A study of 490 women participating in marriage education classes found that six months after completing nine hours of training, 85 percent reported their sex lives improved.
For this study, non mental health professionals trained by the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation delivered brief educational classes in English and Spanish at locations throughout South Florida, including weekend retreats and multi-week workshops in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Participants completed confidential relationship assessments prior to the start of classes and again after six months. Key findings from the six month follow-up included:
- 85 percent reported improvements in physical intimacy.
- 46 percent decline in women reporting being “too tired for sex.”
- 44 percent increase in women reporting they are satisfied with their sex lives.
For the study, PAIRS Foundation’s instructors delivered the nine-hour PAIRS Essentials curriculum, including exercises to enhance communication, emotional understanding and expression, and constructive conflict resolution.
“The study is evidence that relationship skills training that enhances empathy, communication, and emotional literacy is highly effective for women, including benefits that show up in higher levels of sexual satisfaction,” said Amanda Falciglia, PAIRS Foundation’s Research Director. Falciglia added that previous research showed a positive impact for men.
Seth Eisenberg, President of PAIRS Foundation, said the findings should offer hope and guidance for millions of couples. “Emotional openness and physical closeness are fundamental building blocks to happy marriages,” he said. “The study shows that for most women in committed relationships, PAIRS delivers lasting improvements in sexual satisfaction far beyond the results typical of therapy, psychology, or counseling — all of which are generally far more expensive and time-consuming.”
PAIRS Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest and leading providers of relationship skills training. The organization develops relationship skills curriculum, trains course instructors, and conducts research. In 2006, PAIRS Foundation was awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families to conduct a healthy marriage demonstration project in South Florida. As a result of the federal grant, couples in the classes studied for this research were able to participate at no cost.
For more information on this study, contact Amanda Falciglia by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) PAIRS-4U (724 7748) ext. 803.
Discovery Health Report: Sex and Marriage
National Healthy Marriage Resource Center
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education
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