Having more partners before you are married increases the risk of divorce?

Don't shoot the messenger! I saw this and wanted some opinions.

Recently a study was done that made a chilling conclusion: the more non-marital sexual partners a woman has, the greater the risk that she will end up divorced.

The study wasn't done by your mom or any church group, it was done based on data from the National Survey of Family Growth. The methods of the study appear to be valid. In a nutshell, virgin brides have about a 80% marital success rate. Girls who have only one additional partner have about a 53% success rate. Girls with five or more have about a 29% success rate.

More information: link

  • This is absolute BS, I know of studies that refute it!
    Vote A
  • My own common sense tells me this is probably wrong.
    Vote B
  • It could be right.
    Vote C
  • I'm sure this is right considering how things are anymore.
    Vote D
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57

Most Helpful Guy

  • It is right I have no doubt.

    1. Experience - I've heard from a lot of married couples that if one of the parties had like 20 or more partners before marriage, at some point that "naughty" person started to miss those days and even tried to negotiate with the other person about having an open marriage.

    2. Logic - it just really makes sense. What would make a slutty girl or a player guy change for good their animal lust for sex with many partners? Unless they gone completely religious and truly dropped away their previous way of life and changed their environment maybe that could happen.

    3. Trust (this one is my subjective opinion) - I wouldn't trust a girl that had many partners before me. This indicates that she must have a completely different view on life from mine. And that also we probably are too different by our physical circumstances in life.

    Bottom line: I think that in order to have a stable marriage both parties must be either virgins or not having sexual contact with more than a handful of people.

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What Girls Said 5

  • That's more because the type of person differs... I mean, girls who marry as virgins are normally the ones that submit to their husbands and don't believe in divorce anyway. Girls who only had one additional partner are the ones that treasure love and choose carefully, so... That says it all. Girls with more partners are open minded and know what they want.

    I'm only saying the "normal" types, doesn't mean I'm calling anyone anything.

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    • That's an interesting perspective. Let me be the contrary one for just a moment and ask this: if it turns out with additional study that these results apply to about anyone, would it motivate you to raise your children differently? I'm not saying tell them that if they mess around they will surely be divorced and go to hell etc. but rather "if you choose to do this, this is what will likely happen to you or the girl you are with"?

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    • I wouldn't be bothered if you were presenting this as an opinion, but I am bothered when you try and present your opinion as scientific fact through false logic.

    • I'm not sure if what I'm going to say makes sense with the discussion, because English is not my first language and all those words honestly turned my brain into mush for some seconds.

      I don't think teaching is the same as telling someone what to think. An example: You teach your children that killing is wrong, but they think for themselves what truly is murder - if abortion is murder, for instance. And I would tell them things as possibilities, not truths, so they make up their own minds.

  • I guess that sort of make sense. If you completely save yourself for marriage, then when you finally are married and stuff, all you would know is that one partner, and I guess theoretically that would be enough for you.

    Whereas if you dated around more before settling down, you'd know "what's out there" so to speak, and you might get a bit restless knowing that you have to remain dedicated to only one partner.

    But anyways with stuff like this, there's no point getting hung up on it because it's isn't absolute... there are way too many factors that can affect how well your relationship/marriage works out.

    These polls and studies, I feel like they're trying to scare you with the results they find. "Such and such information suggests that you're 5 times more likely to divorce if you and your partner do this or that..."

    I mean, they focus so much on the negative, all these risky things you can do to potentially sabotage your married life years down the line... I know the divorce rate is high and people want to figure out what's behind it all, but wow this stuff gets kind of old and repetitive.

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  • Marriage is a bit out dated now anyway. The original point of it was never to be romantic - it was to ensure the wife had money/property in return for promising herself to one man for her entire life and not having a source of her own income.

    What's the point anyway of people do get divorced? Exchanging marriage vows saying you'll be together no matter what then splitting up when it gets tough?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for not being with someone who makes you miserable but why even get married in the first place?

    Marriage isn't forever so I think us modern people need to be realistic and not get married! (Unless one person is caring for the home in place of a career - THEN marriage is necessary.)

    To answer the question the only way I could see # of partners affecting the marriage is that the wife knows that there are more men out there and if she's not happy with her husband chances are she can find a better one.

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    • In the practical sense, I can't dispute your assertion that marriage is an outdated institution. In it's defense however I would point out that given the fact that it is an almost universal constant through all human societies there has yet to be devised a better system for ensuring the survival and upbringing of children. For adults marriage probably isn't as necessary as it once was but for raising the next generation it still has its uses. Good answer.

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    • Marriage is transcultural and transtemporal. It is relevant till the end of time.

      Nations do eventually stop believing in it. And when so, it is always because of another deep, underlying issue. Usually, when subjectivism and heresy invade the church and force true believers out, per the majority of US megachurches. If the church won't defend marriage, nobody will. Government's too cynical. Such nations beg for their own destruction.

    • Well the married man who bangs me all the time feels otherwise. As does the 10:1 ratio of married to single men who approach me :P Marriage is an ideology.

