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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Waiting for Marriage

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Author Topic: Waiting for Marriage
Member # 109592

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I'm Stephanie and I am an 18 year old college student in Nor Cal. I recently dated a guy who told me that he was waiting till marriage to have sex. He was Christian and I didn't necessarily believe in the same thing as he did. We ended up breaking it off partly because of that and partly for other reasons, but I am still curious as to the benefits of waiting till marriage to have sex. I have looked all over the internet for studies that depict whether or not waiting for marriage really does give way to a healthier sex life when married, but all the ones that I have found are typically done by Christian universities (you see my dilemma). I have found it very hard to find any un-bias information on this topic. My Question is: is there any information out there that suggests that people who wait have healthier sex lives or is it another type of "it depends who you are" kind of deal? I appreciate your time and response. - Steph

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The thing is that this is so, so very rare - people not engaging in partnered sexual activity, or even just intercourse alone, until they are married - both now, but also historically. The only places it is less rare are places where child or early adolescent marriage is common, and even then, one of the spouses in those situations is usually considerably older, usually sexually experienced, and the younger person was not intentionally waiting so much as they were so young when they got married, they did not yet have the opportunity to seek out or even yet want sexual partners before marriage ( and often do not want marriage or sex in that marriage either, mind, but are not given a real choice).

The closest broad data we have to what you were looking for is data that shows us that delaying sexual debut - a term to describe when people become sexual with partners - to the later teens, rather than earlier teens, does result in better outcomes per both physical and emotional health.

We also know from study that when people have the ability to choose only sexual interactions that feel right for them, whatever that means, people tend to be happier and healthier.

But on the whole, with the study we have on things like lifelong sexual health and satisfaction, people being married or not does not seem to play a big role, or often much of a role at all.

[ 03-02-2014, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Member # 109592

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Thank you I appreciate your response!
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