New study finds that teens who lose their virginity are more likely to divorce

The UK Daily Mail reports on a new study that shows that women who lose their virginity as teenagers are more likely to divorce. (H/T Dina, Mysterious C)

Excerpt:

Women who lost their virginity as young teenagers are more likely to divorce – especially if it was unwanted, according to new research.

The University of Iowa study shows that 31 per cent of women who had sex for the first time as teens divorced within five years, and 47 per cent within 10 years.

Among women who delayed sex until adulthood, 15 per cent divorced at five years, compared to 27 per cent at 10 years.

The findings were published in the April issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Author Anthony Paik, associate professor of sociology in the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, examined the responses of 3,793 married and divorced women to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth.

The study showed, however, that if a young woman made the choice to lose her virginity as a teenager, there was no direct link to a marital split later in life.

If the sexual act took place before the age of 16 women were shown more likely to divorce, even if it was wanted.

Thirty-one percent of women who lost their virginity during adolescence had premarital sex with multiple partners, compared to 24 per cent of those who waited.

Twenty-nine percent experienced premarital conceptions, versus 15 percent who waited.

One in four women who had sex as a teen had a baby before they were married, compared to only one in ten who waited until adulthood.

Only one per cent of women surveyed said they chose to have sex at age 13 or younger, compared to five per cent at age 14 or 15, and 10 per cent at age 16 or 17.

Forty two per cent reported that their first sexual intercourse before age 18 that was not completely wanted.

Fifty eight per cent of the group waited until age 18 or older to have sex. Of those, 22 per cent said it was unwanted, compared to 21 per cent who said it was wanted.

Researchers concluded sex itself may not increase the probability of divorce, while factors such as a higher number of sexual partners, pregnancy, or out-of-wedlock birth increased the risk for some.

This dovetails nicely with the previous studies that Mysterious C sent me that showed that, for men and women, the more sexual partners you have before marriage, the more unstable your marriage will be. See the related posts for more. If you’re still a virgin, like me, (and I’m in my mid-thirties now, and I’m saving my first kiss for my engagement), then there is nothing wrong with you. If you want a stable marriage, then you don’t have sex before you’re married. There are tons of virgins out there, and there is a huge difference in the quality of romantic relationships when both parties exercise self-control with physical touching.

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2 thoughts on “New study finds that teens who lose their virginity are more likely to divorce”

  1. Well, this does make me realise that my maternal/momma bear instincts to protect teenage girls and to encourage them to wait are dead on.

    I’ve heard many times that the younger a girl is when she starts having sex, the more likely it is to be not entirely voluntary, and the more likely it is that her boyfriend is older (and much older, creepy older, like our age older). Obviously, the repercussions from that alone reverberate throughout her life.

    The article makes a good point about “correlation does not equal causation”, but I’ve never understood how that somehow negates the arguments we make when it comes to morality. If early intercourse is caused by abuse, which then independently correlates to a higher divorce rate, then wouldn’t we still encourage girls to wait? No, it wouldn’t be protect them, but we generally see it as a bad thing to ape the behaviours of those who are mentally ill, struggling, or have suffered from abuse.

    Like

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