Relationship between religion and female sexual function at reproductive age

Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc student in Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Instructor, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Evidence-based Care Research Center, Department of Surgical Nursing Education, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad university of Medical sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Research Center of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Healthy female sexual function and satisfaction have important role in feeling healthy and increasing quality of life. Religion is of these issues which can affect sexual function; therefore, this study was conducted with aim to evaluate the relationship between religion and female sexual function
Methods: This case - control study was performed on 284 women (142 cases in the group with sexual dysfunction and 142 in the group without sexual dysfunction) at reproductive age referred to heath five centers of Mashhad in 2015. Data was collected through female sexual function questionnaire (FSFI), Elison religion wellbeing, scaling stress, anxiety and depression (DASS21), and the questionnaire of demographic and obstetric characteristics. Data were analyzed by SPSS software (version 20), and Mann-Whitney, Spearman correlation coefficient, and multiple regression tests. PResults: There was significant difference between the group with sexual dysfunction and the group without sexual dysfunction in terms of religion health and sexual function (p<0.001) and sexual desire sub-domains (p<0.05), arousal (p<0.001), lubrication (p<0.05), orgasm (p<0.05) and satisfaction (p<0.001). But no significant difference was found between religion health and pain (P > 0.05) in sexual relation
Conclusion: There was positive and significant relationship between religion and sexual function; it means that women with desired sexual function have higher scores in religion. According to the effect of religion on female sexual function, it is suggested that for treatment of women with sexual dysfunction, religion dimension be considered despite psychological dimension.


  1. Philips NA. Female sexual dysfunction: evaluation and treatment. Am Fam Physician 2000; 62(1):127-36.
  2. Husseinzadeh A. The manners and functions of legitimate sexual relations in Islam, and psychological damages. Islamic Educ Res 2011; 3(1):77-104. (Persian).
  3. Kavyani M. Health psychology. Tehran: Tehran University; 1999.
  4. Paul P. What to expect in sexual therapy. Canada: The University of Toronto; 1998.
  5. Foroutan SK, Jadid MM. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction among divorce requested. Daneshvar Med 2009; 16(78):37-42. (Persian).
  6. Laumann EO, Paik A, Rosen RC. Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. JAMA 1999; 281(6):537-44.
  7. Mitchell RK, Mercer HC, Ploubidis GB, Jones KG, Datta J, Field N, et al. Sexual function in Britain: findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3). Lancet 2013; 382(9907):1817–29.
  8. Ramezani N, Dolatian M, Shams J, Alavi H. The relationship between self-esteem and sexual dysfunction and satisfaction in women. Arak Med Univ J 2012; 14(6):57-65. (Persian).
  9. Basson R, Berman J, Burnett A, Derogatis L, Ferguson D, Fourcroy J, et al. Report of the international consensus development conference on female sexual dysfunction: definitions and classifications. J Urol 2000; 163(3):888-93.
  10. Mirtaki M. Exploring the relationship between orgasm experience and marital satisfaction in the women referring to health-care centers. [MSc Thesis]. Tehran, Iran: Tehran Uiversity of Medical Sciences; 2004. (Persian).
  11. Khajehei M, Doherty M, Tilley PJ. An update on sexual function and dysfunction in women. Arch Womens Ment Health 2015; 18(3):423-33.
  12. Heiman JR. Psychologic treatments for female sexual dysfunction: are they effective and do we need them? Arch Sex Behav 2002; 31(5):445-50.
  13. Nusbaum M, Rosenfeld JA. Sexual health across the lifecycle: a practical guide for clinicians: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2004.
  14. Refaie Shirpak K, Chinichian M, Eftekhar Ardebili H, Pourreza AG, Ramezankhani A. Need assessment: sexual health education in family planning centers, Tehran. Iran J Payesh 2010; 9:251-60. (Persian).
  15. Safayi Rad I, Karimi L, Shomoossi N, Ahmadi Tahour M. The relationship between spiritual well-being and mental health of university students. Q J Sabzevar Univ Med Sci 2010; 17(4):274-80. (Persian).
  16. Rahnama M, Khoshknab MF, Maddah SS, Ahmadi F. Iranian cancer patients’ perception of spirituality: a qualitative content analysis study. BMC Nurs 2012; 11(1):19.
