Dr. Elizabeth Morgan
The purpose of this study was to explore how levels of satisfaction with dating relationship and levels of satisfaction with sexual experiences vary based on demographic variables including age, religiosity, and political beliefs. This study also examined how dating and sexual satisfaction relate to sexual attitudes, self perceptions, and relationship anxiety and avoidance. There were 230 participants; 115 heterosexual couples who completed self-report questionnaires and in person interviews with research assistants. The average age of participants was 21.6 and 80% of participants were college students. Results indicated that age was positively correlated with dating satisfaction. Religiosity was negatively correlated with sexual satisfaction and political affiliation had no relation to dating or sexual satisfaction. With regards to sexual attitudes, sexual satisfaction was positively correlated with positive attitudes towards birth control, attitudes connecting intimacy and sexual intercourse, and sexual permissive attitudes. Regarding self perceptions, dating satisfaction was positively correlated with synthesis of one’s sexual identity. Also, for women, self-ratings of physical attractiveness were positively correlated with sexual satisfaction. Dating satisfaction for both genders was negatively correlated with anxiety and avoidance in relationships. Also, for women, sexual satisfaction was negatively correlated with relationship avoidance. Lastly, results indicated that dating satisfaction was positively correlated with sexual satisfaction. These results suggest that a positive self view is important in sexual satisfaction. When females view themselves as more physically attractive and are less avoidant in their relationships, they tend to be more sexually satisfied. Politics played no role in sexual satisfaction, however, religion did, suggesting that the more religious a person is the less sexually satisfied they are. In our study, the older the participant, the more satisfied they were with their dating relationships. This could mean that as people age we find what we want and stick with it. And lastly our study shows that relationship anxiety and avoidance are not conducive for dating satisfaction.