By Terry Vanderheyden
PAISLEY, Scotland, January 26, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Research has long confirmed the health-promoting benefits of sexual intercourse.Â By strengthening the emotional bond between spouses, regular sexual intercourse has been shown to reduce the risk for heart attack by up to 50% in some studies.Â A new UK study adds to those findings revealing that only heterosexual intercourse - not homosexual sex or self abuse - has significant stress-reducing effects, as measured by blood pressure responses to stressful situations.
The research conducted by Dr. Stuart Brody from Paisley University is summed up by its title: “Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) than for people who had other or no sexual activity.” Published in the February issue of Biological Psychology, Brody found that blood pressure measured during stressful periods - such as after public speaking or doing “verbal arithmetic” - was significantly reduced in those who had “PVI” within a two-week period. Those who had engaged in the abnormal sexual practices had no alteration of their stress response. On average, a 14 point (systolic) reduction in blood pressure was observed in those who engaged in “PVI” before a stressful event.
“The magnitude of the sexual behaviour effect on BP reactivity is greater than other factors in the literature,” his research stated. “The effects are not attributable simply to the short-term relief afforded by orgasm, but rather, endure for at least a week,” he added, as reported by New Scientist. Brody speculated that oxytocin, the “pair-bonding” hormone, released between heterosexual partners may be the reason for the calming effects.
Adding to this have been other reports confirming that not only is heterosexual sex more beneficial than other sexualÂpractices,Âthose benefits are most pronounced among couples in committed, life-long marriages.
A 100-page report, by Dr. Matthew D. Bramlett and his team at U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in Hyattsville, Maryland, confirmed that married people, as reported in the Washington Times, “are likely to live longer, engage in less risky behavior, be more health conscious and have more satisfying sexual lives, higher wages and larger savings than unmarried people.
Marriage Means Happier Relationship Says Study