Couples who have had fewer sexual partners leading up to their marriages have reported enjoying markably happier relationships, according to new research.
University of Utah sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger, writing for the Institute for Family Studies (IFS), explained this week that Americans who have had sexual relations only with their spouse are the most likely candidates to say they have “very happy” marriages.
That is most definitely not the case for those with multiple sexual partners. The lowest odds of a happy marriage go to the women who have had between six and 10 sexual partners in their lives — they’re 13 percent less likely to be happy than their less sexually active counterparts.
The same is true of men who have had multiple sexual partners, though it never drops as drastically as it does for women.
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, when it comes to sex, less experience is better, at least for the marriage,” W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist and senior fellow at the IFS told The Atlantic.
And it’s not just that their marriages are happier — women who have had fewer sexual partners are also less likely to get divorced. Women who have had zero or one previous sexual partner are the least likely demographic to split from their spouses.
But that demographic is very, very small.
In a 2016 essay, Wolfinger found that only 5 percent of new brides in the 2010s were virgins. But only 6 percent of those women ended their marriages within five years. By contrast, 20 percent of most marriages are scrapped within the same time table.
Overall, though, Wolfinger’s latest research revealed most Americans — 64 percent — described their marriages as “very happy,” regardless of the sexual baggage each person brought into the relationship.
Only 3 percent said their unions aren’t very happy; the rest said they have “pretty happy” marriages.