  17. Omidvari S. Spiritual health; concepts and challenges. Spec Quran Interdiscipl Res 2008; 1(1):6-17. (Persian).
  18. Sánchez-Fuentes M, Santos-Iglesias P, Sierra JC. A systematic review of sexual satisfaction. Int J Clin Health Psychol. 2014; 14(1):67-75.
  19. Kelly M, al. e. Spirituality, Religiosity, Shame and guilt as Predictors GA. Spirituality, Religiosity, Shame. J Psychol Theol 2007; 35(3):222-34.
  20. Peitl MV, Peitl V, Pavlovic E. Influence of religion on sexual self-perception and sexual satisfaction in patients suffering from schizophrenia and depression. Int J Psychiatry Med 2009; 39(2):155-67.
  21. Hosseni ND, Nosratabadi HT, Fotuhi BS. Effectiveness of couples therapy, treatment, analysis of the interaction between self-incompatible couples. Tabriz J Psychol Res 2009; 4(14):82-95. (Persian).
  22. Nameni F, Yousefzadeh S, Golmakani N, Najaf Najafi M, Ebrahimi M, Modares Gharavi M. Evaluating the effect of religious-based sex education on sexual function of married women. Evide Based Care 2014; 4(2):53-62. (Persian).
  23. Au TY, Zauszniewski JA, King TM. Health-seeking behaviors and sexuality in rectal cancer survivors in Taiwan: associations with spirituality and resourcefulness. Oncol Nurs Forum 2012; 39(5):E390-7.
  24. Davidson JK, Moore NB, Ullstrup KM. Religiosity and sexual responsibility: relationships of choice. Am J Health Behav 2004; 28(4):335-46.
  25. Kermani Z, Danesh E. The impact of religious attitudes and sensation seeking on marital adjustment of married teachers in Pakdasht city. Psychol Stud 2011; 2(3):129-54.
  26. Abdolsalehi–Najafi E, Beckman LJ. Sex guilt and life satisfaction in Iranian-american women. Arch Sex Behav 2013; 42(6):1063-71.
  27. Charan J, Biswas T. How to calculate sample size for different study designs in medical research? Indian J Psychol Med 2013; 35(2):121-6.
  28. Mohammadi kh, Heydari M, Faghihzade S. The Female Sexual  Function Index(FSFI): Validation of the Iranian version. Payesh Journal. 2008 July, 7(3). 269 -78. [persion]
  29. Allahbakhshian M, Jaffarpour M, Parvizy S, Haghani H. A survey on relationship between spiritual wellbeing and quality of life in multiple sclerosis patients. Zahedan J Res Med Sci 2010; 12(3):29-33. (Persian).
  30. Sahebi A, Asghari MJ, Salari RS. Validation of depression anxiety and stress scale (DASS-21) for an Iranian. population. Iran Psychol 2005; 4(1):299-313.
  31. Marsh R, Dallos R. Roman Catholic couples: wrath and religion. Fam Process 2001; 40(3):343-60.
  32. Shahhosseini Z, Gardeshi ZH, Pourasghar M, Salehi F. A review of affecting factors on sexual satisfaction in women. Mater Sociomed 2014; 26(6):378-81.
  33. Ahrold TK, Meston CM. Ethnic differences in sexual attitudes of US college students: gender, acculturation, and religiosity factors. Arch Sex Behav 2010; 39(1):190-202.
  34. Landor A, Simons LG, Simons RL, Brody GH, Gibbons FX. The role of religiosity in the relationship between parents, peers, and adolescent risky sexual behavior. J Youth Adolesc 2011; 40(3):296-309.
  35. Artiles Perez V, Gutiérrez Sigler MD, Sanfélix Genovés J. Famale sexual function and related factors. Aten Primaria 2006; 38(6):339-44.
  36. OjomuF, ThacherT, ObadofinM. Sexual problems among married Nigerian women. Int J Impot Res 2007; 19(3):310-6.
  37. Smith BL, Home SG. What's faith got to do with it? The role of spirituality and religion in lesbian and bisexual women's sexual satisfaction. Women Ther 2008; 31(1):73-87.
  38. Waite LJ, Lehrer EL. The benefits from marriage and religion in the United States: a comparative analysis. Popul Dev Rev 2003; 29(2):255-76.