Repent, Whores! If You Lost Your Virginity Early, Your Marriage Will Fail

How old were you when you lost your virginity? Hopefully you were over 18, because if not, according to a new study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, you’re on your way to divorce.

The study examined the responses of 3,793 women who were or had once been married. According to a press release, they found that “31 percent of women who had sex for the first time as teens divorced within five years, and 47 percent divorced within 10 years. The divorce rate for women who delayed sex until adulthood was far lower: 15 percent at five years, and 27 percent at 10 years.”

Also, the authors note that if that first sexual experience wasn’t wanted, women were even more likely to get divorced. So, you know…don’t get raped!

Anyway, there’s quite a bit wrong with this study. First of all, it’s limited to women, which gives you an idea right off the bat of the bias of the researchers.

But more than that, there’s the implied angle that losing your virginity at an early age makes a woman damaged, and leads to divorce, which should be seen as a failure. So I’d like to add to the conversation a couple of other explanations as to the results of this study:

  1. Women who had sex earlier were raised in more open-minded households, that didn’t teach hand-in-hand that divorce is evil, so they feel comfortable leaving relationships that aren’t working.
  2. Women who had sex earlier aren’t pinning all their hopes on one guy, and therefore don’t feel obligated to stick with someone because, well, they waited their whole young life for them.
  3. Women who had sex early know that love and life are complex, and that sometimes, things don’t work out the way you want them too.

So yes — in my world, women who have sex early on learn a thing or two. Of course, my world is just as biased as everyone else’s, and every woman is different, and every sexual encounter is different, and there are just as many idiot women out there as idiot men.

But the fact is that experience often does lead to wisdom, for better or for worse. It’s just that wisdom isn’t exactly a valued trait in young women, especially if it’s acquired through sexual activity (whore!). But hey, these researchers are living in their fantasy land — I can live in mine.

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    • Nessy

      Well, my little strumpets, no one is going to buy (or keep) the cow if your giving away the milk for free!
      That’s a joke, btw.

    • Eileen

      Hmm. I was well past my 20th when I lost mine, but I don’t think I was “pinning all my hopes on one guy” or that I thought love and life were simple or that I thought divorce was necessarily evil (although I definitely do believe in getting married only when you’ve thought through a lot of common causes of divorce, especially how you feel about money management). I was just very aware that sex can lead to serious diseases and/or pregnancy, so I didn’t do it until I was physically and emotionally ready to handle it. I don’t think that makes me a naive little princess who isn’t “wise.” I think it makes me someone who makes sure to think through the potentially serious consequences of her actions.

    • Christina

      Did you read the actual study or just the reporting? I don’t see how simply conducting a study has something “a bit wrong” or some “implied angle”. The reporting maybe, but just pointing out the correlation between age of first sex and divorce is not prejudiced in itself. Your comments (like “So, you know…don’t get raped!”) seem a bit hasty and don’t really have any foundation in the study itself (nowhere does it blame women for being raped) .

      And you left out one major possible reason why women who have sex later in life don’t get divorced as often: religious background that encourages both sex only in marriage as well as frowns upon divorce.

      Seems like you’re the one making assumptions here. I had sex for the first time when I was 23 – no big reason behind it, I just hadn’t found someone who I wanted to have sex with and who wanted me as well before.

      • Anna Hilda

        Christina, didn’t you know that there are some scientific questions that it is just politically incorrect, nay, straight-up bigoted, to ask? This is how “liberals” try to quash freedom of inquiry, speech, and thought.

      • MM

        I agree, Christina. I found this article a bit snarky towards those women who waited past their teen years to have sex. I don’t think I’m less “wise” for having lost my virginity at 20 than my peers who lost theirs at 14. Hell, I ended up giving advice to some of my sexually active friends in high school because I actually listened during sex ed class!

