Premarital sex attitudes among Catholic females


#1

Hi CAF community!

I’m a writing student over at Nova Southeastern University and am currently researching the Catholic faith as part of a project for school, particularly the subject of premarital sex. While I know Catholics believe premarital sex to be morally wrong, I also acknowledge the fact that there has been sexual revolution among women, as was initiated in the 60s. That being said, I’m curious as to what are the individual attitudes among Catholic females of different ages. Is premarital sex absolutely wrong, or are there certain circumstances that allow it? Is it best to save one’s virginity until marriage? Does premarital sex cause lovers in a committed relationship to become more intimate? Things of that sort.

I would love to hear from all of you. I welcome all responses and truly look forward to your insight!

P.S. While names remain anonymous in this forum, I would appreciate it if ages were revealed to get a better understanding.

Thank you so much, and God bless! :slight_smile:


#2

Hi KSmeriglio, and thanks for dropping in. I hope you’ll stick around if you have more questions! I’m not a female, but I wonder if you could be more specific in what you’re looking for. For example, the first two of three questions you asked to Catholic women would necessitate a response in line with the Catholic Church. Answering opposite would indicate a serious schism between the individual and the faith they claim to have.

Catholic Catechism 2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."143

Edit: so what I meant by more specific is, are you asking them what they believe is morally right, or what they prefer to be right though they understand that it is not?


#3

I am a Catholic female in early 20s and I think premartial sex is wrong, full stop.

There is increasing evidence saving virginity until marriage has all kinds of benefits

Couples who wait report better sex lives

Study: Definite Link between Premarital Sex, Cohabitation, and Divorce

When a man is married as a virgin, his divorce rate is 63 percent lower than a non-virgin. For women, it’s 76 percent lower. Edward O. Laumann, et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 503.

chastity.com/seminars/statistics/statistics


#4

Hi SighGuy,

Thanks for the reply, I definitely plan on sticking around. As for your question, my goal is to know about the different personal attitudes Catholic females have about premarital sex, if there are any. So, even though the Catholic doctrine clearly states that it is morally wrong, I want to know if there are women out there with more liberal views and am comparing those views to their ages. Like you said, “Answering opposite would indicate a serious schism between the individual and the faith they claim to have.” The goal is to see what these different females of different ages claim to be morally right in their eyes, even though they identify themselves as being of the Catholic faith.

Hope this answers your question, and thanks for the help!


#5

I'm 24 and I believe premarital sex to be sinful. I did have premarital sex, but if I could go back and change that, I would.


#6

I am a single 55 year old female. I am also a virgin. Catholic Doctrine is clear that sex prior to marriage is wrong. One is expected to remain chaste until marriage, which is then the only time sexual activity should occur. It is never considered appropriate or OK to have sex prior to marriage or outside of marriage.

I was not raised a Catholic and am a convert. Despite this I was raised with the moral construct that marriage was the only place in which sexual activity was appropriate and I have always practiced that belief. My faith has only served to confirm that attitude and practice. If this was practiced more often there would be a lot less “unwanted or unexpected pregnancies”; especially among teens. It is a shame more women don’t practice this, as well as men.


#7

I think the issue is that many so called Catholics do not know that Jesus himself said that fornacation is a grave sin. I think there are a number of folks who think the rules were created by the priests and not Jesus.

The “liberal” female Catholics I know might know the teachings of the Church, but they often do not know the Bible well enough.


#8

I would suspect the data you gather here will be questionable, because the vast majority here are living their faith entirely, and not just the parts they chose to.


#9

Hi there,

I’m 51, divorced twice. One ex died and the other I married outside the church so technically I can remarry if I decided to do so. The Church teachings are clear but I struggle with them. Some days I feel it’s wrong, other days I don’t. I try to follow the Church but I don’t believe things because I’m told, I pray and wrestle them out. I hear what the Church says but I struggle with it.

I have seen good and bad examples of both chastity and sex outside of marriage. Overall commitment is the ideal but whether or not that must mean marriage …the Church says yes and I don’t always agree.


#10

Thanks for that, and good luck on your research/paper.


#11

This.

If you stick around these forums…you’ll find that most people who post are Catholics who believe the Church teachings are 100% true…full stop. There is very little wiggle room for most of us who post here.

As for me. I’m 30 and married. I absolutely believe that the Church is right when it comes to premarital sex.
Premarital sex is a grave sin.

I did engage in premarital sex. This was before I began studying what the Church teaches and why and before my conversion.

It makes complete sense why the Church teaches this. I know this because I saw the effects and the damage premarital sex caused while in a relationship.

The institution of marriage is cheapened and set aside when people engage in the marital act and co-habitation before marriage. That is a fact.


#12

What does “a sexual revolution among women” mean to you?

What did women revolt against?

Who are these women in the sexual revolution?


#13

[quote="Kelfa28, post:11, topic:344794"]
If you stick around these forums...you'll find that most people who post are Catholics who believe the Church teachings are 100% true...full stop. There is very little wiggle room for most of us who post here.

[/quote]

Yeah, we're definitely not a representative sample. There are many Catholics who disagree with Church teaching, but they don't tend to hang out on forums about Catholicism.

