Women with more power have less sex

25 Sep

The more power a woman has to make decisions at home, the less sex she is likely to have. There is a pattern between married women’s levels of autonomy in their household and their sexual activity, according to a study led by Michelle Hindin at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The research was carried out in six African countries – Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe – and asked women when they last had sex, and who makes the decisions regarding family matters. The study found that the gap since they last had sex was three to 100 times longer for households where women had the final say.

Dr Hindin said: “A consistent pattern was observed across all six countries we surveyed. The more decisions a woman reported making on her own, as compared to joint decision making, the less likely she was to have sex and the longer it was since she last had sexual intercourse.”

The full report, Women’s Autonomy and Timing of Most Recent Sexual Intercourse in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Country Analysis, is published in The Journal of Sex Research.

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