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Study: Women 73% More Likely to Wait Until Marriage to Have Sex

Hayley Matthews
Hayley Matthews 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.


Tradition states people should wait until marriage to have sex. However, tradition doesn’t have a whole lot of sway these days.

In today’s world, the practice of saving oneself until marriages seems to have fallen to the wayside. We even recently discussed the likelihood of relationships forming after first date sex – that’s about as far away as possible from waiting until your wedding night.

To see if anyone is still sticking with this traditional practice, or if it’s totally been abandoned, we used our most recent survey to ask 1,080 Americans if they would wait until marriage to have sex.

The results took us by surprise.

Overall 20 percent of Americans said they would wait until marriage to have sex with someone they’re dating. That means one in five people would hold back until their honeymoon.

Even more astounding, we found women are 73 percent more likely than men to wait until marriage. With 26 percent of the female respondents saying they would wait, they almost doubled the 13 percent of male respondents who said they would.

“Twenty-six percent of females said they

would wait – almost double the 13 percent of males.”

How can this be? To get some insight, we called in one of our dating experts to get her opinion.

Robin Milhausen, an associate professor of Human Sexuality at the University of Guelph, said our results fit with research that shows women have more traditional sexual attitudes, and they tend to view casual sex less positively than men do.

It’s also possible these results reflect a difference in the sex drives of the sexes.

While this is a controversial idea, Milhausen said, “If women have lower desire for sex than men, they might be better able to put off having sex.”

Acknowledging that some consider men and women to have equivalent sex drives, she suggested women typically face greater social pressure to limit or hide this drive.

This “might influence women to answer this question the way they did,” Milhausen said, since they would want to appear more chaste.

Traditional values haven’t totally disappeared. Men and women are still willing to save themselves for marriage – women are just a lot more likely to do so.

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: 

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