The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Friday, July 29, 2011

A correlation between loss of virginity and divorce?

is pretty common among married couples today, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t painful for everyone involved.  I think it’s safe to say that most people who are married, considering getting married or who might ever get married would do whatever they could to stay together.  Now a new study shows that for women, there is a correlation between getting divorced and losing their virginity at a young age.

At least, that’s how the study authors are framing it - they claim that girls losing their virginity before age 18 indicates a stronger likelihood of divorce as an adult.  But looking more closely at the data indicates that another factor is at work:  unwanted sexual encounters.  The highest rates of divorce were seen among girls whose first experience of sex was either forced or coerced.

This makes a lot of sense, because rape can really screw up your views on love and relationships (to say the least).  So can sexual experiences where one partner feels bullied to go along with the other, rather than being willing and excited.  Neither of these situations sets up a good model for how healthy romances work. 

So yes, preventing divorce may begin in girlhood.  But it’s not about just telling girls to wait; it’s about telling girls to wait until they’re comfortable, until they feel they’re ready.  It’s about telling girls that sex should be an enjoyable experience for them, not something they feel they need to do to please a partner.  More importantly, it’s about telling boys that forcing sexual acts on a girl is never okay, and that both people in a sexual relationship need to feel valued, listened to and respected.

-Miriam Musco
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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