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.
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. Don’t let it go too far – you lose some of what love and marriage can be.
Dr. Braun’s group found that at 21 days, the fatherless animals had less dense dendritic spines compared to animals raised by both parents, though they “caught up” by day 90. However, the length of some types of dendrites was significantly shorter in some parts of the brain, even in adulthood, in fatherless animals.
“It just shows that parents are leaving footprints on the brain of their kids,” says Dr. Braun, 54 years old.
The neuronal differences were observed in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is related to emotional responses and fear, and the orbitofrontal cortex, or OFC, the brain’s decision-making center.
[…]The balance between these two brain parts is critical to normal emotional and cognitive functioning, according to Dr. Braun. If the OFC isn’t active, the amygdala “goes crazy, like a horse without a rider,” she says. In the case of the fatherless pups, there were fewer dendritic spines in the OFC, while the dendrite trees in the amygdala grew more and longer branches.
A preliminary analysis of the degus’ behavior showed that fatherless animals seemed to have a lack of impulse control, Dr. Braun says. And, when they played with siblings, they engaged in more play-fighting or aggressive behavior.
In a separate study in Dr. Braun’s lab conducted by post-doctoral researcher Joerg Bock, degu pups were removed from their caregivers for one hour a day. Just this small amount of stress leads the pups to exhibit more hyperactive behaviors and less focused attention, compared to those who aren’t separated, Dr. Braun says. They also exhibit changes in their brain.
The basic wiring between the brain regions in the degus is the same as in humans, and the nerve cells are identical in their function. “So on that level we can assume that what happens in the animal’s brain when it’s raised in an impoverished environment … should be very similar to what happens in our children’s brain,” Dr. Braun says.
I think this is important because we hear so much today that marriage can be redefined, that having one of each parent doesn’t matter, that live-in boyfriends and stepfathers have the same motivation to care for a woman’s children as the biological father does. We don’t want to make judgments, even if setting boundaries is better for children. A child’s well-being is enormously affected by the woman’s choice of biological father. You can’t have it both ways – either we are going to judge women who choose men who don’t have the desire to commit to marriage, and do the father role, OR we are going to take things away from children by encouraging women to choose men based on “feelings” instead of abilities. Lowering moral standards and removing moral obligations hurts children. It sounds so nice when we tell women, “you can do whatever you feel like, and just forget about responsibilities, expectations and obligations”, but letting women be guided by their feelings harms children. My stock broker makes me feel uncomfortable because he knows more than I do, and does not respect my opinion. But I pay him to make investment decisions for me. I mustn’t let my pride get in the way of letting him do his job – a job he is more qualified than I am to do. Let him do his job.
Here’s a related question: Are biological fathers or unrelated men more dangerous for children?
A March 1996 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics contains some interesting findings that indicate just how widespread the problem may be. In a nationally representative survey of state prisoners jailed for assaults against or murders of children, fully one-half of respondents reported the victim was a friend, acquaintance, or relative other than offspring. (All but 3 percent of those who committed violent crimes against children were men.) A close relationship between victim and victimizer is also suggested by the fact that three-quarters of all the crimes occurred in either the perpetrator’s home or the victim’s.
A 1994 paper published in the Journal of Comparative Family Studies looked at 32,000 documented cases of child abuse. Of the victims, only 28 percent lived with both biological parents (far fewer than the 68 percent of all children who live with both parents); 44 percent lived with their mother only (as do 25 percent of all children); and 18 percent lived with their mother and an unrelated adult (double the 9 percent of all children who live with their mother and an unrelated adult).
These findings mirror a 1993 British study by the Family Education Trust, which meticulously explored the relationship between family structure and child abuse. Using data on documented cases of abuse in Britain between 1982 and 1988, the report found a high correlation between child abuse and the marital status of the parents.
Specifically, the British study found that the incidence of abuse was an astounding 33 times higher in homes where the mother was cohabiting with an unrelated boyfriend than in stable nuclear families. Even when the boyfriend was the children’s biological father, the chances of abuse were twice as high.
These findings are consonant with those published a year earlier by Leslie Margolin of the University of Iowa in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect. Prof. Margolin found that boyfriends were 27 times more likely than natural parents to abuse a child. The next-riskiest group, siblings, were only twice as likely as parents to abuse a child.
More recently, a report by Dr. Michael Stiffman presented at the latest meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in October, studied the 175 Missouri children under the age of 5 who were murdered between 1992 and 1994. It found that the risk of a child’s dying at the hands of an adult living in the child’s own household was eight times higher if the adult was biologically unrelated.
