Family Facts #36

Family Facts — By on November 17, 2007 at 1:41 pm

While a woman’s intimate premarital relationship that was exclusively with her husband did not affect the risk of marital disruption, having at least one other intimate relationship prior to marriage was linked to an increased risk of divorce (The increase in risk associated with having had a sexual relationship with another partner ranged from 53 percent to 119 percent). The risk of divorce is substantially higher if the woman not only had a sexual relationship with another man before marriage but also cohabited with that partner. (This increase in risk is as high as 166 percent).

Source:
“Premarital Sex, Premarital Cohabitation, and the Risk of Subsequent Marital Dissolution Among Women”
Teachman, Jay
Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 65, Number . May, 2003. Page(s) 444-455.
(HT: FamilyFacts.org)



  • http://amongthehills.blogspot.com ~c.

    As a man, I wonder if the same is true for us. Socially, men are allowed to be sexual explorers moreso than women, whose “purity” is expected. Also, how true did these statistics hold up for Christians versus non-Christians?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/intellectuelle Bonnie

    Depends on how you define “marital disruption”: I think there’s a case to be made for the fact that an “intimate premarital relationship” entered into with someone before marriage can still negatively affect the relationship, if not to the point of divorce, because of the attitudes toward sex that lead to this. Of course, said attitudes may still exist, in some lesser form, in the couple who waits. But I think that the attitude that says it’s OK to not wait because you’re going to get married anyway still reveals an attitude toward sex that is less than honoring of its place and purpose in marriage.

  • http://muddleoftheroad.blogspot.com reddog

    An inexperienced woman from a religious background is far more likely to accept as normal an abusive domestic relationship where she is subjugated to a domineering partner who claims divine right.

  • U.P. Man

    Please site your source Reddog

  • Ludwig

    “Please site your source Reddog”
    having lived on THIS planet for any lenght of time would do. everything he said is absolutely correct.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    First, this “study” comes from the Heritage Foundation, not exactly a reliable source for unbiased information on any subject.
    Second, as Bonnie already pointed out, “marital disruption” is not defined. Do they mean divorce? Abuse? Or does it also include arguments about who expects what from the relationship? Many marriages have very emotional, sometimes bitter, arguments about such things as sex and roles; but that doesn’t mean they’re doomed or bad marriages. “Marital disruption” of this sort has many sources in this less-than-ideal world, not all of which can be avoided.
    Third, as reddog added, a person who has had one or more relationships before marriage, is more likely to opt out of a marriage than one who felt bound by a strict set of rules and dated only the one he/she planned to marry. Also, the latter person is less likey to report/describe/admit “disruption” in his/her marriage, which could easily skew the results of the study. Just because two people plod through a marriage without making waves, or one person endures the other’s actions without complaint, does not mean it’s a good, happy or fulfilling marriage.

  • http://thechristiancynic.wordpress.com The Christian Cynic

    Reddog:
    An inexperienced woman from a religious background is far more likely to accept as normal an abusive domestic relationship where she is subjugated to a domineering partner who claims divine right.
    1. Inexperienced in what way? Sexually? Romantically? This needs some qualification.
    2. I’m with U.P. Man; we need some kind of source if it is a purported fact. If it’s a matter of anecdotal observations as Ludwig suggests, then that should be clear so those of us who tend to lean toward a healthy skepticism can (rightly) be skeptical about it.
    3. What bearing does that exactly have on the topic? This has much to do with #1 above, but certainly it’s controversial that there is something about religion or about being sexually inexperienced (or the combination of the two) that makes a woman prone to abusive relationships. So if there’s some study that shows this, then please, enlighten us. Otherwise, quit blowing hot air.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Sorry, I was a bit busy, and didn’t have time to post the rest of my reservatins about this “study”…Where was I?…
    Fourth, while the article describes the number and age-group of the participants, it did not answer a question crucial to any sort of statistical analysis: where did these participants come from? Were they self-selected? Were they contacted by a church? Did they answer an ad in a paper? And did they self-report the “disruption?”
    Fifth, as “~c.” already hinted, this study seems to have concentrated entirely on FEMALE premarital actions. This alone suggests a bias, if not a prejudgement, that sinks the credibility of the entire study.
    Sixth, where are we to go from this study, in terms of policy recommendations? Are we men to take from this the message that our safest bet is to marry virgins who have never dated anyone else? Should we go back to the old practice of shunning widows, divorcees and rape-victims as dangerous or damaged goods?
    Seventh, the article does not describe any specific cause-and-effect link between the woman’s premarital relationships and the subsequent “disruption” in her marriage. Even if we accept this study at face value, we are still left without a satisfactory discussion of HOW and WHY, exactly, the previous relationship “caused” the “disruption.”
    In response to Christian Cynic: IMHO, Reddog does not need to cite a source. There’s plenty of news and literature out there already about women who marry the wrong guy, having little choice and no experience on which to base a mature decision, who then become victims of abuse, both because she does not know where to go for help, and because both partners lack the experience they need to handle an adult relationship.

