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.