The Heritage Foundation’s Patrick Fagan discovered that the number of child-abuse cases appeared to rise in the 1980s along with the general societal acceptance of cohabitation before, or instead of, marriage. That runs counter to the radical-feminist view, which holds that marriage is an oppressive male institution of which violence is an integral feature. If that were true, then child abuse and domestic violence should have decreased along with the rise in cohabitation.
Heritage also found that in the case of very poor children (those in households earning less than $ 15,000 per year), 75 percent lived in a household where the biological father was absent. And 50 percent of adults with less than a high-school education lived in cohabitation arrangements. “This mix — poverty, lack of education, children, and cohabitation — is an incubator for violence,” Fagan says.
Why, then, do we ignore the problem? Fagan has a theory: “It is extremely politically incorrect to suggest that living together might not be the best living arrangement.”
The moral of the story is that it is a lot safer for children if we promote marriage as a way of attaching mothers and fathers to their children. Fathers who have a biological connection to children are a lot less likely to harm them. We should probably be teaching women to choose men who have a certain tenderness towards people they mentor or nurture, as well. These things are not free, you have to persuade women to value the male tendency to want to lead / guide / mentor. A lot of social problems like child poverty, promiscuity and violence cannot be solved by replacing a father with a check from the government. We need to support fathers by empowering them in their traditional roles. Let the men lead. Swallow your feminist instincts, and prefer men who take seriously their role of leading others upward.
Same sex couples have had the legal right to form domestic partnerships in several European countries. Denmark was the first to introduce registered partnerships, in 1989. Norway was second, in 1993, then Sweden in 1995. Data from 2 of these landmark countries, Norway and Sweden, as well as California, have been studied enough to answer this question:
What types of unions have the highest rates of divorce?
Opposite sex married couples: men and women are so different, it is a wonder they ever stay married.
Male unions: men are naturally less committed, and less monogamous, so their partnerships don’t endure.
Female unions: women get so emotionally distraught over things. A union of two women, without any male counter-balancing their roller-coaster, is very unstable.
Hint: the answer is the same in all three countries!
And here’s the answer:
Female unions seem to have the highest divorce rates, followed by male unions, followed by opposite sex unions.
“For Sweden, the divorce risk for partnerships of men is 50% higher than the risk for heterosexual marriages, and that the divorce risk for female partnerships is nearly double that for men.”
“For Norway, divorce risks are 77% higher in lesbian partnerships than in those of gay men.” (The Norwegian data did not include a comparison with opposite sex couples.)
In California, the data is collected a little differently. The study looks at couples who describe themselves as partners, whether same sex or opposite sex. The study asks the question, how likely is it that these couples live in the same household five years later. Male couples were only 30% as likely, while female couples were less that 25% as likely, as heterosexual married couples, to be residing in the same household for five years.
The only contradictory data I have found to this pattern is from the Netherlands. In the Dutch data, same sex couples have a 3.15 times greater dissolution rate than opposite sex cohabiting couples, and a 3.15 x 3.66 or 11.5 times greater dissolution rate than opposite married couples. But, female couples seem to be more stable than male couples.
And not all married heterosexual couples are equally stable.
Consider this USA Today article from 2011 about that.
It’s been proclaimed from pulpits and blogs for years — Christians divorce as much as everyone else in America.
But some scholars and family activists are questioning the oft-cited statistics, saying Christians who attend church regularly are more likely to remain wed.
“It’s a useful myth,” said Bradley Wright, a University of Connecticut sociologist who recently wrote “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites … and Other Lies You’ve Been Told.”
“Because if a pastor wants to preach about how Christians should take their marriages more seriously, he or she can trot out this statistic to get them to listen to him or her.”
The various findings on religion and divorce hinge on what kind of Christians are being discussed.
Wright combed through the General Social Survey, a vast demographic study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and found that Christians, like adherents of other religions, have a divorce rate of about 42%. The rate among religiously unaffiliated Americans is 50%.
When Wright examined the statistics on evangelicals, he found worship attendance has a big influence on the numbers. Six in 10 evangelicals who never attend had been divorced or separated, compared to just 38% of weekly attendees.
[…]Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, agrees there’s been some confusion.
“You do hear, both in Christian and non-Christian circles, that Christians are no different from anyone else when it comes to divorce and that is not true if you are focusing on Christians who are regular church attendees,” he said.
Wilcox’s analysis of the National Survey of Families and Households has found that Americans who attend religious services several times a month were about 35% less likely to divorce than those with no religious affiliation.
Nominal conservative Protestants, on the other hand, were 20% more likely to divorce than the religiously unaffiliated.
