Reward of Waiting

Women who become sexually active in their early teens are twice as likely to divorce their partners as those who wait until adulthood.

According to a study, 31 per cent of girls who had sex as under-16 year olds divorced within five years of marriage. Almost half divorced within 10 years; however, 15 per cent of those who waited divorced within five years, and 27 per cent within 10 years.

Experts said early sexual experience “led to the development of behaviors that promote divorce.”

University of Iowa researchers found 31 per cent of women who lost their virginity as teenagers had premarital sex with more than one partner, compared with 24 per cent who waited longer to have sex. One in four who had sex in adolescence had a baby before marriage, compared with one with 10 who did not.

“The results are consistent with the argument that there are downsides to adolescent sexuality, including the increased likelihood of divorce,” said Anthony Paik, the lead researcher.

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