As for me: Seventeen years old, female, Catholic since 2011. I believe that all sex outside of marriage is sinful. I guess I should mention that this only applies to consensual sexual activity, as sin is a choice. I mean, I know you all know that, but rape or forcing someone is the only circumstance I know of in which sexual activity outside of marriage is not even a venial sin. Obviously, the victim wouldn't be at fault in that case.


#14

[quote="Kelfa28, post:11, topic:344794"]
This.

If you stick around these forums...you'll find that most people who post are Catholics who believe the Church teachings are 100% true...full stop. There is very little wiggle room for most of us who post here.

As for me. I'm 30 and married. I absolutely believe that the Church is right when it comes to premarital sex.
Premarital sex is a grave sin.

I did engage in premarital sex. This was before I began studying what the Church teaches and why and before my conversion.

It makes complete sense why the Church teaches this. I know this because I saw the effects and the damage premarital sex caused while in a relationship.

The institution of marriage is cheapened and set aside when people engage in the marital act and co-habitation before marriage. That is a fact.

[/quote]

Ditto

I'm also 30 and married. I also had pre-marital sex which is grave sin, with much regret, and before I understood the Church's teaching which are nothing short of brilliant.


#15

This reflects me too. I’m 36, and had 5 pre-marital partners (plus many others where I got to “third base”). This was all during the time I was away from the Church. I know understand the reasons behind the teachings and they truly are divine and genius.


#16

[quote="Kamaduck, post:13, topic:344794"]
Yeah, we're definitely not a representative sample. There are many Catholics who disagree with Church teaching, but they don't tend to hang out on forums about Catholicism.

As for me: Seventeen years old, female, Catholic since 2011. I believe that all sex outside of marriage is sinful. I guess I should mention that this only applies to consensual sexual activity, as sin is a choice. I mean, I know you all know that, but rape or forcing someone is the only circumstance I know of in which sexual activity outside of marriage is not even a venial sin. Obviously, the victim wouldn't be at fault in that case.

[/quote]

Not only that, but a woman who is raped is still viewed as a virgin by the Church. More evidence of the beauty of the Church :).

As for me, I had sex with both sexes before I was Confirmed in the Church, but, like Kendra, if I could go back and change that I would. I believe premarital sex (and homosexual physical conduct of any kind since I mentioned it) is sinful and I am 100% loyal to the Magisterium now :thumbsup:.


#17

Amen to that!! And so…I was a virgin when I married, at the age of 30.

And yes, I believe that all premarital sex is wrong, period.


#18

I am catholic female too, 40, and I have always believed that premarital sex is wrong and sinful and I have always lived by that.

I also agree that we may not be a Representative sample of the common catholic woman as I know many that have bought into the sexualization of the culture. We should probably say that we are a representative sample of faithful catholics.:smiley:


#19

[quote="KSmeriglio, post:4, topic:344794"]
Hi SighGuy,

Thanks for the reply, I definitely plan on sticking around. As for your question, my goal is to know about the different personal attitudes Catholic females have about premarital sex, if there are any. So, even though the Catholic doctrine clearly states that it is morally wrong, I want to know if there are women out there with more liberal views and am comparing those views to their ages. Like you said, "Answering opposite would indicate a serious schism between the individual and the faith they claim to have." The goal is to see what these different females of different ages claim to be morally right in their eyes, even though they identify themselves as being of the Catholic faith.

Hope this answers your question, and thanks for the help!

[/quote]

Well, wait a minute. "more liberal views? "claim to be morally right?' 'comparing ages?

Let's take scenario a:

You're doing a poll in November 2013.

You poll 1000 Catholic women.

To make it easy, 200 are ages 18-30 A, 200 are 31-40 B, 200 41-50 C, 200 51-60 D, and 200 61 and over E.

Group A has 60% of women who have engaged in premarital sex. At this current time, 20% of that 60% feel it is right because they 'love' the person. 40% of that 60% don't feel it is necessarily right, but feel that either it will all be 'justified' when they marry, or that God will understand if they are 'truly sorry'. And 20% of that 60% know it is wrong, and deeply regret it.

That's in November 2013.

Fast forward to November 2018. First, you've changed the group's makeup because nearly half of them (the 25-30 year olds) will have aged into group B. And then you'll have a new influx of 18-23 year olds to replace them. So the numbers as above will probably stay about the same or maybe even increase on the 'feel it is right' (as society has itself changed and now considers this normal and good). But the actual INDIVIDUALS you originally polled may have changed drastically.

Perhaps 50% or even 100% of those who had originally in that group identified themselves as 'justified' in premarital sex now deeply regret it. But you won't know, because that's not what you're tracking.

And above all, what is the point of seeing how many Catholic women, of whatever age, are either actively denying their faith on a given subject, or trying to 'justify it? Even if every Catholic woman in the world was going around rejecting their faith on this topic, that wouldn't change the truth --that fornication is gravely sinful --and it wouldn't make them 'less Catholic' or 'unCatholic'. It would make them Catholics who were being disobedient to a particular teaching. And since we already know that ALL people (Catholics included) ALL wind up sinning at some point or another in their lives --what is the point of 'polling' Catholic women on this particular sin???????

P.S. I'm a woman.


#20

I was a virgin when I married at 26 and if I had not married I am sure that I would still be a virgin now (I'm 35).

Sex outside, or before marriage is a sin that I am grateful that I was not so tempted to have committed.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.