By: Avital Borisovsky for Divorced Moms.
As premarital sex has become more accepted among men and women in North America, the likelihood of a man or woman having multiple partners before settling down has increased. While the rate of divorce has increased at the same time, it is unlikely the effect of the growing trend, according to new research from the University of Utah.
By exploring and comparing five-year divorce rates and the number of sexual partners women had before marriage, Nicholas H. Wolfinger – professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies – discovered some surprising facts. According to his research, having multiple partners before marriage does not necessarily mean you’re more likely to get divorced – unless you had more than 10 partners, that is.
Who’s More Likely to Get a Divorce?
Wolfinger explored data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth, looking at statistics from the 1970s to the 2010s. He concluded that:
- Women who had no partners or only one partner (which usually means their current spouse) prior to marriage were the least likely to divorce;
- Women who had between three and nine partners were less likely to divorce;
- Women who had two partners were more likely to divorce;
- Women who had more than 10 partners were the most likely to divorce (but only since the 2000s).
“Earlier research found that having multiple sex partners prior to marriage could lead to less happy marriages, and often increased the odds of divorce,” Wolfinger wrote in his report.
“But sexual attitudes and behaviors continue to change in America, and some of the strongest predictors of divorce in years gone by no longer matter as much as they once did.”
A higher divorce rate for those who have multiple partners is no longer the case as “waiting until marriage” is no longer the norm. In fact, statistics reveal that by the 2010s, only five per cent of brides were virgins – a drastic drop when compared to the 21 per cent of virgin brides in the 1970s. Men and women now expect their spouses to enter a marriage having had previous partners and relationships.