  • sorry but this is utter garbage,

    this same website has really bizarre article inferring conservatives are more masculine and that Hitler was a liberal...it's political agenda disguised by the thinnest veil.

    the study doesn't address the underlying reasons for these statistics

    just because people aren't getting divorced does not mean they are happy or free...most women in Saudi Arabia marry virgins and have a almost non existent divorce rate I am sure...does that make them better off?

    also why do they only focus on women? where are the stats about men and premarital sex? what sort of science is that?

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    • I appreciate your comments, it is interesting to see differing points of view. I would ask you to consider that the study openly revealed that it was only studying women, which doesn't invalidate it in and of itself, and specifically American women. Also please consider that because the blogger wasn't the one that did the study, so his views on other matters aren't really relevant to the study itself; e.g. cats like fish, I like fish, does that mean I'm a cat? BTW, the Saudi divorce rate > 15%

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    • au contraire cher monsieur, I implied nothing of the sort, I used the example of Saudi Arabia because it perfectly demonstrates the fallacy of your logic, not because it has to do with female oppression, it's just an example of how such statistics could be wrongly interpreted...it is you who accuse me of sentiments I do not hold, I have no opinion on your ideas of gender, I simply think your argument is extremely flawed, based on false logic and reasoning.

    • of course I do not expect you to accept this, because you have no answer to my point except by trying to discredit me personally.

  • Not for me.

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What Guys Said 6

  • It could be right, but I think it would require more studies on it. So I'll go with a "could be right, could be wrong" type answer. I personally prefer to not have a partner who has been having casual sex easily with anyone and everyone she's attracted to because we don't view sex the same then and that matters too much, but I don't care if girls/women do want to go do that. It's their life.

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  • I think it all depends on the people and their relationship. If a couple is determined that their marriage will work no matter what, then they will see it through despite what troubles stand in the way.

    That said, I agree that some who cycle through various partners may do so because of a problem that is unresolved. If that problem remains, when they marry, they may be likely to continue coping this way and thus bring on marital issues that lead to divorce. It could also lead to other marital issues if the past flings make appearances continually and get in the way of the marriage. Some people don't know when to back off.

    I could see how this may stand true, but I also don't think that people take marriage serious enough and that many people are not committed enough to make it work and pull through no matter what. But, a study is a study and it's just figures and numbers. There's a lot of reasons a marriage can fail. It's the ones who walk through the fires and trials and come out stronger that I think deserve some study. It might give some hope to those who are failing.

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  • I think there's a small evidence to that.

    Multiple partners before marriage allows you to score among those partners and pick out the best which is ideal for a long term commitment.

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    • I hear what you are saying, but I think it is safe to say that sexual intimacy involves a much greater emotional investment than trying on a pair of shoes. When you say there is small evidence, are you criticizing the data or the study method? The data was gathered by the US Govt - I guess that gives one room to wonder. ;)

  • Depends. I think this is a correlation/casuation issue.

    Someone who has cycled through various partners may have done so because of a problem they have continually failed to address. Whereas other people who have had a longer dating history may have used what they learned from previous relationships to make the next ones stronger.

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  • I voted D, but you shouldn't jump to assume causation, or that premarital sex 'damages' marriages.

    Rather I'd suggest:

    - religious people who are opposed to divorce are going to be a higher proportion of low # of partner couples.

    - people with lower sex drives who are less likely to divorce over this issue are likely to be a higher proportion of virgins/low # of partners

    - people who think they can't get better are less likely to divorce.

    Why is it that women's experience matters (and men's experience doesn't matter?) Because most divorces in the u.s. are filed by women. Note that this is not true in all countries - in countries where men keep their assets and children, men file for divorce more often, and in areas where 50/50 child custody and division of assets with no alimony or child support is the norm, both men and women file less frequently.

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  • I learned in college during a marketing statistics class how to formulate questions in polling to get a desired effect. We put this theory to test and basically got results that showed that about 78% of our group study were in favor of an American socialistic regime.

    I say this as a premise to my point that polls and surveys mean little to me without seeing the questions, the people asked, when and how they were asked, etc.

    I think it was Harry S. Truman who said "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics"

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    • Ha! You are a man of letters to quote Truman.

      I think that if you look at the abstract of the study you'll see that the data was based on some pretty hard numbers - divorced yes/no, number of partners before first marriage, etc. It is somewhat far-fetched I think to imagine a survey crafted to encourage women to exaggerate the number of partners they have had. "Were you a young prude that didn't put out?" I'm thinking not so likely.

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    • It's a sad commentary that we have to wonder what the agenda of any given research is isn't it?

      If that bothers you, take a look at what Congressman Lamar Smith is trying to do with research money, it makes my blood boil.

    • I don't think it's a sad commentary it's just living intelligently. This survey seems to be rather unbias, but plenty of surveys are bias. I mean you have to ask those questions in life so you aren't naive. It doesn't mean you're necessarily cynical but that you just ask questions rather than just assuming things are done with the best intentions because so often things aren't

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