  • http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com Elusive Wapiti

    Reddog wrote:

    An inexperienced woman from a religious background is far more likely to accept as normal an abusive domestic relationship where she is subjugated to a domineering partner who claims divine right.

    Really? I’m with U.P. here, too. Source, please, because other sources paint a somewhat different reality than what you contend (1):
    “women who became involved in abuse relationships as adults experienced more caretaker changes in childhood [and] spent more years with a single parent…than women who did not become involved in abusive relationships.” In further statistical tests, “being reared by a single parent” emerges as one of the key “risk factors for women who became involved in both nonclinically and clinically abusive relationships”
    Based on this data, it seems to me that women who were affected by family instability as a child are more likely to seek out abusive relationships themselves. And although I’m having a difficult time finding a source for it, my sense is that single-parent households are significantly lower in the religiousity scale than are two-parent households.
    Moreover, the “patriarchal” men that the feminists on the left like to pillory so much are the ones least likely to knock their women around:
    “These [abusive] men were especially likely to score low on the Traditionalism scale of our personality assessment, which is inconsistent with the notion that violence against women is motivated by conventional, normative patriarchal attitudes”
    Seems to me that an “inexperienced” woman–as others have pointed out, a very ill-defined word in the context of this thread–in a marriage with a “patriarchal” man is in a very safe place indeed. The woman who is in danger is the “experienced” woman in a relationship with her equal; in fact, chances are even that it’s her doing the battering anyway (2).
    Sources:
    (1): http://www.profam.org/pub/nr/nr_1807.htm
    (2): http://www.mediaradar.org/research.php#waj

  • Ludwig

    Elusive Wapiti
    Physical abuse is not the predominent form of marital abuse…most of the time its either verbal or psychological…religionist men are brought up to believe that their spouse is a subordinate,not an equal and women fromm thatmiliuue are brought up to accept this role without question,weather they agree or not.

  • Raging Bee

    Elusive: Your assertion sounds like the same old attempt to blame “uppity women” for all the abuse they suffer. First you say such a woman is “in danger,” then you allege that it’s her doing the battering. Furthermore, I see, so far at least, absolutely no support for your allegations in either of the articles you cite — both of which reveal a damning bias in their bashing of “feminists.”
    Seems to me that an “inexperienced” woman–as others have pointed out, a very ill-defined word in the context of this thread–in a marriage with a “patriarchal” man is in a very safe place indeed.
    As long as she stays in her place, of course. And if she leaves her safe place, it’s her fault if she gets beaten up as a result, right?

  • http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com Elusive Wapiti

    Ludwig,
    Do you have a source for your implied assertion that ‘religionist’ men verbally / psychologically abuse at rates higher than non-religionist men? Or are you asserting that religious men are so because you happen to believe the media caricatures of religious men?
    Also, I dispute your contention that the biblical concept of a woman’s submission to her husband’s headship equates to subordination.
    Third, the data I presented suggested that those poor, oppressed religious women who hail from intact homes were less likely to be abused than those women who came from broken ones. In other words, childhood family structure as predicted abusive relationships as an adult.
    Unfortunately, the source did not differentiate between types of abuse–it referenced only “abusive relationships”, so I can’t answer your assertion that they study only applied to physical abuse and not other kinds of abuse.
    Raging Bee wrote:
    “Furthermore, I see, so far at least, absolutely no support for your allegations in either of the articles you cite “
    Both articles contain the sources for the quotes that I cited in my post.
    “As long as she stays in her place, of course. And if she leaves her safe place, it’s her fault if she gets beaten up as a result, right?”
    Apparently you just glossed over the entire phrase where the researchers described how less traditionalist men were more likely to batter than ones that were more so. So it seems to me that the lack of patriarchy may be to blame, rather than the presence of it.
    Also, on a separate note, there is a significant body of research about how women batter their partners in numbers equal to, and in some cases, surpassing men. I don’t think this squares real well with your men-as-abuser, women-as-perpetual-victim paradigm.
    “Are we men to take from this the message that our safest bet is to marry virgins who have never dated anyone
    else?”

