People with higher incomes, better jobs and more education appear to be happier in bed, according to a study from the Barcelona Public Health Agency.
Investigators in Spain used a sampling of subjects from a broader survey in 2009 to explore how the socioeconomic status of about 5,000 people between 16 and 44 years old impacted their sexual satisfaction. They said that individuals with a higher socioeconomic status had better sex lives than their less privileged counterparts – a finding that applied particularly to women.
"People of a lower socioeconomic status claim to be less satisfied sexually, which especially applies to women, who seem to be more influenced by these factors," Dolores Ruiz Muñoz, the main author of the study, said in a release.
Researchers have found that nine in 10 men and women in Spain said they were very satisfied or quite satisfied with their sexual lives. Ninety-seven percent of men and 96 percent of women were happier with the quality of their sexual lives when they had a stable partner. Eighty-eight percent of men and 80 percent of women were sexually satisfied with casual partners.
There also was a noted difference between men's and women's satisfaction after their first experience of sexual intercourse. Eighty-six percent of men were satisfied, compared to only 61 percent of women.
About 6.1 percent of women and 1.6 percent of men reported being raped or sexually abused in their lifetimes. Women from lower socioeconomic classes were the most likely to be sexually abused, Ruiz Munoz said. These less privileged women also had more difficulty accessing help.
Conversely, individuals with a higher socioeconomic status appeared to be more confident developing their sexuality in a way that best fit their needs. They also used contraception more than those in lower socioeconomic classes.
"People that have a more disadvantaged socioeconomic status tend to have less satisfying and less safe sexual relations, as well as suffering more experiences of sexual abuse," Ruiz Muñoz said.
The report used the World Health Organization's definition of sexual health, which views the term in a holistic sense as a mental, physical and emotional state of well-being.
"Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence," the WHO says.