    • MM

      Wait, so the study is wrong for possibly making negative assumptions about more sexually active women, but you can go ahead and snark on less sexually active women? I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy in the feminist community nowadays…I am firmly against slut-shaming but I think “prude-shaming” is equally wrong.

    • Tania

      Yeah, not everyone who waits is waiting because they’re prudes. I just didn’t find anyone I wanted to sex until I was 25. Nothing wrong with it, and I’m willing to bet that I was raised in a household much more open than most. Found the implication that women who wait are somehow “less” than women who don’t rather insulting, as I’d never imply someone who started young was somehow a slut.

      • Dana

        Same here. I was 25 and simply hadn’t found anyone. There’s this assumption that women can get sex whenever they want (and if they don’t grab the opportunity they must be prudes and have no right to complain about their lack of sex life), but guess what? Sometimes you can’t. Even when there’s nothing “wrong” with you. (And especially not if you were the socially awkward fugly duckling all through junior high to most of college — yeah, no bitter memories at all).

    • Avemaria

      I think they’ve got it all wrong. If you have sex early, you’re probably desperate for love and will marry the first guy that asks you no matter what he’s really like then, will either repent in leisure or divorce.

    • Meg

      Even though a lot of the comments seem to disagree with the article, I feel like we’re all actually shouting the same thing: there is no “right” age to lose the V-card. People lose their virginity at different ages for different reasons, and something that’s right for one person may not be right for another. There is no shame in having sex at 16 any more than there is at 25.

      As for the study, I think what bothers me (and Jessica touched on this as well) is that it reads like the researchers are drawing a correlation between women having sex early and failed marriages that implies causality, when the issues are far more complex than that and incredibly subjective- not to mention that they both involve another person that is seemingly absolved of involvement. There are any number of other variables that contribute to divorce, and so the research logic (again, as it appears here) is super flawed.

      Is this an interesting talking point? Sure. Is it still a propter hoc fallacy (any philosophy students around)? Totally. Correlation does not imply causation.

    • Diana

      Short lesson in logic. Just because p implies q does not mean that non p implies non q. (p and q are just two random statements). For example, if I say: ‘I am under the shower which means I’m wet’, the statement ‘I am not under the shower and this means I’m not wet’ is not true. Maybe I’m outside while it’s raining. Now did we all understand that?

      So let’s apply the lesson learned to the article. Ms. Ogilvie said something along the lines of: ‘Women who had sex in their teens probably learned some things. Which in turn may be the cause of the higher divorce rate.’

      Quite a few comments start with ‘I had sex late, why are you picking on me?’ But there is no implication in the article that if a woman does have sex late in her life she had no time to learn ‘the lessons’.

      The only mention of sex later in life is that in some families it goes hand in hand with ‘divorce is teh evul’, which is true, whether because of religion or ‘high morals’. But on the other hand if someone didn’t have sex before marriage because it is bad, it’s not that far fetched to assume they’re likely to put up with a less than perfect marriage, because of the same reason or my favourite one ‘What would others say and think of me?’

      Other than that, I only see a focus on women who have had sex early in life, because the study (or the way the study was reported) made them to be damaged goods.

      And about the study not being ‘a bit wrong’, I don’t remember the context, but I remember my boyfriend telling me about some studies made as a joke that proved correlations between the most random things. Off the top of my head and not having seen the study in itself, have they bothered to ask why they did/didn’t get divorced? What percent of women of a certain age from either category did end up getting married? Maybe many marriages were ‘shotgun weddings’. Maybe the women that start having sex late also get married late (I don’t know that this is true, I don’t want to insult anyone, I’m just saying some other options). What was the age of the women they asked? If you ask older women, it may be slightly more plausible that they had sex late and didn’t get a divorce, just because that’s how thing were when they were young.

      Either way, just by defending one group of people and saying they did/didn’t do something you don’t automatically state that everyone else didn’t/did that.

    • scorpionfangs

      Obviously the author this article is a f***ing whore.