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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Study shows that people have sex before marriage

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Author Topic: Study shows that people have sex before marriage
DarkChild717
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I was browsing CNN this morning, and came across this piece this article, regarding the rate of premarital sex:

"95% of Americans have had premarital sex."

Some choice quotes:
quote:
The study, examining how sexual behavior before marriage has changed over time, was based on interviews conducted with more than 38,000 people -- about 33,000 of them women -- in 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002 for the federal National Survey of Family Growth. According to Finer's analysis, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage.
quote:
"The data clearly show that the majority of older teens and adults have already had sex before marriage, which calls into question the federal government's funding of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for 12- to 29-year-olds," Finer said....."It would be more effective," Finer said, "to provide young people with the skills and information they need to be safe once they become sexually active -- which nearly everyone eventually will."
A representative and defender of the abstinence only education programs defended their validity, saying that this number of people is "plausible" but feels it's too narrow of a group to truly determine the overall results. He also denies that the government program tries to target adults, as well.

What is your thought on this "new" development"? I thought the fact that the study went so far back as to check the 1940s was particularly interesting.

[ 12-21-2006, 10:50 PM: Message edited by: DarkChild717 ]

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Djuna
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education
(n) : the process or art of imparting knowledge, skill and judgment; Facts, skills and ideas that have been learnt, either formally or informally.

The abstinence-only regime doesn't really seem to fit this, to be honest.
As for 'less risk of contracting sexually transmitted disease', they're out of their tree.
A program which teaches people to avoid STIs while sexually active is going to mean far less risk than one which simply counts on people not having sex at all. 'Cause it ain't gonna happen.

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Heather
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To my understanding, the new Congress has allowed for a six month extension of the abstinence programs as they are, and at that point, it's all going to be re-evaluated.

So, not wanting to get too optimistic (this country has just burned this girl too much for that), but I do suspect that a year from now or so, we'll finally start to see *some* changes.

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Faith54
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I hope so. The misinformation circulating around scares me to death. It makes me cry a little inside when people who have been sexually active since 8th grade think weed and "wiping up" afterwards is birth control. The whole abstinence only program is the definition of irresponsibility. Sex is such a potentially dangerous thing that the pros of arming students with knowledge outweigh the "it's wrong!" morality.

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summergoddess
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It's not too surprising to me. I believe there is a rebellious gene in all of us. Of course, it's not always found through the sexual route. I am one of those people that chose to have sex before I got married and it was by choice. I didn't want to abstain for many reasons, and I don't regret having been sexually active prior to marriage. Regardless of how people have been taught whether it was through school, parents, peers, religion, nad etc, people are going to make their own choices. We should not be forced to do something we don't want to do. To have sex is a personal choice, and if we want to experience it before getting married, so be it. Not everybody gets married or has kids and you also have to consider people who are within the GLBT community.

I would love to see changes within this new administration!

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PenguinBoy
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I don't see how you actually can teach abstinence. What is there to be learnt? Other than "These adults want you not to do it".

And who is there that actually truly respect what a teacher says, when they're in the teacher's presence and disagree with them, let alone in private.

I think it's obvious that nothing can be achieved from abstinence talks. The only way it would work is completely theoretical.

If every single person suppressed themselves and put all their faith in one marriage which will occur when they are 30. There "MAY" be a reduction in STD transmission. But then what if their new spouse is in fact an abusive idiot? Maybe the thing they've build themselves up for their entire lives becomes nothing but a stretch of misery, and their lack of relationship experience leaves them completely at a loss in how to react to their situation.

Sounds great.

It's glaringly obvious to me. And I think it's probably obvious to most of the people pushing this stuff. Who just want to impress the people who elect and vote for them with how "tough" they are on social issues, and how they are strict and respectable and will be radical to get the job done.

[ 01-08-2007, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: PenguinBoy ]

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mycorneroftheworld
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Im not against premartial sex but I think its sad how much people, young in general, have sex these days. Its like it means nothing anymore.

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DarkChild717
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What do you mean by that? It's an interesting idea. Can you elaborate further?

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Heather
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quote:
Im not against premartial sex but I think its sad how much people, young in general, have sex these days. Its like it means nothing anymore.
Trouble is, unless I'm misunderstanding your meaning, that sort of attitude basically runs off the (flawed) idea that a) we somehow get "used up" with sex, and/or b) that if a person does something a lot, it somehow loses value. If it did, it'd be pretty unlikely that person would want to keep on doing that thing, eh?

Great chefs, for instance, look at, smell, cook and eat food all day long: yet food is massively important to their lives, and continues to be so, or else they wouldn't choose to be chefs. Social activists sometimes spend a dedicated lifetime on one issue, and that issue stays relevant for them, or else they'd have given up already. Teachers sometimes teach the same curricula for twenty years: doesn't mean they're automatically any less passionate about the subject matter they choose to teach. We don't say that people who read a lot make books meaningless, do we? And people who really enjoy sex tend to like to have it, to make it something important in their lives that they spend time doing when they can and want to: doesn't mean it becomes meaningless simply because plenty of it is done.

(I'm also not sure what the difference would be between a lot of sex had within marriage and a lot of sex had in other kinds of relationships. In addition, I don't believe we have any data that supports the idea that people are having sex more often these days than in the past -- in fact, I believe people are actually having sex less often over the last thity years than previous to that -- nor any data to support that sexual activity is actually beginning any earlier than it has for most of history. A lot of people think the latter is so, because the media and such likes to make a row with the idea of a "teen sex epidemic," but sex patterns with teens haven't changed much over the last fifty years -- since sexual activity has only just started to be something women actually had real say in per choice in the matter over the last fifty years, it's likely not sound to address earlier times in this context.)

