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.
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