“There’s something about being a nominal ‘Christian’ that is linked to a lot of negative outcomes when it comes to family life,” Wilcox said.
Those who say they are more religious are less likely, not more, to have already experienced divorce. Likewise, those who report more frequent attendance at religious services were signiﬁcantly less likely to have been divorced. This pattern of ﬁndings held using various analytic techniques that test which variables differentiate persons who have been divorced from persons who have not been divorced, while controlling for other variables that might affect the interpretation of the data, such as age, age of ﬁrst marriage, income, and gender. When both the global rating of religiousness and the item assessing ﬁequency of attendance at religious services are entered into the same analysis, the attendance item remains signiﬁcantly associated with divorce history but the global religiousness item does not. This suggests that a key aspect of how religious faith affects marital relationships may be through involvement with a community of faith.
Basically, the more your worldview grounds self-sacrifice over self-centeredness, the more stable it’s going to be.
Sunshine Mary linked to a post from Reddit by a 32-year old “progressive” woman who is surprised that 15 years of sleeping around with 18 different guys is not attractive to marriage-minded men.
My parents are first generation immigrants. I have a younger brother and younger sister. In my family I was always the rebellious one; I would often challenge my parents. My family was very strict, when it came to dating and my siblings usually fell in line. However, I would challenge that norm.
My brother and sister were very repressed with their sexualities as a result, while I lost my virginity at 17 to my then boyfriend. While my brother and followed the traditional Indian path. My brother ended up not having any sexual contact with a girl until he got married at 25 (arranged marriage) and now they have a child together. My sister (too never kissed a boy) has recently gotten married too at 24 with an Indian boy she met at our Temple (both parents approved).
I live in LA, a city where both men and woman tend to marry a bit later in life, and yet I still spent the last years of my 20‘s feeling that somehow, I’d messed up. I had followed the wrong trail and thus, my “important-life-moments” timeline was off. Even with my more progressive friends it began slowly at first, when I was 27 … an engagement post on Facebook, an invite to a wedding—it was happening. People I knew were beginning the next stage of life and saying “I do.”
Throughout my whole life I never really dated any Indian guys; I exclusively dated white guys. However now I realize more than ever that the guys I dated never really took me seriously. They never really viewed me as someone they would eventually marry. I was always just some exotic fun. This part was definitely a realization that has hurt me to the core. I didn’t actually do it to spite Indian men or anything like that. I did what a lot of my white female friends did; I thought I was the same as them, but that could be farther from the truth. Most white guys I ran into wanted white wives.
I am now 32, and seems like everyone in my family has lapped me. I too want a family a marriage. However, now my chance of finding someone is gone. At my age getting an arranged marriage or finding another Indian man to marry me is out of the question. Majority of Indian guys usually get married pretty early. Often either to another Indian girl they meet here, or they go back to India for an arranged marriage. My parents have tried signing me up for a matrimony site, but of the guys I’d meet they would be turned off by my history (drink/eat meat/not a virgin).
[…]Most of my relationships have been long term I have only been with 18 guys and I have been sexually active since I was 17 years old.
She has only had steady sexual relationships with 18 guys in 15 years! That’s not a lot. Is it?
Let’s see what Sunshine Mary says first:
However, the more I think about it, the more it seems to me that articles like hers are a good thing simply because they expose the lie. Feminists have sold young women a bill of goods, that they can live like men, work like men, have sex like men, and then turn back into women when they feel like it. We laugh at a woman like this sometimes and make fun of her and say, “Didn’t she know that she’d end up like this?”
No, she didn’t know that. That’s because when you are 17 years old, you don’t know much, especially in this culture of extended adolescence. And when you have been told from a very young age that, as a girl, it is your destiny to Have It All exactly When You Want It, I’m sure it is very baffling to find yourself in your thirties with no husband and none in sight, with the dawning realization that your job and lonely apartment are not nearly as fulfilling as being a wife and mother would have been.
[…]Personally, I feel no joy in this woman’s pain. I don’t think a White Knight should ride in to save her because I think she should suffer the natural consequences of her decisions so that other young women may see and learn from her errors, but I take no pleasure in the fact that she will have this lot in life. However, what most of us don’t seem to understand is that young women make the terrible choices that they are making because they are told from an early age that these are actually good choices. Some girls are able to resist that message, which saturates every aspect of the media and schools, but most girls aren’t, and they don’t develop the necessary wisdom until it is too late.
Emphasis hers. And now my turn.
