There might be a new argument to try when convincing your teen to wait to have sex. According to the a study conducted by the University of Iowa, women who lost their virginity in their young teens are more likely to divorce.
The study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, surveyed the responses of 3,793 women and found that 31 percent who lost their virginity as teens divorced within five years, and 47 percent divorced within 10 years. On the flip side, the divorce rate for women who had waited to have sex was only 15 percent at the five year mark, and 27 percent by the time 10 years rolled around.
But the study also found that a first sexual experience before the age of 16 -- wanted or not -- was still strongly associated with divorce.
Of course early sexual experiences can have lasting effects on relationships later in life. So it's not surprising that with 42 percent of participants claiming their first sexual experience before the age of 18 wasn't completely wanted, that it could affect them in their adult life.
The study's author, Anthony Paik, said in a press release that one explanation for his findings is, "If the sex was not completely wanted or occurred in a traumatic context, it's easy to imagine how that could have a negative impact on how women might feel about relationships, or on relationship skills. The experience could point people on a path toward less stable relationships."
The study did not examine the divorce rates for men who lost their virginity in their teens, but Paik said he thinks it would make an interesting follow up.
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