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Ten Myths About Premarital Sex

I recently picked up a copy of Premarital Sex in America by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker and was pleasantly surprised at some of the insights. While I have been writing, teaching, and speaking for years to both teens and adults on the issue of premarital sex, this book opened my eyes to some of the more important trends emerging today.

This blog is adapted from the last chapter in the book entitled, “The Power of Stories and Ten Myths about Sex in Emerging Adulthood.” The empirical data suggests that these are not true most of the time. There are exceptions, of course.

MYTH 1: Long-term relationships are a thing of the past

Many emerging adults (ages 18-23) tend to hold two views in tension—that sexual experimentation is valuable and yet one should not cheat on a monogamous partner. Indeed, many consider it stupid and unhealthy not to be sexually active in various relational settings. And yet most desire a lasting exclusive relationship. According to the research of Regnerus and Uecker, at least 50 percent of marriages last a lifetime, despite what most emerging adults tend to think.

MYTH 2: Sex is necessary to maintain a struggling relationship

The reality is that most relationships fail and the sooner one introduces sex into the relationship the greater chance it will fail.

MYTH 3: The sexual double standard between men and women is wrong and should be resisted

The authors of Premarital Sex in America argue that there are genuine differences in how men and women approach and experience sex that are deeply engrained. They conclude, “Unfortunately, many well-meaning adults and educators want so badly to dismantle the double standard that they work to normalize any and all consensual sexual relationships, rather than considering whether common experiences of sexual regret are in fact telling us something” (244).

MYTH 4: Boys are sexual beings and cannot be expected to follow sexual norms

This myth is both false and harmful. Young men can make wise sexual decisions if they are taught how to and the standard is set high.

MYTH 5: You are entirely in charge of your own sexuality; others’ decisions don’t matter

Despite the individualistic mindset that dominates how emerging adults think about sexuality our choices are deeply influenced by other people’s sexual decisions. The choices of other people affect us financially, emotionally, relationally, and in terms of our expectations of sexual behavior.

MYTH 6: Porn will not affect your relationships

I have written on this elsewhere, so I won’t go into detail. The reality is that porn use has a significant negative impact on relationships.

MYTH 7: Others are having more sex than you

Most emerging adults significantly overestimate how much sex is really going on around them. Most think that other people are having more sex than they actually are. As a result, emerging adults act on this false perception rather than reality.

MYTH 8: Sex doesn’t need to mean much

In reality sex is a very significant matter. There is nothing humans do that involves more of our minds, hearts, emotions, memories, self-image, and bodies. Sexual decisions stay with us for a lifetime.

MYTH 9: Marriage can wait for later

Despite common perceptions, the majority of emerging adults want to get married. But most want to wait awhile before doing so. The reality is that this is easier said than done. Life plans don’t always progress as young people envision.

MYTH 10: Living together is a positive step towards marriage

Between 50 and 70 percent of couples cohabit today. But only about 1 in 5 such relationships result in marriage. And the results are consistently pessimistic for those cohabiters who do marry (202).

I would highly recommend Premarital Sex in America for those who work with either emerging adults or younger students. It provides a deeply researched and balanced insight into the sexual lives of 18-23 year-olds.

For those who live in Southern California, I would like to invite you to a training session with Josh McDowell on how to help young people make wise sexual decisions. The behavior of emerging adults is the result of the ideas they accepted as early as elementary school. On October 1 (Monday), Josh will be speaking from 8:30am-3pm at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools in San Juan Capistrano. It’s free for the first 50 and then only $10 after that. Reserve your spot here.

 

Comments

As a recent convert myself who still shared much of these views even prior to my conversion to Christ, I found this post very worthwhile. Glad to see you are active here Sean, and I will start recommending your blog as well as conversant life to friends.

God bless!

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Sexual intercourse is one of the most amazing experiences of life. It is a great tool that bonds couples. Powerful as sexual intimacy may be, though, it also has serious destructive capacity. The destructive impact of sexual intercourse is prominent in the realm of premarital sex.

