A new study shows a surprising connection between sex and divorce. The study, conducted at the University of Iowa and published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, reveals that girls who lost their virginity as teenagers were more likely to divorce.
According to the Huffington Post, the study looked at responses of nearly 3,800 women who were surveyed. Of those who lost their virginity as teenagers, 31 percent were divorced within five years of their marriage, versus 15 percent of the women who waited longer to have sex.
In addition, 47 percent of the women who lost their virginity as teenagers divorced within 10 years, compared to 27 percent of women who waited.
The study also seems to indicate that whether the sex was wanted or not plays an important role in shaping a woman’s future relationships. 42 percent of those surveyed indicated their first sexual experience before the age of 18 was not completely wanted.
One of the researchers involved in the study says that it makes sense that a woman might have troubled romantic relationships if her first sexual experience was traumatic or unpleasant. A bad experience might point her toward unstable unions, the researcher says.
The study also found that any first sexual experience before the age of 16, whether it was wanted or not – was more strongly linked to divorce.
According to the Huffington Post article, no men were surveyed in the study, but it’s possible they will be in follow-up research.
Source: Huffington Post, “Women who lost virginity early more likely to divorce: new study,” Stephanie Marcus, 15 June 2011