Reality check: 95 percent of Americans had premarital sexYikes. That really deflates the whole 'Silver Ring Thing' crowd's argument.
NEW YORK (AP) -- More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.
"This is reality-check research," said the study's author, Lawrence Finer. "Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades."
The study, examining how sexual behavior before marriage has changed over time, was based on interviews conducted with more than 38,000 people -- about 33,000 of them women -- in 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002 for the federal National Survey of Family Growth. According to Finer's analysis, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage.How does the right-wing, anti-sex crowd react to numbers like that? Just say that the number seemed, according to Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America "a little suspicious." Remember, in Conservo-World, a gut feeling that reinforces a pre-held belief is far more credible than a survey conducted regularly over nearly a quarter of a century interviewing 38,000 people.
Even among a subgroup of those who abstained from sex until at least age 20, four-fifths had had premarital sex by age 44, the study found.
Finer said the likelihood of Americans having sex before marriage has remained stable since the 1950s, though people now wait longer to get married and thus are sexually active as singles for extensive periods.
"The data clearly show[s] that the majority of older teens and adults have already had sex before marriage, which calls into question the federal government's funding of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for 12- to 29-year-olds," [Lawrence] Finer, [the research director at the Guttmacher Institute] said.The study even showed that this level of premarital sex wasn't a 'generational thing' or caused by 'sexuality in the media.' The incidence of premarital sex among people born in the 1940s was only 7% lower (88%) than it is today (95%).
Under the Bush administration, such programs have received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.
"It would be more effective," Finer said, "to provide young people with the skills and information they need to be safe once they become sexually active -- which nearly everyone eventually will."
If 'Evangelicals' (read: Christianists) make up 20-30% of the U.S. population (and 100% of people that still think George W. Bush is doing a good job) and 95% of the population has had sex before marriage, that means that way more than half of self identified 'Evangelicals' were shacking up before they said "I do."
So even though Bush's core supporters can't live up to 'Abstinence Only,' he still spends hundreds of millions in tax dollars preaching it to a population which has, for the past 60 years, shown the ability to have sex before marriage without turning into sex-crazed delinquents.
It's almost like parents want to pass laws codifying morality so that their kids wouldn't do exactly the same thing they did... This would be funny if it weren't so incredibly frightening.
Sex Before Marriage Abstinence+Only Lawrence Finer