HR Strange But True!
April 14, 2003

Blame it on the economy, blame it on changing sexual mores, or blame it on Rio, but whatever the reason, we've got a new phenomenon to talk about: DINS - dual-income, no-sex couples.

The problem of low- or no-sex marriages is coming out of the closet, according to the Wall Street Journal. But it's not clear whether the frequency of sex in marriage has fallen, or whether we're just talking about it more, says Michele Weiner Davis, a Woodstock, Ill., therapist, seminar leader and author of "The Sex-Starved Marriage," which recently hit No. 3 on's bestseller list.

The Journal also points to research by Denise Donnelly of Georgia State University, who found that 16 percent of couples fail to have sex at least once a month. It's a pattern that predicts marital unhappiness and divorce, she found.

Yet Janet Hyde, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, says dual-earner lifestyles aren't necessarily the root cause in low- or no-sex marriages. It comes down to fatigue. Hyde and others found in a study of more than 500 women and their husbands that homemakers reported just as much fatigue as employed women. The notion that wives' employment causes celibacy may just be a handy way to dodge deeper sexual problems, Hyde says.

The Journal also reports that women aren't the only ones refusing sex. In a study of 75 married people in sexually inactive marriages, Donnelly found that in 60 percent of the cases, it was the man who had stopped the sex. The reasons cited ranged from extramarital affairs to demanding jobs, drugs, alcohol, or finances.

The Journal went on to offer "some useful suggestions from the experts on keeping the love alive."

Source: Wall Street Journal, via

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