• invalid-0

    The vast majority of Americans have sex before marriage, including those who abstained from sex during their teenage years. Contrary to the public perception that premarital sex is much more common now than in the past, the study shows that even among women who were born in the 1940s, nearly nine in 10 had sex before marriage.


  • jodi-jacobson

    for sharing this important fact as well.

    You are right.  We do have a public debate that assumes that sex before marriage is a "new" phenomenon, another "belief" not borne out by evidence.

    This is a critical point, and one I did not make in this short post, but again underscores the broader point: There is no substance to Waldman’s "belief" that access to contraception leads to more pre-marital sex (or sex of any kind, per se).  It just allows people to enjoy sexual relationships responsibly and safely.

    This is a different question than whether and how we equip people to ensure they do not engage in sexual activity unless it is fully consensual, and practiced responsibly.

    Best wishes, Jodi




  • sayna

    There’s a huge problem with this quote that needs to be straightened out:

    Most young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but do not marry until their middle or late 20s. This means that young adults are at risk of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for nearly a decade.

    Marriage is not some magical pregnancy-preventing STI-proof thing! That ring isn’t magic. It’s dishonest and irresponsible to suggest so. You have the exact same chance of getting pregnant with your spouse as you do with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Marriage doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have the ability or desire to have a child. As for STIs, it’s still possible that a spouse may cheat or be born with one. Why would you have an inherently higher risk or STIs when you’re unmarried? I hate how people assume that all premarital sex is irresponsible or promiscuous.

    I think the reason for the huge distance between first-time sex and marriage in the United States (even slightly higher than countries with little/no access to contraception)is partly financial, too. Most people I know can’t afford to move out until they’re in their late twenties. My college-educated thirtysomething-year-old siblings are still having some trouble with housing. Marriage means living together, and a lot of people just can’t afford to do that when they’re young or don’t want to because staying home is cheaper and helps save money for college. Still, people typically want to know if they can live together and have a healthy relationship before they marry. Sex is an important part of a relationship that needs a lot of maintenence and experience to work. You can’t just go from thinking it’s an evil temptation to it being a beautiful act of love immediatly. And even if people do have a lot of sexual partners it doesn’t make them bad or stupid as long as they use protection and are respectful toward their partners.

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