The survey of 9500 secular participants was launched by pro-atheism psychologist Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus.
Religious messages about sex don’t have much of an effect on sex behaviour, the study found.
People originally from conservative religions lost their virginity a little later than those from more liberal backgrounds. But by age 21, there was almost no difference in the number looking at porn, masturbating and having oral sex and intercourse.
What religion does appear to affect is guilt. And the stricter a religion is, the worse the guilt is. 80% of participants from more conservative religions felt sex guilt while they were still religious, the study revealed. Almost half said that religion had an extreme impact on their sex life.
Fortunately, 60% of those who ditched their conservative religion saw a dramatic improvement in their sex life. People from more conservative religions were more likely to benefit from bidding restrictive sex rules farewell.
Both the formerly conservative and those coming from more liberal religions reported enjoying guilt-free sex and in general feeling happier and more fulfilled after leaving their religions behind.
Do you feel guilty about having sex? Let us know your reasons.