May 2, 2022

Does lifelong celibacy reduce or increase life expectancy?


by Interfaith

I have been looking into this subject for awhile now. I cannot find any decent studies on the health effects of celibacy.

Some people claim that celibacy is unhealthy, linking it to emotional repression. I think this is a misunderstanding of emotional repression since someone who is celibate need not repress anything. In fact, the people I know who practice celibacy religiously tend to promote mindfulness and self-awareness, too, which is the exact opposite of repression.

Some people claim that celibacy is healthy, linking it to discipline or deferred gratification. I think this is just sort of absurd, personally, because celibacy is not really necessary to have discipline or deferred gratification.

As far as I can tell, neither of these claims have any evidence for them. It seems to me that celibacy is more of a neutral lifestyle choice that has no real impact on one’s health. One can be perfectly mentally and physically healthy and still have lived a life of celibacy but that celibacy doesn’t necessarily make them any healthier.

However, spirituality can have positive health benefits and celibacy is often a part of one’s spiritual practice. Celibacy might not directly improve one’s health but it might be caused by healthy spirituality.

Does anyone here have any thoughts on the matter or, better yet, peer-reviewed studies published in reputable academic journals on the subject?

(Discussion in ‘Health‘ started by Ella S.Apr 14, 2022)

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https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/20124/


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