The Number of Sexual Partners Prior to Marriage Matters

Faith and Family Findings regularly releases data on family structure and its impact on everything important to a functioning society. One particular study measured the intactness of marriage at the end of the first five years of marriage given the number of sexual partners the spouses have had in their lifetime (see chart). Research indicated that almost 95% of those who only had one sexual partner in their lifetime maintained intact marriages after the first five years. However, for women who had one additional sexual partner prior to being married the percentage dropped to 62% and for two additional partners the rate dropped to almost 50%.

According to the Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) Patrick Fagan, “chastity and monogamy are foundational to the intact married family, and thus to the prosperity and success of a nation.”

“A culture of chastity is foundational to a culture of monogamy,” Fagan wrote in a recent article. He concluded that this research is one of the most important in social sciences. This data reflects the importance of virtue within a society to be successful in marriage.