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Individual’s Premarital Views about Uncommitted Sex may Make it More Difficult to Remain Blissfully Married

Marital satisfaction generally declines over time, but what we've found is that when, prior to their marriage

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Premarital, Sex, Married
Published in the journal Psychological Science, the research outlines several factors that can contribute to a marriage's long-term happiness or dissolution, including one big red flag. Pixabay

An individual’s premarital views about uncommitted sex, such as one-night stands or casual sex, may make it more difficult to remain blissfully married, suggests a new study.

Published in the journal Psychological Science, the research outlines several factors that can contribute to a marriage’s long-term happiness or dissolution, including one big red flag: An individual’s behaviour and attitude about uncommitted sexual relationships even before the marriage.

“Marital satisfaction generally declines over time, but what we’ve found is that when, prior to their marriage, one or both spouses hold generalised beliefs that uncommitted sex is OK, that can contribute to the failure of a marriage,” said the study’s first author Juliana French from Florida State University.

For the study, the research team collected and analysed data from 204 heterosexual, newly married couples.

Premarital, Sex, Married
An individual’s premarital views about uncommitted sex, such as one-night stands or casual sex, may make it more difficult to remain blissfully married, suggests a new study. Pixabay

They collected information on their behaviours and attitudes prior to the marriage as well as numerous factors related to their new marriages including marital satisfaction.

Over the course of several years, researchers followed up with couples to collect information about their marital satisfaction and cataloged data on which couples separated or filed for divorce.

In this study, the researchers focused on the degree to which people expressed “unrestricted sociosexual” behaviours, desires and attitudes prior to marriage, which indicated that they were more likely to engage in uncommitted sexual relationships such as one-night stands and generally believed that sex without love is okay.

Of the couples involved in the study, people who were relatively unrestricted were less satisfied at the start of their marriages.

Also Read- Individual’s Premarital Views about Uncommitted Sex may Make it More Difficult to Remain Blissfully Married

Moreover, people who had relatively unrestricted partners experienced more rapid declines in satisfaction over the first several years of marriage, which ultimately predicted dissolution.

“What we found most surprising about these results was the fact that both couple members’ sociosexuality play an important role in long-term, marital outcomes,” French said.

“We found evidence suggesting that couples who maintain a consistent, satisfying sexual relationship or couples who maintain low levels of stress are buffered against these negative outcomes,” French added. (IANS)

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Women Who Have Less Sex Experience an Early Menopause: Study

Having less sex linked to earlier menopause

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women sex
Women who reported having sexual activity weekly were 28 per cent less likely to have experienced menopause than those who had sex less than once a month. Lifetime Stock

Women who have sex more often are less likely to have an early menopause, researchers say, adding that women who reported having sexual activity weekly were 28 per cent less likely to have experienced menopause than those who had sex less than once a month.

While the study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, didn’t look at the reason for the link, the researchers said that the physical cues of sex may signal to the body that there is a possibility of getting pregnant.

But for women who aren’t having sex frequently in midlife, an earlier menopause may make more biological sense, the study said.

“The findings of our study suggest that if a woman is not having sex, and there is no chance of pregnancy, then the body ‘chooses’ not to invest in ovulation, as it would be pointless,” said study researcher Megan Arnot from University College London in the US.

“There may be a biological energetic trade-off between investing energy into ovulation and investing elsewhere, such as keeping active by looking after grandchildren,” Arnot added.

women sex
Women who aren’t having sex frequently in midlife, an earlier menopause may make more biological sense. Lifetime Stock

During ovulation, the woman’s immune function is impaired, making the body more susceptible to disease, the study said.

Given a pregnancy is unlikely due to a lack of sexual activity, then it would not be beneficial to allocate energy to a costly process, especially if there is the option to invest resources into existing kin.

The research is based on data collected from 2,936 women, recruited as the baseline cohort for the SWAN study in 1996/1997.

The women were asked to respond to several questions, including whether they had engaged in sex with their partner in the past six months, the frequency of sex including whether they engaged in sexual intercourse, oral sex, sexual touching or caressing in the last six months and whether they had engaged in self-stimulation in the past six months.

The most frequent pattern of sexual activity was weekly (64 per cent).

Interviews were carried out over a ten-year follow-up period, during which 1,324 (45 per cent) of the 2,936 women experienced a natural menopause at an average age of 52.

By modelling the relationship between sexual frequency and the age of natural menopause, women of any age who had sex weekly had a hazard ratio of 0.72, whereas women of any age who had sex monthly had a hazard ratio of 0.81.

This provided a likelihood whereby women of any age who had sex weekly were 28 per cent less likely to experience the menopause compared to those who had sex less than monthly.

Likewise, those who had sex monthly were 19 per cent less likely to experience menopause at any given age compared to those who had sex less than monthly.

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The study also tested whether living with a male partner affected menopause as a proxy to test whether exposure to male pheromones delayed menopause.

The researchers found no correlation, regardless of whether the male was present in the household or not. (IANS)