Atheists have far better sex lives than religious people who are plagued with guilt during intercourse and for weeks afterwards, researchers have found.
A study discovered that non-believers are more willing to discuss sexual fantasies and are more satisfied with their experiences.
Both groups of people admitted that they carried out the same activities such as masturbation, watching pornography, having oral sex and pursuing affairs.
But followers of religion did not enjoy the experiences as much due to the stigma created by their belief systems, the study found. It left them with intense feelings of regret after they had climaxed.
The findings emerged in the 'Sex and Secularism' survey of more than 14,500 people carried out by psychologist Darrel Ray and Amanda Brown from Kansas University.
Followers of certain religions may have healthier brains that are less likely to develop Alzheimer's, scientists have claimed.
Researchers measured changes in the hippocampus are of the brain in a number of patients. The area is responsible for memory and learning.
All human brains shrink slightly with age and reduction in the size of the hippocampus has been linked to Alzheimer's.
But Protestants were found to have significant less atrophy, or wastage, in that area of the brain that Catholics, non-religious groups and born-again Protestants.
Participants who said that they had had life-changing religious experiences were also found to have large hipppocampus regions.
Experts hope that the findings might lead to preventative measures against brain deterioration.
Researcher Amy [Owen] from Duke University...said: 'One interpretation of our finding - that members of majority religious groups seem to have less atrophy compared with minority religious groups - is that when you feel your beliefs and values are somewhat at odds with those of society as a whole, it may contribute to long-term stress that could have implications for the brain.'
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