Survey – How Bad Are Various Sexual Sins?

49 Women and 165 Men answering
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The numbers are an average rating

  • Men and women track fairly close on how bad various sex sins are, with women seeing most as worse.
  • Men and women rated adultery the same, at 4.9 out of 5.
  • Men rated sexual refusal slightly higher than women, 3.7 vs 3.6.
  • Women rated visual lust sins as worse than men by anywhere from 15% to 30% worse.
  • No women and only one man said adultery was not sinful.
  • 6% of men and 94% of women think sexual refusal is sin.
  • 10% of women and 19% of men think it’s okay to watch porn as a couple.
  • 20% of men and 12% of women think it’s not wrong to watch TV with full nudity and simulated sex acts.
  • 55% of men and 61% of women think it’s sin to engage in solo masturbation without porn or wrong thoughts.
  • Men who were less serious about their faith were far more likely to say masturbation and visual acts were not sin than moderately or highly faith motivated men.
  • With the exception of adultery and making out, less religious women are far more likely to say things were sin than more religious women. At least a third of the least religious women gave a pass on everything other than adultery and making out.
  • 89% of men and 90% of women think adultery is a divorceable sin.
  • 53% of woman, but only 37% of men think making out without a climax is a divorceable sin.
  • Women are far more likely to see “sexting” as a divorceable sin, 60% vs 31%.
  • A third of women, but only 6% of men see masturbating to porn as a divorceable sin.
  • Slightly more women than men see regular sexual refusal as a divorceable sin – 33% to 29%
  • Men who were less serious about their faith were more likely to say the first five (adultery etc.) allowed for divorce than moderately or highly faith motivated men. They were also significantly more likely to say sexual refusal was a divorceable sin.
  • Moderately spiritual women were less likely to call the first five divorceable than both more and less spiritual women.
  • Among the most spiritual women, 43% thought masturbating to porn was divorceable. And 8% thought masturbation without porn or wrong fantasy was divorceable!
  • The most spiritual women were more likely than the moderately to say refusal justifies divorce (30% to 22%). All of the least spiritual said it was divorceable.

Women’s Comments

  • There are other reasons for saying no to sex. You should never keep saying no but there are times when you just don’t want it. You should be able to say, “No not now but soon. ” Keep your promises.
  •  My marriage recovered from porn, sexting, and an affair but if your heart cannot possibly recover from these things then everyone is better off divorcing.
  •  Wasn’t sure if these were all in the context of marriage or not. If married, then all are sinful. I interpreted only the ones specified.
  •  Question 6 is difficult as divorce in my opinion is never an option. Even if affair happened I’d hope we could do everything in our power to work through it.
  •  My “divorceable offenses” are based on marriage to porn addict with long history of lying & avoiding intimacy (intimacy anorexia) while using porn/tv & masturbation. For our marriage any lack of disclosure of these activities within 24 hrs is divorce guaranteed with recovery based post-nuptial in place.
  • I think any time there is physical contact that isn’t appropriate outside of marriage, it’s considered adultery. Sending and/or receiving images, watching and masturbating to porn is equal to cheating. Sexting is being unfaithful. Anything to do with the marriage bed, that is done outside of the marriage bed, is adultery. Having lived through these kinds of adultery, repeatedly, they are harmful and hurtful and can destroy a marriage just as quickly as a physical relationship.
  • I don’t think these sins means you OUGHT to get divorced, but if ongoing unrepentant sins such as these continue despite proper church discipline, I believe it becomes an option.
  • My husband has done several of these through our marriage. Although he’s never physically cheated (that I know of), I’m realizing these things have broken me down as a woman and have really hurt our marriage. No matter how I try communicating this to him, he just doesn’t get it. He has made the comment that “he’s always been a flirt, that’s his personality” and it has literally broken my heart. And he still has no idea which makes me feel hopeless.
  • Number 6 is hard to answer as it depends on the situation. Too many variables.
  • I clicked adultery, because I do believe it is grounds for divorce. However, I would try all I could to work through any issues, leaving divorce as a last resort. I also believe some of the others ones, when fully escalated, can be grounds for divorce as well. I guess it depends on my husband’s heart and if he is repentant or willfully living in sin with no desire to do anything about it.

