Virginity during teen years associated with decreases in likelihood of divorce later in life

Study shows that those who remain virgins until age 18 are significantly less likely to experience divorce if/when they marry.

While the effects of adolescent and premarital sex on marital quality and the risk of subsequent divorce have been studied, less has been studied and written about the impact of premarital sex on long-term economic well-being and health status. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent & Family Health, researchers sought to find out if the economic and health effects of premarital sex extend into middle adulthood and if so, they wanted to see if the effects are different for men than for women. Researchers enrolled 12,686 men and women born from 1957 through 1964. About two-thirds of the participants had been interviewed annually or biennially from 1979 through 2000. Male and female interviewees were selected who remained in the study through 2000 and had sufficient information to classify them by marital and virginity status as of age 18. Overall, the researchers found that the consequences of teen sexual activity fell more heavily on women than men. Of the women who were virgins at age 18, 13.2% experienced an emotional illness in middle adulthood, however of the women who were not virgins at age 18, 23.3% experienced an emotional illness later in life. This study strongly reinforces previous findings that show the association of early sexual activity with subsequent divorce. Men who were virgins at age 18 were less likely to experience divorce and women not virgins at the age of 18 were almost twice as likely to experience a divorce if they married.1

1Association of Virginity at Age 18 with Educational, Economic, Social and Health Outcomes in Middle Adulthood, Adolescent & Family Health, Vol. 3, No. 4, 2005, pp. 1-9.

Catholic News Agency

I’ll just file this under “common sense”…


I don’t mean to sound snarky :stuck_out_tongue: Thank you for the report.

Interesting, though not particularly surprising.

I wonder what the results would be from a pool of those aged 19-25. A lot of young men and women have their first sexual encounters during their college years.

Although, we do not know from this study whether they were married as teens or not, realistically, we must accept that more and more teens are loosing their virginity before marriage. As such, these teens have very little esteem for remaining virgins until married.

Whether they have emotional problems later in life because they remained virgins until age 18 or not seems a very obscure study because it does not take into consideration the religious, social, or economic effects on them as well.

From another study done recently, 51% of marriages fail in today’s society whether the couple are Christian or not. This fact tells me that people have emotional problems in their relationships later in life whether they were virgins or not.

^ 51% takes into account all marriages. First marriages have lower divorce rates compared to second marriages, second marriages have lower divorce rates compared to third marriages, and so on.

A lot of marriages break up because the people never should have been married in the first place. They jumped into bed before marriage, before they even really got to know each other, and this formed an emotional bond. They stayed together because of this bond rather than because they were right for each other and their spouse would help lead them and their family to heaven. The same thing can happen with people who marry too quickly. They’ve only known each other for a few months and yet they decide to get married.

People who have sex before marriage have higher divorce rates compared to those who wait. People who live together before marriage have higher divorce rates compared to those who do not (although the people who move in together after an engagement experience similarly low divorce rates because there was a commitment before moving it; it wasn’t a “test drive” or out of convenience).

And of course, practicing Catholics who follow Church teaching and only use NFP have a divorce rate of just 2%. :stuck_out_tongue:

This seems like common sense but many people want to do their will and not God’s will, and so they do not listen and/or do not care.

And a study by the Heritage Foundation noted that couples who remained virgins until marriage had about a 25% divorce rate, I believe. One partner before marriage (that being the person you married) was about 35%, maybe? Then, those with 4+ were in the 50-60% range for divorce rates. Facts are fuzzy because it was about 18 months ago when I went to the lecture series, but ultimately, a very clear correlation exists between the number of sexual partners prior to marriage and divorce rates.

Well, to be fair stephe1987, the sexual libertines have only had about 3 generations and 55 years to “fix” Church teachings and enlighten us with their utopian views on how to solve the problems of divorce, teenage pregnancies, STDs, and the like.

I’m sure if we’re patient, support them in handing out more free condoms, and just give them another couple of decades to school our children as to what constitutes proper male and female interactions, they’ll finally get most of society’s ills worked out once and for all.:wink:

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