    My definition of “dating” does not include premarital sex or shacking up. So this study suggests to me that a good strategy for avoiding becoming a divorce statistic is to date and eventually marry women who didn’t sleep around or cohabitate.
    “Should we go back to the old practice of shunning widows, divorcees and rape-victims as dangerous or damaged goods?”
    I dunno, the Old Testament makes several mentions of how a deceased husband’s brother takes in his widow. Not much shunning there.
    I had no idea there was an “old practice” of shunning rape victims–although the rapist certainly met a quick end. Perhaps you are referring to Islam?
    As for divorcees, given the data, I’d be very cautious about marrying a woman who initiated a divorce. Call it shunning if you like, I call it cheap information about her behavior, integrity, and morals.
    That’s all for now. I have to get back to putting Mrs Wapiti in her place…barefoot, pregnant, and chained to the kitchen stove. Maybe I’ll assert my God-given male dominance a little, just for kicks.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I dunno, the Old Testament makes several mentions of how a deceased husband’s brother takes in his widow. Not much shunning there.
    And WHY was this done? Probably because no one else would have taken a widow, and she would have had absolutely nowhere else to go. So yes, plenty of shunning there.
    As for divorcees, given the data, I’d be very cautious about marrying a woman who initiated a divorce. Call it shunning if you like, I call it cheap information about her behavior, integrity, and morals.
    So you judge a woman’s behavior, integrity and morals by the mere fact that she initiated a divorce, without even asking WHY she did so? That’s not “information,” that’s shunning based on simpleminded prejudice.
    Furthermore, this assumption that a woman who made the wrong choice the first time around is useless and dangerous thereafter, is not only callous and ignorant, it’s also contrary to Christ’s basic message of forgiveness and redemption.
    If you fall in love with a woman, but still can’t marry her because you feel threatened by the fact that she had initiated a divorce, then you’re a truly pathetic human being.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I dunno, the Old Testament makes several mentions of how a deceased husband’s brother takes in his widow. Not much shunning there.
    I’m not an Orthodox Jew, so why should I care what the Old Testament says about marital relations in an ancient bygone era? How is that supposed to be relevant to the choices we have to make in twenty-first-century America?

  • http://thechristiancynic.wordpress.com The Christian Cynic

    In response to Christian Cynic: IMHO, Reddog does not need to cite a source. There’s plenty of news and literature out there already about women who marry the wrong guy, having little choice and no experience on which to base a mature decision, who then become victims of abuse, both because she does not know where to go for help, and because both partners lack the experience they need to handle an adult relationship.
    Was this supposed to be a substantive response to what I said? Frankly, it’s not, for 1) you still haven’t defined what “experience” you’re talking about (although I would guess that you’re talking about romantic experiences, which – to my knowledge – religion isn’t inherently against), and 2) that doesn’t address what reddog said explicitly about a link with religion, and I would say that your principle is a decent one speaking generally (walking into a situation with no idea of what to expect and no way of gaining good information about how to act is a recipe for disaster when it comes to almost anything, but especially marriage).
    Finally, why shouldn’t reddog be obligated to cite a source for his understanding of a trend? Is he an expert that we should take his authority without question? If you don’t want to be rigorous about confirmation of facts, that’s fine, but it doesn’t fly with me. I like actual evidence, and anecdotal evidence hardly meets the criteria to establish this claim as fact.
    Just to be clear, I’m not taking a stance on the study originally posted – there may or may not be problems of bias and a lack of clarity with it – but some of the claims made in response are simply absurd in the absence of positive evidence.

