Popular ideas are not always good ideas. Rubbing mercury on men's hats to add sheen, blowing in asbestos for insulation and smoking cigarettes were all popular at one time. Unfortunately, handling mercury causes insanity, and both asbestos exposure and smoking cigarettes cause lung cancer.Share
Sex before marriage, even among those who are not engaged, is clearly popular: Recent surveys have found that nearly 88 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 29) are sexually active before marriage. But is it a good idea? A growing body of research finds that premarital sex undermines the chances for a successful marriage. This is significant, since roughly the same percentage of men and women list a healthy marriage as a life goal. Studies at Cornell University of 600 married couples, at Brigham Young University of 2,035 married couples and researchers at Macquarie University in Australia have all come to the same basic conclusions:
•Sex before marriage can adversely impact the romance and sex lives of couples after they marry.
•The earlier couples began having sex in their relationship, the more it's likely to limit their future growth as a couple. This is especially true if sexual relations begin in the first several months of the relationship. The longer couples, wait the better. Waiting until the wedding night appears to result in the strongest marriages.
•The more sexual partners a person has before marriage, the lower the chances for enjoying romantic feelings after marriage.
The group included in the BYU study was about average regarding premarital sex: 84 percent had sex before marriage; a majority had sex within two months of when they started dating; 16 percent delayed intercourse until marriage.
Dean Busby, who led the study, reported couples who waited to have sex until marriage described the quality of their marital sex life higher (15 percent), the stability of their marriage stronger (22 percent higher) and their overall relationship satisfaction higher (20 percent) than those who did not wait.
The Cornell study explains why: “A strong sexual desire may thwart the development of other key ingredients of a healthy relationship, such as commitment, mutual understanding or shared values.” Moreover, “good sex is sometimes confused with love; some couples overlook problematic aspects of their relationship that ultimately matter more in the long run.” (Read more.)