Let me tell you what I think awaits a man who marries a woman like that, who spent her 20s hooking up with hot guys who had no interest in marriage and no demonstrated ability to protect, provide and lead on moral/spiritual issues. She will have convinced herself that she is more attractive than she really is because in her mind she deserves a man as attractive as these men. What other criteria is there for a man? It’s all appearances. I therefore do not recommend that any man marry this woman as she is now. What men need in marriage is respect, affection, affirmation and approval. A woman with a background like this will not have the trust and vulnerability that a marriage-minded man wants. The only way to fix this shattered trust is a long period of chastity. She must choose to form relationships with good protector / provider / moral leader / spiritual leader men and to support those men. That is the only way to fix the damage of promiscuity, if it even can be fixed.
A man can sense how trusting and vulnerable a woman is by how much she trusts and encourages him in his plans. If a woman is constantly putting him down, calling him names, and making excuses for why she doesn’t have to care about his needs and feelings, then that’s just her past promiscuity showing itself. Virgins with good relationships with their fathers don’t put men down like that – they choose good men who are doing good things and they build them up. My recommendation for women who realize that they are making bad choices with men and being negative about the men they choose is to look in the mirror and acknowledge that they are the problem. The solution, then, is to find a good man and work hard at being submissive and supportive, but chastely. Stop choosing men with motorcycles. Stop choosing atheists. Stop choosing drunkards. Stop choosing men who are pro-abortion and pro-gay-marriage. Stop choosing men who want bigger government. Just stop it.
That’s the advice I would give this woman. Choose men who can do the work that men do in a marriage. Find out what a man’s plan is. Build the skills he needs for his plan. Marry him.
Dina tweeted this article from the UK Daily Mail. I don’t really have much sympathy for student, since my rule is NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE, and I’m twice his age and still a virgin. Still, the article had some interesting things in it.
A teenager at one of the country’s most prestigious private schools has outed himself as a virgin and is encouraging his classmates to employ the same restraint to avoid getting their hearts broken.
Phin Lyman, 18, a sixth former at Wellington College, Berkshire, wrote an article in his school magazine warning peers that ‘casual sex never works in the long term’.
Mr Lyman – a pupil at the £30,000-per year school which counts author Sebastian Faulks and broadcaster Peter Snow among its alumni – described sex as ‘the glue’ which connects two people ‘physically and emotionally’.
And now the interesting parts:
The pupil’s comment comes just days after it emerged nearly one in ten students at British universities admit they first had sex at the age of 14 or younger.
The shocking survey of more than 6,000 students at 100 universities, carried out by Student Beans, found nine per cent of students admitted they lost their virginity before they reached their 15th birthday, with two per cent saying they had sex before they turned 14.
By the time they reached 16 – the legal age of consent – that figure had risen to almost one in four.
The survey also found that more than half have had unprotected sex while 61 per cent used camera phones to send explicit pictures or videos of themselves to partners, known as ‘sexting’.
After starting university, more than half admitted to having one-night stands and six per cent said they had already had more than 20 partners. Just eight per cent said they were still virgins.
Norman Wells from the Family Education Trust, which promotes traditional moral values, said: ‘The survey underlines the failure of contraceptive-based sex education to prepare young people for lifelong marriages.
‘Contrary to the claims of those who assert that marriage is an outdated institution, the overwhelming majority of students expect to get married, with only six per cent saying they do not wish to marry.
‘Yet the casual attitudes towards sex suggested by high levels of one night stands and multiple sexual partners indicate that students are ignorant of the character qualities they will need.’
Meanwhile, the latest figures from the NHS published in 2011 show 27 per cent of men aged between 15 and 24 had not had sex, compared with 22 per cent in 2001.
Those who admitted drinking alcohol in the previous week had also dropped by a quarter in that same ten-year period.
Of those aged 11 to 15, one in eight said they had drunk the week before, according to the 2011 NHS figures.
In my case, I am concerned about sex simply because I more interested in love, romance and a lifelong commitment. I believe that one of the best (and most risky) ways for me to make an impact for God would be to have a marriage that can be used as a base of operations from impacting the public square. A married couple united in purpose is able to work together to impact the church and the university, and raise influential and effective children. But to do that the bond has to be tight. I believe that refraining from premarital sex is my way of giving my future wife the gift of security in the marriage. Whatever happens, she will always know that I am not the kind of person who thinks that sexual activity is an appropriate form of communication between people who do not know each other, are not committed to each other, are not committed to their children and do not share a common purpose of serving God over the long-term.
I have no regrets about not being married yet, because you can train hard, save a lot of money and do a lot of good as a single person. But my chastity expresses the hope that one day the right girl will come along to know me and my plan, and want to participate in it in a self-sacrificial, submissive way. Until then, I’ll keep serving God in a disciplined, focused way and keep waiting for her to commit to me.