Men’s Comments

  • Communication in marriages.
  • The divorce offense is DECEIT. If a person CAN and DID successfully lie about sex, money or many other things, forgiveness and trust are such a longshot.
  • A lot of it depends on the people involved. There are underlying reasons why married people would get involved with any of these acts.
  • Making out is confusing. I’m not sure a kiss qualifies, but being naked with someone probably would. The last question probably should be qualified. The extent of Pornography viewing could be a factor that might raise it to a divorceable level.
  • I am currently in a sexless marriage with no explanation.
  • While sin is sin and all sin is wrong, I can have compassion for those trapped in sexless marriages. In those cases a substitute sexual release not involving another person may be in order to prevent further sin and to keep ones sanity. JMHO.
  • Regularly refusing a good spouse sex is as bad as adultery because it causes adultery. Both would be wrong in that case, but one sin led to another even though both are equally wrong.
  • Regularly refusing sex (assuming no physical or related abuse going on) = a sexless marriage which is what Satan wants — no meaningful sex in marriage and lots of illicit sex outside of marriage bed.
  • I rated all the acts with the same score because sin is sin in the eyes of a holy and perfect God. We see degrees of sin, but the bible is clear that all sin is equally horrible and offensive to Him. There is no difference in my sin of viewing porn… or masturbating and someone other than my wife pops into my head…. or meeting up with someone that is in the same sexless boat in her marriage as I am… it is all the same.
  • I assumed question 6 (except for the regular refusal answer choice) was referring to one time offenses. Therefore I answered that adultery (full sex) and regular refusal were divorceable offenses. If a wife or husband is continually making out with or acting in a sexual manner (short of climax) with another person I think the other spouse would be within their rights to divorce.
  • Very difficult to say something justifies divorce. I have seen people recover from some pretty intense sexual issues. I think if the offense is done and repentance happens then the couple could recover. If there is not repentance and the sin continues then there would be more of a justification for divorce.
  • I was married for 32 years. Refusal so few I can’t remember them. 2nd marriage now 6 1/2 years. So disappointed we have had sex maybe 20 times! None in the last 1 year 7 mouths. She move to the extra bedrooms a year and 9 months ago. The longer it goes the more disconnected we become. Kisses are pretty much non-existent hugs are very rare. So sad and lonely.
  • I have answered all of these questions from my viewpoint of Earthly consequences. Were I to answer them from the viewpoint of dealing with the marriage commandment, virtually every answer would be a 5. All of us have sinned and thought, word, or action, and he who even looks lustfully at a woman has committed adultery with her in his heart. So arguably the question about masturbation without porn or fantasy ranks at 0 and is sin-free. But in my own life, have I figured out any way to accomplish that? I’m afraid not. Furthermore, as someone who has had a struggle with porn but is currently living under the grace of God without Temptation towards porn, my wife calls my problem a secret sex life. She deemed my use of porn to be as bad as having a physical sexual affair. She says it has hurt her just as bad and it is having a secret sex life. I will understand her viewpoint, and I will acknowledge her feelings, but privately I disagree with her. We are still married. Had I actually had sex with someone, I’m quite sure we would not be married. Therefore her argument is a straw man, not that I will neglect her feelings. On the other hand, her denial of sex to me, her turning me down, and her reluctant sex making me feel guilty for asking, my feelings are equally valid to hers and she contributes to the problems of our marriage. Often times she claims that she is having sex just for me, but if she was doing it for me, then she should care about how I feel and about what I am requesting. Rather she has sex with me so that she can check it off of her list and claim to be a great wife, while making me feel guilty at the same time.
  • All sins mentioned are sins, but the consequences aren’t all equal.
  • I would say divorceable, but not unforgivable.
  • We’ve committed all of these in our marriage, and there’s more I personally could add that I have done. God restored us and redeemed our marriage about 15 years ago. We’ll celebrate 32 years together this fall, stronger than ever, and it gets better each year.
  • It’s difficult to rate “sin”. It either is or is not to me. However, on a more humanistic point of view, the severity of what we do or don’t do is easier to rate.

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