  • http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com Elusive Wapiti

    “And WHY was this done? Probably because no one else would have taken a widow”
    I was under the impression that this directive was to ensure that Jewish widows didn’t descend into poverty, since at that time they had siginifant difficulty doing so for themselves. I don’t think that it had anything to do with her being damaged goods and no one else would take her.
    Rather than continue this debate about the religious practices of Jews 4,000 years ago, why don’t you provide an example of a culture in the last 200 years–outside of Islam–where widows, rape victims, and divorcees were shunned as a provision of their religion.
    “That’s not “information,” that’s shunning based on simpleminded prejudice.”
    Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t make it simpleminded. And there is a fine line between prejudice and shrewd discernment and probability. Surveys indicate the rates for divorce due to emotional / physical abuse are less than one in five. Couple this with the fact that women initiate the divorces between 2/3 and 4/5 of the time, depending on if there were children involved (1). Consider further the increased exposure to divorce from being with women who sleep around or shack up. So it seems that men would be well heeled to avoid women who have already demonstrated that they are capable of these behaviors, because the consequences for divorce for men are quite dire.
    “Furthermore, this assumption that a woman who made the wrong choice the first time around is useless and dangerous thereafter, is not only callous and ignorant”
    It’s not “callous and ignorant”. She made the choice to sleep around. She made the choice to cohabit. And no one held a gun to her head and made her choose to divorce. It’s too bad for her if a man chooses to hold her accountable for her actions. I know that the concept of taking responsibility for one’s actions puts feminists into a tailspin, but them’s the brakes.
    “…it’s also contrary to Christ’s basic message of forgiveness and redemption.”
    Possibly. Not to get this thread off-track, but I contend that forgiveness and redemption requires repentance. Are the uber-promiscuous serial polyanders that you speak of very repentant?
    “If you fall in love with a woman, but still can’t marry her because you feel threatened by the fact that she had initiated a divorce, then you’re a truly pathetic human being.”
    Not pathetic. Wise as a serpent, maybe. Keeping oneself from being converted into a human ATM and forced into peonage, most definitely. But pathetic, nope. And no amount of name-calling on your part will change that.
    “How is that supposed to be relevant to the choices we have to make in twenty-first-century America?”
    You’re the one that drug in the non-sequitur of how divorcees, widows, and rape victims were shunned in the olde days, not me. So, how is the alleged shunning of those three classes of women relevant to this conversation?
    Source:
    (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com Raging Bee

    Couple this with the fact that women initiate the divorces between 2/3 and 4/5 of the time, depending on if there were children involved (1).
    Your citation of this statistic, without even mentioning WHY women do this, shows your total lack of concern for the facts and people involved. Does it not matter to you that a woman may have had very good reason to initiate a divorce, like abuse, neglect, her husband’s infidelity, or other poor treatment leading to unhappiness and no benefit for her? Or do a woman’s interests and feelings not matter to you? Do you feel threatened by a woman who makes her own choices and stands up for her own interests? If so, it is you who should be removed from the gene pool, not her.
    She made the choice to cohabit. And no one held a gun to her head and made her choose to divorce. It’s too bad for her if a man chooses to hold her accountable for her actions.
    What sort of “accountability” do you expect? If she’s honest about her past actions and reasons, is that not enough? (And what about YOUR past actions? Do they not merit a place in this discussion?)
    Not to get this thread off-track, but I contend that forgiveness and redemption requires repentance.
    IF she was promiscuous, and if she then chooses to marry a man and be faithful to him, does that not constitute repentance, and a choice to change her ways? Again, what more do you want? Vindictive shunning and humiliation, even though she may have done no one else any harm by her past actions?
    Not pathetic. Wise as a serpent, maybe. Keeping oneself from being converted into a human ATM and forced into peonage, most definitely. But pathetic, nope.
    If you truly love a woman, enough to consider marrying her, but you’re still afraid of being “forced into peonage,” then either you’re in love with the wrong person, or you’re just nonsensically hateful, paranoid and vindictive. In either case, you sure sound pathetic to me. If that’s your attitude toward all women, even the ones you love, then it’s you who should be shunned, not the women.
    (BTW, I notice you slip a reference to gold-digging and “peonage” into a discussion about previous sexual behavor. They’re not the same thing, and a woman doesn’t have to be a slut to be a gold-digger. In fact, the sensible and determined gold-digger is very likely to be the one who saves her virginity for the highest bidder, then starts “forcing him into peonage” after the legal bond is made.)

