Effects of Premarital Sex
Effects of Premarital SexSexual imagery is everywhere. One cannot turn on the TV, thumb through the pages of a magazine, pass by a billboard or listen to the radio without being bombarded with some type of sexual innuendo. As a result of the growing liberated view on sexuality which began over 40 years ago with the sexual revolution, many people today consider the practice of premarital sex to be normal, harmless behavior. (Finer, 2007) While saving sex until marriage may seem outdated, premarital sex can bring negative emotional and physical effects into a marriage relationship which creates a greater risk for divorce.
Current statistics suggest that the divorce rate hovers around 50 percent. One 1996 study released by the United State Census Bureau states that “The number of divorced people more than quadrupled, from 4.3 million in 1970 to 18.3 million in 1996” (Saluter & Lugail, 1996, p. 1). While reasons for divorce are as diverse as the number of marriages that dissolve, this particular statistic suggests that there is a high cost to the liberated sexual attitude ushered in since the 1960s. People may have been promised a better understanding of themselves as sexual beings through the shift, but, instead they were blinded to the psychological risks involved.
Understanding the emotional hazards of premarital sex begins by acknowledging two innate needs of every human: a loving connection with others which includes physical touch and affection (Cox, 2001); and a “desire to be known, to love and be loved” (Williams, 2002, p. 2). These desires equate to the need for true intimacy. In an ideal committed relationship two people share communication, consideration, affection and trust which creates a deep, meaningful link that forges genuine intimacy. Often, people use sex to fulfill these connections without considering that they are confusing sexual expression with love (Cox, 2001).
According to psychologist Jess Lair of Montana State University, the bond of sex brings...