Religion and Sexuality

Religion influences many aspects of life, including sexuality. Many religions treat marital sexuality as sacred and reject sexual behavior before marriage. Latter-Day Saints believe this as well, and as such obey a strict law of chastity prior to marriage. There have been many arguments as to whether spirituality helps or hurts the marital sexual relationship.

Research indicates that “the more newly married individuals perceived their sexual bond as having a spiritual dimension, the greater their reports of sexual satisfaction, sexual intimacy, marital satisfaction, and spiritual intimacy” (Hernandez, Mahoney, & Pargament, 2011, p. 778). This may be because holding sexuality as sacred leads couples to spend more effort and time in developing a strong emotional and sexual bond.

Even when compared to other faiths, “LDS show[ed] the highest satisfaction and frequency, followed by Protestants, then unaffiliated, and then Catholics” (Hardy & Willoughby, 2017, p. 293). This finding disputes the idea that Latter-Day Saints are too rigid and restrictive to fully enjoy and experience a satisfying sexual relationship.

While these findings are encouraging, it is important for couples to examine the role spirituality plays in their unique relationship. At Covenant Sex Therapy, we are invested in helping you align intimacy and spirituality to create the relationship you’ve been craving. Meet with one of our specialized therapists today.


Hardy, S. A., & Willoughby, B. J. (2017). Religiosity and chastity among single young adults and married adults. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality,9(3), 285-295. doi:10.1037/rel0000112

Hernandez, K. M., Mahoney, A., & Pargament, K. I. (2011). Brief report sanctification of sexuality: Implications for newlyweds marital and sexual quality. Journal of Family Psychology,25(5), 775-780. doi:10.1037/e740522011-003