Premarital sex is sexual activity practiced by people before they are married. Historically, premarital sex was considered a moral issue which was taboo in many cultures and considered a sin by a number of religions, but since about the s , it has become more widely accepted, especially in Western countries. Until the s,  "premarital sex" referred to sexual relations between two people prior to marrying each other. The term was used instead of fornication , which had negative connotations,  and was closely related to the concept and approval of virginity , which is sexual abstinence until marriage. The meaning has since shifted to refer to any sexual relations a person has prior to marriage and removing the emphasis on the relationship of the people involved.
Counterintuitive Trends in the Link Between Premarital Sex and Marital Stability
More sex partners before marriage doesn't necessarily lead to divorce -- ScienceDaily
The University of Iowa released a study comparing the divorce rates of women who lost their virginity as teens 17 or younger to women who delayed losing their virginity until adulthood 18 or later. If a first sexual experience was unwanted or not completely wanted, there was an even stronger risk of divorce. Women who experienced their first sex before age 16 were more likely to divorce, regardless of whether the first sex was wanted or not. If a woman waited until age 16 or 17 and the first sex was completely wanted, there was no direct link to marital dissolution ONLY as compared to women who waited until adulthood. However, though the sex itself did not increase the likelihood of dissolution, other factors associated with sexuality e.
Virginity and Premarital Intimacy
The s changed premarital sex. Prior to the sexual revolution, unmarried heterosexual sex partners tended to marry each other sometimes motivated by a shotgun pregnancy ; in more recent decades, first sex usually does not lead to marriage. Figure 1 shows how the odds of having only one lifetime sex partner have declined over the twentieth century for married Americans.
Policy and programmatic efforts promoting sexual abstinence until marriage have increased, but it is unclear whether establishing such behavior as normative is a realistic public health goal. This study examined the proportion of individuals in various cohorts who had had premarital sex defined as either having had vaginal intercourse before first marrying or ever having had intercourse and never having married by various ages. Data from four cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth, —, and event history analysis techniques, including Kaplan-Meier life-table procedures and Cox proportional-hazards regression models, were used to examine the incidence of premarital sex by gender and historical cohort.