P.S. to Darkchild: the reason the data on this study likely only went back to 1940 is because we really don't have broad data on things like this before then: sexuality studies just weren't even done, for the most part -- and for a few decades just before then, based on Comstock laws, would have been patently illegal in the US, if memory serves. To boot, the social stigma and social punishment for women of having had premarital sex in earlier times was SO high, that even though still now, self-reporting is always iffy w/sexuality studies, studies done then would have been pretty notoriously unreliable.

[ 02-02-2007, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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King Joey
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I can see why scriptures such as the torah (old testiment) preach against pre-marital sex, and sex before a committeed relationship can have dire consequences, however, if two people love each other enough, marriage is just something on paper to confirm that love.

I distinguish between having sex and making love. The difference is that you can have sex with anyone, it is just the act of having sex. Where as making love is the emotional conection that cannot be experienced through casual sex.

However this is only my opinion and i deffinatly do not set out to put down anyone elses.

after all we are only human, why pretend we are something else.

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bluefreak44
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My husband and I would be in that oddball 5%.

Anyway, I agree that abstinence-only programs aren't usually affective in classrooms. My decision to abstain had more to do with my faith, family, and church than with what someone at school told me. I doubt the school's stance would have had much effect on my decisions.

I don't remember every having sex ed of any kind anyway, besides the generic presentation of how babies are made. In junior high we had a program called PSI (Postponing Sexual Involvement) that encouraged kids to at least wait until they were out of junior high. As far as "sex ed" is concerned when it comes contraception, I mostly learned from magazines and the Internet. Sadly, I usually seemed to know more than my friends that were actually having sex (like the time that one of my friends had oral sex with her boyfriend and then asked if I thought she could get pregnant from it when she "peed it out"). Wow.

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King Joey
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Its sad that people can be so ignorant to sexual things, and through no fault of their own. I can see the logic in peeing out sperm and getting pregant from it, although the digestive system kinda gets in the way. [Big Grin]
Sitting in someone else's bath water is one ive heard [Smile]

Anyway i wanted to add to this topic, i was on a philosophy lecture on friday in Oxford, and they said one in nine girls have chlamydia (spelling) and will end up infertile by the time they are 30. I though that was a bit scary considering most people wait till after 30 to have children.

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Its not what we say that makes us who we are, its what we do.

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Monaco
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Hell, I could have told you that.

I've had about 200 partners and none of em wanted a ring. [Wink]

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test

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Monaco
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
To my understanding, the new Congress has allowed for a six month extension of the abstinence programs as they are, and at that point, it's all going to be re-evaluated.

So, not wanting to get too optimistic (this country has just burned this girl too much for that), but I do suspect that a year from now or so, we'll finally start to see *some* changes.

I could have told you that too, Missy. But the changes aren't going in the direction Congress wants it too. In fact, they're rapidly going the opposite...

Congresses "Abstince-Only..." programs are a desperate attempt to offset the sexual revolution that the internet has/is still giving birth to. I could pull up some serious figures, but I'll just break it down as such: Whether it be pornography, or sex-ed sites like this- children can access online sexual content. Exposure of sexuality at this magnitude at such early ages has never been attainable before. The result is sexual activity at earlier ages.

Here, read THIS

As a whole, the world is becoming more open-minded with sexuality and I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.

[ 07-04-2007, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: Monaco ]

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test

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-Lauren-
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Whether it be pornography, or sex-ed sites like this- children can access online sexual content.

I don't think sites like this are comparable to pornography one bit. In fact, Scarleteen has recently been federally certified as child-safe under the Bush administration. We've gotten here because the information we make available is educational, far from sexual, and the policies we have in place, such as prohibiting technique advice and endorsement/instructions in any sex act. Far, far cry from other sites, not to even mention pornography.

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Heather
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FYI?

As I said before, we're talking about a "result" that hasn't actually occurred, either.

Historically, there is no evidence to show that youth are sexually active at earlier ages now than before (especially when you consider the long, long history of girls globally being married off to grown men at the age of 12, a practice which still is very prevalent in some substantial parts of the globe). This is a straw argument.

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About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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selina
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that was going to be my point. they were sexually active in the 1940's, particularly in wartime, but if the women got pregnant, they usually married. thats my theory. teens in britain are getting pregnant the most out of all of europe but i don't think the general is getting so young. i think its becuase people aren't marrying as much as they used to when they have sex or have babies (in the middle ages, girls got married at 11)
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selina
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quote:
Originally posted by bluefreak44:
Anyway, I agree that abstinence-only programs aren't usually affective in classrooms. My decision to abstain had more to do with my faith, family, and church than with what someone at school told me. I doubt the school's stance would have had much effect on my decisions.

a girl in britain has recently been suspended from school becuase she refused to take her chastity ring off. its become such the norm to have sex at a young age, that not having sex is considered a little more deviant, compared to the attitudes up until the early 20th centaury
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LittleMissSunshine
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Heh. I had that PSI (Postponing Sexual Involvement) program in Middle School. 8th grade if I remember correctly? I can still remember how cheesy and unrealistic those movies were-even to my 13 year old inexperienced self...

Moving on. Anyways, props to those people who choose to wait till marriage-based on the statistics, not a common thing (or an easy thing).

Personally, not for me. Or for the majority of the population. I'm eager to see what happens in the next few years with sex education in public schools. Eager to see what replaces the loopy PSI program that I was stuck with [Smile]

(Sorry if this seems disjointed or pointless. I'm a bit drugged up due to an Endo flare...)

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