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Beautifully written article! My only qualm is with this, "According to the research of Regnerus and Uecker, at least 50 percent of marriages last a lifetime, despite what most emerging adults tend to think." - This is based on previous research when value systems held monogamy and marriage to a much higher standard than do the young people of today. I'm not saying I disagree, I'm just saying that with our current value system (which is the problem to begin with!) is setting us up for that to be a much lower number in fifty years. I was very fortunate to find my husband, but I can't say the same for everyone else. Almost everyone I dated and was matched to (at one of the major dating sites, I won't say which one: List of dating sites) put that they were a Christian, but when I met with them they all had secular beliefs about sex and marriage - it was very sad...

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A premarital counselor is a teacher, an advisor and a therapist, all in one. The couple usually seeks premarital counseling when they realize that their problems are caused by intimacy problems, lack of communication skills and even financial problems.
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I don't think the issue of sex necessarily needs to be discussed, I think our approach to relationships in general needs to be reevaluated. People need to look at relationships in a less emotional manner, people should seek out partners that are best suited for them and should look to get married when they find that individual, they should also look at relationships as a team effort, rather than a finished article. The best relationships require work, just like a good football or soccer team. - Bill Phillips

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Premarital sex, adultery, and other ethical issues arising from sexual relations between consenting heterosexuals who have reached the age of consent have generally been viewed as matters of private morality, and so, have not generally been prosecuted as criminal offenses in the common law. location voiture rabat aéroport

Prior to the Marriage Act 1753, British couples lived together and had sex after their betrothal or "the spousals". Until the mid-1700s, it was normal and acceptable for the bride to be pregnant at the nuptials, the later church public ceremony for the marriage.-Missed Fortune

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In some cultures, sexual activity is considered acceptable only within marriage, although premarital and extramarital sex are also common. Some sexual activities are illegal either universally or in some countries, and some are considered against the norms of a society. dissertation writing service

The sexual revolution has ushered in a period where the average adolescent faces tremendous pressures to have sexual experiences of all kinds. Today, Pinoy teens get a higher exposure to sex from the Internet, magazines, TV shows, movies, and other media than decades ago, yet without any corresponding increase in information on how to handle the input. electrician sterling

The sexual revolution has ushered in a period where the average adolescent faces tremendous pressures to have sexual experiences of all kinds. Today, Pinoy teens get a higher exposure to sex from the Internet, magazines, TV shows, movies, and other media than decades ago, yet without any corresponding increase in information on how to handle the input. electrician sterling

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Sex education had been taught to many schools nowadays, it is for the awareness of the students from early pregnancy and some premarital sex things. This post is very informative and resourceful, I appreciated this kind of information. Thank you for sharing this with us. - get youtube views
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Many teenager girls become pregnant and single parents. Meanwhile the government in the US has the program that supports the single parent. They put up high school dropout prevention. buy dissertation uk

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All of this information is completely true, I don't really disagree with any of the answers in this list of ten myths. Holen Sie sich die Fakten I just see that all of this remain being true but just if you think you want to get married, if not, then just go your way and find your true inner being by not being another sheep that can be insulted as this.

Kyle Leon says her employer, San Diego Christian College, wrongly terminated her after learning of her pregnancy,

The sexual revolution has ushered in a period where the average adolescent faces tremendous pressures to have sexual experiences of all kinds. Today, Pinoy teens get a higher exposure to sex from the Internet, magazines, TV shows, movies, and other media than decades ago, yet without any corresponding increase in information on how to handle the input.
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Relationships is similar to managing a team, in this case a two party team. So both parties need to be on the same page in all facets of their lives in order to make it work. Just pointing to one part of the relationship and creating this false perception that it is more improtant than other parts of the relationship, simply doesn't cut it.

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About
Sean McDowell is a teacher, author, speaker, husband and father. He is an avid fan of college basketball, ping-pong, and his favorite superhero is the Amazing Spiderman.