Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Premarital Sex or Not?

Sex. What an exquisite topic.

How do you define sexual immorality/indecency anyway? Bare breasts, for instance, were socially accepted in many civilizations across the world in the past. Ancient Egyptian women wore elaborate dresses that could either cover the breasts of leave them exposed. Today, you just have to walk into your nearest museum to see explicit pictures and statues of Greek goddesses. As for man, take a look at Michelangelo's David-- exhibiting your phallus so openly isn't exactly decent by today's standard. So if bare breasts and genital-flashing were accepted as a norm in the past, how can we be sure of the exact definition of sexual immorality today? What deemed inappropriate today might not be appropriate in the next hundred years.

Anyway, excuse my random rant there.
We are often taught by our parents to avoid premarital sex. 
But why? 
Of course, religious institutions play a huge role in making sure that young, unmarried couples do not give in to the temptation of lust because, according to them, it's bad for the youngsters. And they'll follow up their claims with allegories of broken families or couples who'd committed themselves illegally in the premarital breeding program.

Most of these stories, however, are personal anecdotes, and are often tainted with errors that make the whole story sounds more dramatic than Arabian Night. It is also difficult to determine whether the victims/storytellers had the tendency to sensationalize their stories in an effort to acquire sympathy. There are after all some couples who had had premarital sex and successfully built a happy family.
Image: en.wikipedia.org
So, sex or no sex?
Now science comes in with the numbers.

A paper published in 2012 in the Journal of Sex Research suggests that premarital sex often leads to shorter and grumpier relationship. Ouch.
Brian Willoughby, Jason Carroll and Dean Busby from the School of Family Life, Brigham Young University sampled 10932 unmarried individuals and grouped the results according to ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, length of relationship, and timing of sex. Ironically, 33.9% and 22% of the participants were protestants and catholics, respectively.

The trio wrote that regardless of ethnicity, those who had no sex prior to marriage enjoy a relatively more stable relationship. Even those who had delayed sex (sex after waiting at least a few weeks once they began dating) fare better than early sex (sex on the first day or within the first few weeks) and predate sex (sex before start dating). In fact, for couples who had engaged in predating or early sex, their relationship worsen faster than all other categories as relationship length increases.

And those who practise sexual abstinence also enjoy higher relationship satisfaction and positive communication. Their relationship also last longer than all other categories, albeit generally not very far ahead of delayed sex.

Proponent of premarital sex may argue that having a "test-drive" before committing to a formal relationship is an important part of marriage--nobody wants to commit the rest of his or her life to someone who suffers from sexual dysfunction because, hey, sex is an important part of marriage after all. But with the advent of sex toys and in-vitro insemination, that should no longer be a problem.

Last but not least, sex only last until your 50s anyway, or at most, 60s, and the rest of your relationship will depend largely on honesty, understanding, positive communication, and true love.


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