Totally unbiased study: Saving sex for marriage will improve your relationship

A new study shows that delaying sex until marriage will lead to a more satisfying and stable relationship, according to researchers at — get this — Brigham Young University. That’s the right, the university whose honor code bans porn, gay sex, sex outside of marriage, cussing, sleeveless shirts, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and tea (tea!) claims to have science on its side. Apparently couples who had sex the earliest — after the first date, say, or even in the first month of dating — had the worst relationship outcomes.

“What seems to happen is that if couples become sexual too early, this very rewarding area of the relationship overwhelms good decision-making and keeps couples in a relationship that might not be the best for them in the long-run,” says researcher Dean Busby, of Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, sounding oh-so scientific and objective.

The study interviewed 2,035 straight people (duh, this is BYU, after all), average age 36, all in their first marriages about when they first had sex with their current spouse, and what their relationship is like in terms of communication, empathy, etc. People who waited until marriage to have sex — as compared to those who had sex less than a month after meeting — claimed higher relationship stability, satisfaction, communication, and (no shocker here) sexual quality. Well of course sex with your spouse is the best you’ve ever had — it’s the only sex you’ve ever had.

Okay, okay, now that our little rant is over, we will admit that the results of this research do make some sort of sense to us. Not the saving yourself for marriage part — just the saving sex until you’re comfortable with your partner part.

“Almost 40 percent of couples are essentially sexual within the first or second time they go out,” says Busby. “But we suspect that if you asked these same couples at this early stage of their relationship – ‘Do you trust this person to watch your pet for a weekend many could not answer this in the affirmative’ – meaning they are more comfortable letting people into their bodies than they are with them watching their cat.”

We resemble that statement, Mr. Busby. But we’re still not jumping on your honor code band wagon. We just plain don’t trust the research methods of an institution that finds evil in afternoon tea.


photo by Jeremy McBride