1 in 5 Americans Would Wait Until Marriage to Have Sex

C. Price
C. Price Updated:
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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

Not too many decades ago, the notion of premarital sex was viewed unkindly among many, if not most, Americans.

Now it appears to have become a normal practice for quit a few men and women.

In a DatingAdvice.com exclusive study, 20 percent of Americans said they would wait until marriage to have sex.

Women were nearly twice as likely to wait compared to men, 26 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

However, it was older Americans who were the most likely to hold off on sex with a partner until they are married.

Roughly one in three among those aged 65 and older answered in the affirmative – nearly twice the rate seen from those aged 25 to 34.

“Twenty percent of Americans would

wait until marriage to have sex.”

Gina Stewart, DatingAdvice.com expert, said with music, movies television and the Internet, people have become more sexually exposed, so the findings reflect that.

“Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?” she said. “The idea of sex with one partner after marriage is propagated as old fashioned, which may be why older people are more likely to hold to it, and not surprisingly the strongest hold is in the Bible belt of the South.”

Middle-income earners and Southerners also had some of the highest responses.

Men and women earning between $25,000 and $49,999 a year were almost three times as likely to wait until marriage to have sex than those earning between $100,000 and $124,999 annually.

In terms of region, Southerners were 67 percent more likely to do so than Westerners.

Gay respondents and divorcees were found to be the least likely demographics to wait.

Just 7 percent of gay men and lesbian women said they would refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage versus 22 percent of their straight counterparts.

Divorcees had a 27 percent lower likelihood of waiting until marriage to engage in sexual activities than singles.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: Americans Who Would Wait Until Marriage

By gender:

  • Male: 15%
  • Female: 26%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 22%
  • Gay: 7%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 14%
  • Married: 26%
  • Divorced: 11%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 19%
  • 25 to 34: 16%
  • 35 to 44: 18%
  • 45 to 54: 17%
  • 54 to 64: 23%
  • 65 and older: 32%

By race:

  • White: 21%
  • African-American: 21%
  • Hispanic: 17%
  • Asian: 18%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 18%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 25%
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 21%
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 19%
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 10%
  • $125,000 or higher: 21%

By region:

  • Northeast: 18%
  • Midwest: 21%
  • South: 25%
  • West: 15%

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