  • http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com Elusive Wapiti

    “Do you feel threatened by a woman who makes her own choices and stands up for her own interests? If so, it is you who should be removed from the gene pool, not her”
    Repeatedly attempting to turn this discussion into a referendum on me isn’t exactly a formula for rhetorical success.
    As I’ve pointed out already, the threat of divorce posed by marrying women who behave in certain ways–thus providing evidence for all to see regarding their integrity and morality–is very real and not to be taken lightly. Yes, some women are justified in filing for divorce. I contend that most are not, and this thread was started regarding how women that have pre-marital sexual relations and who cohabitate have a much higher risk of being involved in a divorce later on down the line. I’ve added to that knowledge the facts about who files for divorce as further evidence that men should approach women who have have a history of pre-marital sex, cohabitation, and / or divorce very carefully. You have angrily called it shunning. I call it a dispassionate examination of the facts and recommend that men act accordingly, since I assert that men have much more to lose in a divorce than women do.
    A previous commenter’s point about how this study focused on the women in these divorces is well made. I’d be curious to see if male promiscuity or cohabitation has the same effect size on the data. As far as male behaviors that raise or lower their attractiveness for a woman, I’m sure that there are concerns about men and men’s behavior that give women pause about marrying them. However, that’s not the subject of this thread.
    “What sort of “accountability” do you expect? If she’s honest about her past actions and reasons, is that not enough? (And what about YOUR past actions? Do they not merit a place in this discussion?)”
    The accountability I expect is inherent in men deciding to eschew (or not) women who sleep around, cohabitate, or voluntarily commit serial polyandry. Being honest about her past actions and reasons is good, but taking responsibility for them is better, as is a woman’s realizing that acting in the aforementioned ways not only reduces her attractiveness as wife, but decreases the odds for her and any of her offspring to have a successful marriage later on. If she realizes these things but still sluts/shacks/divorces anyway, then she has no right to be angry if the consequences involve nights alone and lots of cats.
    Oh, again, attempting to convert this thread into a personal attack on me doesn’t make you any more successful rhetorically.
    “…even though she may have done no one else any harm by her past actions?”
    I strongly disagree that promiscuity, cohabitation, or divorce committed by either sex is victimless. Someone always suffers, even if the perp is unaware.
    “…”forced into peonage,” then either you’re in love with the wrong person, or you’re just nonsensically hateful, paranoid and vindictive. “
    I don’t expect people such as you to understand. Which is why I advise the men with whom I come in contact to avoid those who believe as you do.
    “They’re not the same thing, and a woman doesn’t have to be a slut to be a gold-digger.”
    Very true. They are two different phenomenon. Which is why–if Barna is to be believed–men need to be even more discerning when dating women who appear religous than when dating women who do not, because irreligious women will display their potential disqualifications for all to see. The pseudo-religious women imbued with feminst entitlement are harder to ferret out.
    “…then starts “forcing him into peonage” after the legal bond is made”
    Actually, the peonage of which I speak generally starts after the legal bond is dissolved. But then the men who make the mistake that thinking that the fraud that is State-sanctioned marriage is the same thing as a religious / spiritual marriage deserve what the even odds say they will get.

  • http://www.leanleft.com tgirsch

    So the secret to staying married is not knowing what you’re missing?

