Monday, January 31, 2011

Chastity Makes Marriage Better

It may fly in the face of our oversexed culture's conventional wisdom, but people who remain chaste before marriage have better marriages according to a number of measures. The Medical News reports:

A new study that appeared in the Journal of Family Psychology finds that couples who wait until exchanging vows to have sex are “are happier with the quality of sex” and enjoy a “stable, happier marriage”. The team of researchers assessed 2,035 married couples in an online questionnaire based study called ‘RELATE’.

The results showed that couples who waited until marriage to have sex rated sexual quality 15% higher than people who had premarital sex, rated relationship stability as 22% higher and rated satisfaction with their relationships 20% higher.
The study controlled for religiosity and found, “Regardless of religiosity, waiting helps the relationship form better communication processes, and these help improve long-term stability and relationship satisfaction.” So the study seems pretty solid. There's always room for criticism though, The Economist notes:

Unfortunately, Dr Busby’s method cannot distinguish the cause of this. It could be, as many moralists preach, that the delay itself is improving. It could, though, be that the sort of people who are happy to delay having sex are also better at relationships. Correlation, in other words, rather than causation. That is material for another study.
That criticism is valid enough I suppose. Can't rule out selection bias. BUT if you're a young person getting into a relationship and considering marriage, choosing a mate is very much about selection bias. And no matter the reason why, the results are clear: if you and your partner can stay chaste you're marriage will be happier for it.


Anonymous said...

They just don't know what they're missing.

Frances said...

Some years ago (?1970) Redbook did a survey on sexuality. Much to the editors' shock, it was found that, to quote a 2001 article by William R Mattox, Jr, "church ladies (and the men who sleep with them) are among the most sexually satisfied people on the face of the earth." As I remember, the editors' response to the results was to state that it was the sexual revolution allowed the religious conservatives to be less conservative and - therefore - more satisified in bed. They missed the obvious logic flaw: if a bit of liberation made the prudes happy in bed, then lots of liberation should have made everyone else extatic.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a case of being easily satisfied with low boring standards.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is bliss.

Anonymous Catholic Housewife said...

Ignorance is bliss? Yes, indeed!!! :)