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“If you lift your skirt, you’re dancing on your mother’s grave.”

That was one of the Southern proverbs I heard passed on from generation to generation, warning against the effects of sexual promiscuity.

While this is an extreme example of early sex education, the stigma of premarital sex that often lingered in the back of our foremothers’ minds (or maybe our own) led us to approach our sexuality with an inherited sense of shame.

Women were once pressured to be virgins until marriage, or met with the possible consequences of not having a successful future relationship.

Now studies say all of those societal expectations on a woman’s morality don’t always align with science (and I know what you’re thinking, studies are not the bible, but bear with me).

Nicholas H. Wolfinger, a professor at the University of Utah Department of Family and Consumer Studies told Science Daily “that women with exactly two premarital sex partners have consistently higher divorce rates than women with three to nine partners.”

“In short,” he said, “if you’re going to have comparisons to your [future] husband, it’s best to have more than one.”

“As premarital sex became more acceptable, it’s reasonable to anticipate that its negative effects on marital stability waned. In general, Americans became more accepting of nonmarital sex,” Wolfinger explained.

But slow down, it appears three to nine is the scientific sweet spot. Divorce rates for women with more than 10 sexual partners before marriage go up the most. Women in the zero to one range are still the least likely to get divorced by far … but there is something about the two partner range that seems to make the wheel turn the other way.

Something about just comparing the two, perhaps? Either way, sex is definitely a deeply personal, spiritual, mental, and religious decision – and how many people you decide to be intimate with shouldn’t be decided by science.

But it’s interesting as hell though!


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