  • RAging Bee

    Repeatedly attempting to turn this discussion into a referendum on me isn’t exactly a formula for rhetorical success.
    It can’t be helped, when you use such shabby logic, dodgy “studies” and selective blindness to support conclusions that I, and probably many others with actual experience in sexual relationships, find observably false. (Here’s a little hint: you don’t marry a statistic, you marry a person, and statistics are utterly useless in describing or predicting the character of an individual person.)
    …as is a woman’s realizing that acting in the aforementioned ways not only reduces her attractiveness as wife…
    “Less attractive” by whose standards? I, for one, like a woman to have experience in sex and relationships. Many other men have said the same thing. Virgins are nice, but highly overrated.
    …but decreases the odds for her and any of her offspring to have a successful marriage later on.
    Absolute rubbish. First, there are plenty of women who are able to maintain stable marriages, and raise healthy kids, despite, or perhaps because of, previous sexual and relationship experiences. Second, as I said before, the “odds” you speak of come from “studies” whose flaws damn them as useless at best. Third, if you expect your reasoning to be taken at all seriously, you need to — at least — recognize that not all extramarital sex and cohabitation experiences are equal, and that a woman’s ability to form stable relationships is determined by FAR more factors than previous sexual encounters.
    I strongly disagree that promiscuity, cohabitation, or divorce committed by either sex is victimless. Someone always suffers, even if the perp is unaware.
    Be specific, or admit you have no case.
    I don’t expect people such as you to understand. Which is why I advise the men with whom I come in contact to avoid those who believe as you do.
    Translation: “RUN AWAAAAY!!!”

