that be kind of detrimental to the relationship or, if there is no romantic relationship, then at least to the friendship?

            I’d agree with the idea that real guilt would be detrimental to a healthy sexual relationship and self identity.

            The only times i’ve experienced guilt were the few times when i was younger and sex drive and hormones and alcohol led me to sexual situations that i told myself i was into, but had “buyers remorse” afterwards. I learned a lot about myself from those situations and would no longer make such a mistake. there is no point for me unless we both have lovely loving mutually respectful time, but different strokes for different folks…

            I am really starting to wonder how much the very concept of “guilt” varies among each group polled? Is an atheist’s definition of guilt the same guilt a christian is describing? Or are we talking apples and oranges.

            I wonder if there is a breakdown male/female? Were the groups evenly weighted in regards to genders?

            I wonder if there is a breakdown on ages? Different generations have drastically different views. Were the groups evenly weighted in regards to ages?

            I wonder if there is a breakdown on partnered vs non-partnered sex?
            I wonder if there is an accounting for substances invloved, such as alcohol, caffeine, weed, meth, cocaine, heroin, bacon(joking), etc?

            Anyone up for performing some “double blind” experiments? ;-P j/k

    • Anonymous says:

      You are acting under the false assumption that everything the Bible records is something God approves of, as if God was please with the choices Lot’s daughters made. Simply because he did not intervene but allowed them to make their own choices in this instance does NOT mean that he condoned their actions. The Bible is full of disturbing stories about what went on… but God never gives his approval. Since the children of this union went on to father nations that were enemies of the Israelites, it’s obvious that their choice had very negative consequences. To take God’s silence as his approval is a very amateur way to interpret the Bible.

      • redesigned says:

        @Anon – You are the one taking it out of context. Fathers sleeping with daughters before they were married WAS permissible under the holy law at the time. Abraham the father of Israel was married to his sister. Lot and his family were spared the fate of Sodom for the righteous act of offering his daughters for rape. God did kill Lots wife for simply glancing in the wrong direction. Why do people miss the mountain and pick at the molehill. This story was but one of many many many examples. I just picked it because it has so many juicy bits in a single chapter. It isn’t like there aren’t hundreds of other examples I could have chosen from.

        @Tau’ma – :-) glad to see you are still here earthside.

        • redesigned says:

          @Anon – Don’t forget that christians believe that god is all knowing, so when he spared Lot and his daughters from Sodom for being righteous, he supposedly already knew that Lot would impregnate both of them. But now you have me pointing out the logical flaws, which is an endless path I don’t care to go down.

          Remember, that the shiny compassionate perfect god of modern thought is not the god of the old testament. the god of the old testament describes himself, as an angry, jealous, wrathful, god, and admits on several occasions to regretting his mistakes. he was a smiter, plague bringer, pestilence dealer, and gambler, and those were on a good day.

          As one of my theology professors used to say: The moral code in the Bible and Church is always two steps behind the cultural moral shifts, especially on the big issues, like slavery, incest, age of consent, capital punishment, (he listed a ton of other things as well). If god knows the future you would think he would have come out at the beginning against all these things we now in hindsight know are wrong instead of following our lead, but that isn’t what you see when you follow the bible chronologically. He then said “Perhaps god made humans to figure out what is right and wrong?” I was reminded of this lecture because they said something identical in the show Supernatural a few weeks back…can’t help but think one of the writes must have been sitting in that class as well.

  65. Anonymous says:

    I’m still waiting breathlessly for the day I’ll see:

    Study: Obvious conclusions often reported as though headline news.

  66. glaborous immolate says:

    also, the study seems to only ask questions of secularists who left religion for some kind of secularism or non-religion, and bases it all on their self-reporting of guilt

  67. Anonymous says:

    What I’m getting from this is that Athiests have boring sex.

    Because, frankly, if you don’t feel ashamed after sex, you’re obviously not being imaginative enough about it.

    What is the Athiest version of the missonary position, anyway?

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