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Women who have sex early in a relationship may set themselves up for greater relationship dissatisfaction down the line, says a new study.
Cornell professor Sharon Sassley reviewed data coming out of the 2006 Marital and Relationship Survey, a report that looked at approximately 600 couples who were either living together or married. The couples had low-to-moderate income and all had children who were still minors.
About one-third of the respondents had sex within the first month of their relationship, and Sassler found:
“Women who entered into sexual relationships with their current partners the most rapidly reported significantly lower levels of relationship satisfaction than those who waited somewhat longer before becoming sexually involved.”
“Female respondents reported significantly higher
levels of dissatisfaction than male respondents.”
Sassler noted women “are just more sensitive to relationship-quality issues” than men, a point driven home by the fact both men and women reported lower relationship satisfaction when they rushed into sex, but the study’s female respondents reported significantly higher levels of dissatisfaction than its male respondents.
Sassler also found a connection between early sex and early cohabitation, a factor shown in multiple studies to correlate with lower relationship satisfaction, especially among women.
Ultimately, Sassler concluded the connection between early sex and early cohabitation more likely accounts for the resulting relationship dissatisfaction.
“It’s really how fast you move in with a partner that accounts for these results,” Sassler said.
Source: PHYS.org. Photo source: telegraph.co.uk.