Teen Sexual Encounters Can Predict Divorce, Says StudyDanielle Sullivan
Have you thought about what you’ll teach your kids about sex when the time comes? A new study says that teens who experience their first sexual encounter at an early age may be at a higher risk for divorce.
The University of Iowa conducted the study which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. It 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:
A first sexual experience that was unwanted or not completely wanted was strongly associated with divorce. If the young woman chose to lose her virginity as a teen, the results were more nuanced. When the first intercourse took place early in adolescence —- before the age of 16 —- the women were more likely to divorce, even if that first sexual experience was wanted.
To me this study is probably more representative of a girl’s decision making process and maturity, which would naturally play a part in marriage and conflict resolution (which go hand in hand). But could sex at a young age make someone more likely to divorce?
The premise is pretty ridiculous because the truth is that anyone can divorce. Living with someone day in and day out for years on end is difficult at best. Throw in kids, a demanding career or two, bills, obligations and extended family, and the odds probably lean toward it. And that’s assuming that the two people involved are both of sound mind (not always the case).
I don’t think the study will make anyone change their views on teens and sex; we all have our own unique expectations for our kids. And I highly doubt that any teen will change their views on a study either.
Do you find this study at all helpful as a parent?
Image: MorgueFile/Mary R. Vogt
Read Danielle’s blog Just Write Mom.
How does divorce affect children? It depends on the kid.