Few people want to admit it. Others make fun of it. The current U.S. administration has cut funding for education about it.
But once again, it’s reared its ugly head as being a viable possibility. Abstinence. And especially abstinence until marriage.
A study in the December 2010 Journal of Family Psychology has just been released, revealing information about sexual practices that lead to stable and happy marriages.
Abstinence until marriage came out the winner after an online survey with 2,035 married couples in the United States.
While the study is being given plenty of credence by conservative press venues, many other blogsites and websites are blasting the fact that the main survey came out of Brigham Young University, which holds to the Latter Day Saints’ tenet of abstinence until marriage.
But apparently the American Psychological Association found the outcome credible enough to put in their magazine.
A brief intro to the article states that sexual restraint resulted in better relationship results, even over the presence of other controlling factors like education, religion, and the length of time a couple had been together.
Among other facts, the online survey indicated the following results from couples who waited until marriage:
-22 percent had more stable relationships.
-20 percent were more satisfied with their overall relationship.
-15 percent more couples indicated being sexually satisfied within their marriage than those with previous sexual experience.
-12 percent indicated better communication with their spouse.
Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing Magazine, an objective outlet, published an article supporting the study. Writer Shawn Alff shared his findings from a number of other studies with similar results (paraphrased): People who have early sex often confuse lust with real emotions that only come through a relationship, and that once the physical aspect loses its luster, the connection falls apart.
My previous research for an Associated Content article indicates that a wide range of publications have quoted psychologists and experts agreeing on the topic:
-Early casual sex, and “hooking up” to “friends with benefits” leads to an inability to form healthy long-lasting intimate marriages and other relationships.
-It can lead to broken hearts, confusion, depression and loss of self-worth.
-Every time a person has sex, their body releases a powerful hormone, oxytocin, capable of emotionally binding him/her to each partner in a similar way as to a mother breast-feeding a baby.
Premarital sex is over-romanticized on TV, in movies, magazines and music videos. With the American divorce rate standing at 40-60 percent in various surveys, even among religious couples, we may want to finally re-think how much money we spend on items that fuel this industry. At least for the sake of our young people.
“Compatibility or restraint? The effects of sexual timing on marriage relationships,” Dean M.Busby; Jason S. Carroll; Brian J. Willoughby, American Psychological Association, Journal of Family Psychology, Dec., 2010, Volume 24, p. 766-774.
“Why studies keep finding that abstinence before marriage benefits your relationship,” Shawn Alff, Creative Loafing Magazine, Tampa, FL., 1/3/11.
“Teens, Pre-Teens and the Hooking Up Culture,” Sheryl Young, Associated Content (now Yahoo Contributor Network), 7/21/08.
Divorce Rate estimates: