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Making an unbiased study is not really difficult if you are willing to pay someone who has studied the science of the issue and let them control how things are asked and how participants are found. And a well-done study will publish a great deal about its methods, and usually make the raw data available so others can confirm it was done well.
Most surveys of sexual issues are poorly done. The Hite surveys were so badly done they are used to teach how to NOT do surveys. The questions were leading, and the survey population was very badly skewed. Because of this, it meant nothing about anyone other than the group who took the survey.
Of course, sex is difficult to do well even if you work at it, and sex among Christians is even more difficult. I've never seen anyone even try to do it right.
What I'd like to see is a major study done of the population as a whole, with serious Christians sorted out and examined both as a group and compared to the rest of the population. If I ever win the lottery (which would be interesting since I don't play!) I might commission such a study.
BTW, the surveys we do here and on the main site are fun and I think they sometimes give us some good insights, but they are not done in a way that makes the conclusive about anything. We put them out for fun and use them to inform what we write about. Sometimes a survey surprises me, such as the one I did here about male strokes used by a couple. Based on that I wrote a post for The XY Code that I would otherwise not have written.
Paul addressed this somewhat, but I'll add to it.Hiswifeagain wrote: ↑Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:21 am That was exactly what I was thinking. Statistics can be so strange. It seems like we can make them say whatever we want them to say. It’s so hard to know what to believe because it seems like there are no truly unbiased people designing the studies on anything these days.
It's not that hard for many things to design a proper study. For submission in certain regulated industries (for instance, with the FDA), the study design has to state the methods to be used and success criteria ahead of time before the data are collected. Any post hoc analyses done after the fact are not hypothesis testing, but instead hypothesis generating. Ideally, all people with an opinion will sign off on the methods/success criteria before the study begins so there can be no sudden objecting to things after the fact. Unfortunately, the majority of what gets published (and especially of that proclaimed to the mainstream public) comes from data mining/post hoc analysis. This in an of itself isn't horrible, but most people just don't understand the limitations and biases of that kind of work.
I am less familiar with how to avoid biased sampling from human testing, as my area is physical science, but it certainly can be done and it definitely has been done. Paul's response gave some general discussion on that.
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For example, the folks who read and post here are far more sex-positive and generally have more active and varied sex lives than Christians as a whole. So surveying them and then claiming what we got represents all Christians would be wrong.
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First off, I will state I don't trust the book nor the author in question. I've taken her biased surveys before as we've had discussions and posts on this the last couple years on the Q&A board. I've read & listened to some of her podcasts and came to different hypothesis's or conclusions.SLS wrote: ↑Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:45 pm I was reading a recent book* that conducted a survey of 20,000 Christian women. One of the takeaways was that almost no sexless marriages were caused by women giving up on sex without some kind of underlying cause.
Five contributing factors were found that correlated strongly with sexless marriages.
Male sexual dysfunction
Not feeling close during sex
73.5% of sexless marriages had two or more of these issues as opposed to 27.1% of sexually active ones.
In other words the majority of sexless marriages aren't just happening out of the blue. Understanding why something is happening is the key to correcting it.
People have already discuss here what things can play into the last suggested factor, and it may be a easy catch-all but I don't think it's a fair one to lump some of the following ideas I'll suggest which I believe should be in there based on my experience, reading & studies, and even people sharing on these boards.
- What about prior sexual history? (Abuse...premarital sex...multiple partners - all create differing kinds of baggage and issues)
- Upbringing/family of origin instruction (or a lack of conversation & instruction)
- Religious instruction
- Selfish spouses (husbands and wives)
All of those things can lead to the author's suggested factors, true; HOWEVER, they can also create their own paths of dysfunction, impacting the marriage and then the marriage bed.
Now that IS a key. The question is: how to get men and I think many more times, women to the place where they will unpack with their spouse and unpack with a trained counselor the issues which need to be addressed. I say that NOT because the man didn't contribute to or create the issues himself but because many times I've seen women so hurt by their husband OR the pain has been occurring for so long that she becomes unwilling to address the relational or historical component that has poured cement on her heart. (Again, I'm not blaming the wife, I'm just saying, many counselors I've talked to say, by the time the husband gets a clue and comes to me, it's late in the game and the wife's heart is cold and out the door.)In other words the majority of sexless marriages aren't just happening out of the blue. Understanding why something is happening is the key to correcting it.