If you already knew divorce rates today are in part the byproduct of the sexual revolution, this will confirm your wisdom. A new study conducted by a group of Florida State University researchers, published in the journal Psychological Science, concludes that premarital sex can have deleterious effects on one's future marriage.
The researchers investigated common factors influential in determining the success and failure of marriages. Among the major factors contributing to marriage failure is an individual's premarital beliefs and behaviors toward uncommitted sex.
"What we've found," Juliana French, the first author of the study, said in a statement to the Association for Psychological Science, "is that when, prior to their marriage, one or both spouses hold generalized beliefs that uncommitted sex is okay, that can contribute to the failure of a marriage."
French, along with assistant professor Andrea Meltzer and fellow graduate student Emma Altgelt, collected and analyzed data from 204 newly married couples, focusing primarily on information gathered about their behaviors and attitudes prior to marriage.
While following up periodically with the couples over several years in order to discover what may lead to marital satisfaction, they collected information and cataloged data on which couples had eventually separated or filed for divorce.
The researchers found that people who expressed behaviors, desires and attitudes prior to marriage that would make them more likely to engage in uncommitted sexual relationships, who generally believed that sex without love or commitment is OK, were more likely to separate and divorce.
The bad news goes even further. While those who were loose in attitude and behavior on sex without commitment were less satisfied at the start of their marriages, and experienced more rapid declines in satisfaction over the first several years of marriage, people whose marital partners had been "unrestricted" or promiscuous in action and attitude prior to marriage also experienced a rapid decline in marital satisfaction over the first few years of marriage, leading to greater likelihood of separation or divorce — even if they themselves were premaritally celibate.
"What we found most surprising about these results was the fact that both [spouses' premarital attitudes and experience] play an important role in long-term marital outcomes," said French.
This study is another example of science supporting the truth and goodness of natural law, codified in Christian moral teaching. Scripture infers that sexual union is not simply something one does, but something two become.
Two becoming "one flesh" could happen within (Gen. 2:24), or outside of (1 Cor. 6:16) marriage. Aquinas speaks of the one-flesh union as creating a new relation that cannot be repudiated. We are learning more through science about the profundity of the biblical term of two becoming one flesh.
Genetic material, chemical compounds, hormones and prostaglandins, nucleotides and seminal proteins are exchanged and commingled in this greatest of natural human intimacies. Tracey Chapman, a researcher at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in the United Kingdom, has conducted studies on fruit flies and has concluded that seminal protein is a "master regulator" of genes and that females exposed to it through sexual union show a wide range of changes in gene expression.
Cells have proteins called receptors that bind to signaling molecules and initiate a physiological response. Chapman believes this kind of sexual signaling is widespread in the animal world, raising questions about what kind of behavioral responses may occur in female mammals.
A 2002 CUNY study conducted by psychologist Gordon Gallup and subsequent confirmations indicate that seminal fluid does indeed alter the mood of women, as it is absorbed into their bloodstream and acts as a mood stabilizer and safeguard against depression.
It is now well-documented that "bonding hormones" such as oxytocin and vasopressin are released during sexual intimacy, causing emotional and psychological bonding between the two partners. Other scientific studies relating to male microchimerism in women and the possibility of telegony in humans have pointed to other interesting possibilities that may someday uncover more depth of truth about the one-flesh union.
The more science reveals insight into the physical, psychological and social dimensions of the family, the more the "Sexual Revolution" is nakedly exposed as the destructive foundation upholding our Culture of Death. As this study points to in its correlation between premarital sex and divorce, it is a revolution not only against God, but against human nature as well.