  • http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com Elusive Wapiti

    “It can’t be helped, when you use such shabby logic, dodgy “studies” and selective blindness to support conclusions that I, and probably many others with actual experience in sexual relationships, find observably false. (Here’s a little hint: you don’t marry a statistic, you marry a person, and statistics are utterly useless in describing or predicting the character of an individual person.)”
    Well, gee Bee, what have you brought to this thread, other than rejecting studies because you don’t like the results (i.e. not female friendly enough), numerous begging-the-question, when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife kinds of queries, appeals to conventional wisdom about “old practices” and ‘everyone knows’ anecdotal evidence which you failed to support, frequent and uncalled-for ad hominem attacks, and sly implications about my lack of sexual experience relative to yours (perhaps you are claiming “slut” status for yourself) in a feeble attempt to impugn my masculinity. All told, I feel as though I’ve been transported back to the 3d grade in debating with you.
    As for generalized statistics not applying to an individual person, duh. A college frosh can parrot that line. Just because a continuous statistical variable breaks down at the discrete level doesn’t mean that the data about the population as a whole cannot give you some predictive power. Using your logic, I could just as well say that a newbie can ride a motorcycle safely on I-405 without having first received motorcycle training. It’s quite possible that an individual’s innate skill and talent would prevent them from becoming a grease spot. But the fact remains that NHSTA data shows that they are significantly more likely to have a fatal mishap. Same with this whole discussion about divorce, sleeping around, cohabitation, and a particular sex’s overrepresentation in the divorce-filing statistics. A man can take his chances, and he may luck out. Then again he may not. The odds are even. Pretty stupid to take that chance when he can tilt them more in his favor.
    “”Less attractive” by whose standards? I, for one, like a woman to have experience in sex and relationships. “
    Less attractive to those men who wish to avoid being divorced. If avoiding divorce is your goal, then steering clear of women with histories will increase your odds of success. In the end, as you imply, it is an individual decision, and if they decide to take a chance with the data and pursue “experienced” women in hopes they get lucky in the marriage/divorce game, that’s their call. Personally, I’d rather be with a woman who doesn’t have a whole stable full of men in her past and who hasn’t shown that she’s quick to pull the divorce trigger, but that’s just me.
    “…there are plenty of women who are able to maintain stable marriages, and raise healthy kids, despite, or perhaps because of, previous sexual and relationship experiences”
    This is a true but meaningless statement, kinda like observing that there are an unquantified “plenty” of untrained riders out there who can ride their whole lives without getting into a mishap.
    “Second, as I said before, the “odds” you speak of come from “studies” whose flaws damn them as useless at best.”
    Your scare quotes not withstanding, what flaws do you speak of? Have you looked at the methodology? Are the constructs fatally flawed? And do you plan to present data that counters the so-called flawed studies that I base my argument on? As you say, be specific, or admit you have no case.
    “…that a woman’s ability to form stable relationships is determined by FAR more factors than previous sexual encounters.”
    I’m not saying that previous sexual encounters are the only variable predicting divorce. Nor am I claiming that there are no confounding / moderating variables that also predict divorce, and I don’t think that Teachman is either.
    “First, this “study” comes from the Heritage Foundation…”
    False. It is merely referenced by it. By your logic, any study referenced but not sponsored by the Brookings Institution or Alan Guttmacher is equally suspect.
    “Be specific, or admit you have no case.”
    Fair enough, let me spell it out for you:
    First, promiscuity increases risk of divorce, as evidenced by: Present study, (1)(2)
    Second, cohabitation increases the risk of divorce: (3)(4)(5)
    Third, divorce has negative effects on children (6)(7)(8)(9)
    I only did a search on children, not on promiscuity, cohabitation, and divorce’s effects on the adults themselves, which are not insignificant. Now demonstrate to me that these three acts ARE victimless. That is, if you can.
    Sources:
    (1) http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ440695&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ440695
    (2) http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2445(199111)53%3A4%3C845%3APSATRO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-5
    (3) http://lists101.his.com/pipermail/smartmarriages/2006-June/003062.html
    (4) http://marriage.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=marriage&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fmelbourneinstitute.com%2Fhilda%2Fconf%2Fconf2003%2Fpdffiles%2FRWeston.pdf
    (5) http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2445%28199505%2957%3A2%3C421%3ACADICT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-H&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage
    (6) http://www.smartmarriages.com/visitation.html
    (7) http://www.childrensjustice.org/fatherlessness1.htm
    (8) http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED402439&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED402439
    (9) http://www.massey.ac.nz/~kbirks/gender/econ/nodad.htm
    You have failed to posit an argument to counter mine, and instead have attempted to discredit my argument with name-calling and unsupported statements. Any clown can burn down a barn. The question is, can you build one? I’ve asserted that studies and statistics such as the one that Joe posted and the couple others that I’ve cited demonstrate that men should be wary of marrying women with a particular relationship history, if not for them, then for the sake of their children. Get to refuting it, please, or get off the stage.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Personally, I’d rather be with a woman who doesn’t have a whole stable full of men in her past and who hasn’t shown that she’s quick to pull the divorce trigger, but that’s just me.
    Yes, that’s just you, showing your prejudice by conflating “past sexual relationships” with “a stable full of men.”
    Less attractive to those men who wish to avoid being divorced. If avoiding divorce is your goal, then steering clear of women with histories will increase your odds of success.
    There’s more to life than avoiding divorce. Every relationship that involves exposing one’s deepest, most vulnerable self to someone else brings the risk of pain, loss, failure and embarrassment; just as every car trip brings the risk of accidental death or injury. Should the mere possibility of divorce stop me from marrying someone whom I love deeply, who loves me, and whose company is consistently ejnoyable and beneficial? If I avoid marrying such a person, for whatever reason, I will have avoided the risk of divorce, but I will also have denied myself the certainty of many years of good times with her.
    Marriage is like any other life-choice: you can’t have the benefits without the risks; and if you’re too desperate to avoid the risks, all you will do is deny yourself a lot of opportunities, narrowing your own choices to get an illusion of safety. Avoiding risk, as a #1 priority, may give you a more stable life, but it won’t necessarily get you a better, more fulfilling, or enjoyable life.
    Besides, I’ve been divorced already, and my parents divorced when I was 10. Worse things are known to happen to couples who don’t get divorced; and my parents had a decent and beneficial relationship while it lasted. The fact that they divorced does not cancel out the benefits of their marriage; nor did it stop my mother from finding and marrying another man (who had already had kids by several previous wives, BTW), with whom she lived happily till he died. (And they were all NONTRADITIONAL LIBERALS! Imagine the shock!) Nor did my divorce cancel out the good times I had with my ex.
    (Here’s another problem with the “study” cited in this post: it talks about problems allegedly arising from a woman’s previous sexual relationships and “cohabitation;” but not about her previous marriages. Clearly there’s a moralistic bias, if not prejudgement, warping this study.)
    This is a true but meaningless statement…
    “Meaningless,” in your opinion, because it contradicts your prejudices? Oh well, at least you’re admitting it’s true.
    Your scare quotes not withstanding, what flaws do you speak of?
    I listed SEVEN flaws, in two posts, and now you’re re-asking a question I’ve already answered?

  • Raging Bee

    One more question: if women with past sexual histories are too risky to marry, what option is left for a man over 40 who finds himself divorced, widowed, or never marrried? In the interests of avoiding divorce, should he narrow his dating choices to 18-year-old virgins? I agree they’re hot, but I’m sure you’ll agree there’s obvious problems with such a strategy:
    1) You’d be competing with 18-year-old guys.
    2) The virgins are too inexperienced, both in sex and in life in general, to be good matches for older men.
    3) The virgins will be understandably leery of getting in bed with older guys who can’t handle experienced women of their own age.
    4) Once the older man gets past his sexual prime, his trophy-wife is likely to start looking outside the marriage to satisfy her emotional needs. So I guess even that option doesn’t avoid the risk of divorce. So what other option is there?

