As promised a few weeks ago, I gathered some stats from our last survey about sexual assaults and their impacts on marriage. I wanted to make a separate post for a few reasons.
Firstly, I know some people have experience with sexual assault, and if you haven’t healed enough from it to not be re-traumatized by reading more about it – then close this page and don’t come back until you have. This is your warning.
Secondly, the other post was already long, and I don’t think many people would read it as it stood, let alone if I made it longer.
Thirdly, it’s better to separate content into specific topics. It’s better for people looking for the information, and it’s easier for me to find it when I want to refer back to it.
So, here we go.
Some basic questions
Have you been the victim of sexual assault?
No – 74.4%
Yes, after I was already sexually active – 7.7%
Yes, it was my first sexual experience – 13.4%
Yes, it was my first sexual experience, and additional ones afterwards – 4.5%
No – 91.9%
Yes, after I was already sexually active – 0.7%
Yes, it was my first sexual experience – 5.8%
Yes, it was my first sexual experience, and additional ones afterwards – 1.5%
At what age was the first sexual assault instance?
I don’t know what to say about that chart other than the fact that no age is a good age to be sexually assaulted, but the lower ages are really hard to see.
How does sexual assault impact your married sex life?
Wives who were the victims of sexual assault tend to have 22% less sex in their marriage than those who were not. If their first assault was under the age of 10, that drops to 32%. If it was under 5, then it drops to 48%. It seems the younger the assault, the more damage it does.
The change in men is different. In our survey, if they were sexually assaulted under the age of 18, they actually tend to have sex 14% more often. 24% more often if it was under 10. Under 5 I didn’t have enough of a sample set to trust the numbers.
I wish I had asked people if their spouse had been assaulted. I think that would have given a better picture because, sadly, men tend to severely underreport, and some men completely avoid anything sexual, so I’d never get their direct input in a survey like this.
For example, 25% of women in our survey experienced sexual assault, but only 8% of men. I know both numbers are higher, but the 8% for men is outrageously low. I think if I asked wives if their husbands had been assaulted as a child, that number would be much higher. I think I may have to do that in the future.
Interestingly enough, both men and women who experienced sexual assault in our survey indicated that their desired frequency is 8% higher than those who did not. This changes, though, if the assault occurred before the age of 5. Then, the desire to have sex by wives drops by 26%. For the men, again, I didn’t have enough data.
Women who experienced sexual assault also registered as being 6% less satisfied (not really statistically significant) in their marriage, whereas men reported the same satisfaction regardless. I checked for age groups on this one, but it was all over the map with no coherent pattern.
How does sexual assault impact consensual premarital sex?
For the women, if they experienced sexual assault, then their first consensual sexual experience tended to be 2.5 younger than those who did not. For the men, 0.5 years. Trying to split it up by the age of the assault didn’t yield any coherent results.
Women who had been assaulted were more likely to engage in sexual activities with partners besides their future spouse before marriage:
- manual sex – 60%
- oral sex – 86%
- anal sex – 154%
- vaginal sex – 56%
- mutual masturbation – 155%
- phone/video sex – 174%
- manual sex – 39%
- oral sex – 34%
- anal sex – 18%
- vaginal sex – 39%
- mutual masturbation – 59%
- phone/video sex – 61%:
Women who were assaulted were also 133% more likely to have their first consensual sex with a casual hookup. Men who were assaulted were 67% more likely to do the same.
The women were 53% less likely to wait until marriage. Men only 5% less likely to.
The women who suffered from assault also, on average, had 2.9x the number of sexual partners than women who were not. With the men, there was no change.
This definitely impacts women more in this regard.
How can we protect girls from sexual assault?
This I wasn’t expecting to come out in the data. I wasn’t looking for it, but happened to stumble across a correlation and then started following up on it. And I’m focusing on the girls here simply because there’s more data. The data for the boys tends to follow the same general pattern, but the dataset was so low that the variations were very high.
As a result, I’m going to stick with the girls until I can get a better dataset. It’s not because I don’t care about boys – I have 2 of my own, nor is it because I think there’s no risk. I’ve sadly had quite a few coaching clients who were negatively impacted by their assaults as children.
Girls who grow in a Christian home (both parents Christian) report that 21% of them experienced sexual assault in their lifetime. That number goes up to 26% if their father wasn’t a Christian. It increases to 41% if they were raised by non-Christians.
Just being raised in a Christian home seems to protect our children from sexual assault. Now, some may say that’s God protecting our children, or it could be simply that living a Christian lifestyle puts you in less dangerous situations – I don’t know. Of course, these are averages – there, sadly, are plenty of cases of sexual assaults occurring in churches themselves.
If your parents taught you to wait until marriage to have sex, you’re chance of assault as a woman is 21%. If they didn’t talk to you about it at all, that goes up to 31%. If they said to wait until you’re an adult, that goes to 45%. If they told you not to wait at all, it goes to 71%.
71% chance of an assault if they explicitly told you not to wait – isn’t this what our schools and society are trying to teach our kids now?
So, teach your kids – it’s important.
What can we learn from this?
For one – if you have experienced sexual assault, you’re not alone. You’re not the only one with struggles. But also – you can recover. This survey was full of people who had horrible experiences and still managed to have good marriages with good sex lives. But, it often takes some work, healing, patience and grace.
If you’re thinking about getting married – choose a Christian spouse. I really didn’t expect sexual assault to be a reason to do so – but it’s there in the data.
If you have kids – don’t let your faith fall away – raise them in it. It protects them, somehow.
And if you had kids and did all the right things, or some of the right things, or just did your best, or the best you could at the time – it’s not your fault. Nothing is a guarantee. There is still free will in the world, and that includes the free will to do horrible things to people and also to put ourselves in bad situations. We can’t protect them 100%. All we can do is try to set them up for success.
If you have a question about the survey and want me to check any other correlations, disagree with my conclusions, or whatever – please let me know in the comments below.