  • http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com Elusive Wapiti

    “Yes, that’s just you, showing your prejudice by conflating “past sexual relationships” with “a stable full of men.”"
    As you show your prejudice that someone who would prefer not go where many other men have gone before is somehow a sexual neophyte or a moralistic bigot. Or both. Either way, you are just as judgemental and prejudiced as you accuse me of.
    “Marriage is like any other life-choice: you can’t have the benefits without the risks; and if you’re too desperate to avoid the risks”
    I’m not saying don’t get married. What I am saying is that there are indicators that predict elevated risk. What this really comes down to is a market decision: is the woman you are considering worth the risk, or are there better values out there with the same or even less risk?
    “Avoiding risk, as a #1 priority, may give you a more stable life, but it won’t necessarily get you a better, more fulfilling, or enjoyable life”
    Can’t argue with you on this point. Mate selection cannot be–nor should it be–a minimax exercise. Thus focusing solely on sexual, cohabitation, and divorce history is not likely to yield palatable results by itself. However, the disruptive effects of divorce on children and on the fabric of society in general add additional gravity to a decision to wed or not.
    “”Meaningless,” in your opinion, because it contradicts your prejudices? Oh well, at least you’re admitting it’s true.”
    Meaningless as in it doesn’t give me any additional useful information. Simply stating that some thriced divorced single moms successfully rasied good kids in the ghetto–while certainly a true statement on its face–tells me next to nothing about the population of single moms or the characteritics of the kids she whelped.
    “I listed SEVEN flaws, in two posts, and now you’re re-asking a question I’ve already answered?”
    You listed seven critiques about one single study. You deem all of these critiques to be flaws. These critiques are not all legitimate flaws in study design–some are simply idiosyncratic beefs that you have with the study’s focus or simple suspicions about the study because it contradicts what you think it true. Moreover, your critiques about this one study do not automatically extend to the other studies I cited to you.
    Other critiques that you list pertain to application of the results, not to the study itself.
    It may very well be that the study is indeed limited in some of the way(s) that you speak, but as far as I can tell, you have not yet presented evidence of that.
    One question: did you actually crack open the study and read the lit review, method, results, and discussion, or simply read the abstract?
    At any rate, you have yet to state a case that positively refutes mine and support it. All you have proven thus far is that you can snipe from the bleachers.
    “…I’m sure you’ll agree there’s obvious problems with such a strategy:”
    I do agree that there are problems with such a stragegy. However, you assume that “past sexual histories” equates to “multiple sexual partners” or “likely to cohabit”, which is the subject of this study. Not all single women with past sexual histories involve multiple sexual partners; as such, they fall outside of the domain of women referenced by the study.
    “1) You’d be competing with 18-year-old guys”
    I don’t really consider an 18-year old man-boy to be much competition for an over-40 guy. This is especially the case if the 40+ dude has taken care of himself physically and has a decent job. Have you seen the 20-something guys out there?
    “2) The virgins are too inexperienced, both in sex and in life in general, to be good matches for older men.”
    The sexual inexperience is an important but utimately peripheral issue IMHO. The real issue is maturity, and you are correct that the 18 year old is very likely to lack sufficient maturity to be married to anyone, let alone someone 12 years her senior. The stats I’ve read suggest that mid- to late twenties is the ideal age for marriage. Personal anecdotal experience bears that out.
    “The virgins will be understandably leery of getting in bed with older guys who can’t handle experienced women of their own age.”
    Ugh. We’re back to questioning someone’s masculinity again, as if a man who’d rather not date women in his age cohort is somehow insecure or inadequate.
    From talking with Mrs. Wapiti, the problem with the 40+ guys with the younger gals is the “ick–old lecherous guy” factor.
    “So what other option is there?”
    I have my answer to this question, but I don’t think you’d cotton too well to it, so I decline to share. Besides, it’s outside the scope of this thread.