Premarital sex stigma

Sex stirs people up.

So it’s no wonder that a story in yesterday’s Deseret News about waiting to have sex until marriage brought on a storm of comments ranging from extolling the virtues of virginity to one comparing a woman to a used car with high mileage.

But the study at the center of the article actually wasn’t saying anything about virginity or about premarital sex in general. It simply said couples who wait to have sex with each other until after they are married have a higher chance of happiness later on.

So I thought it was hilarious (and a little sad) that the comments devolved quickly into branding women who have sex before marriage. Several comments insinuated that women who have sex before marriage are doomed to failure in their marriage or are somehow unworthy of a good marriage. As one man put it: “A lot of men brag about test driving every car they can get their hands on but when it comes time to buying one they prefer a new one over a high mileage rental car from Hertz.”

I hate analogies like this. I’m sure you’ve heard them before. Women who have had sex before marriage are compared to chewed bubble gum or a cake that someone has put a fist in. Seriously? The Heavenly Father I know and love would never describe one of his daughters that way.

I believe in waiting until after marriage for sexual intimacy for a variety of religious, physical and emotional reasons, but I also believe in repentance and forgiveness. I believe in withholding judgment, and I believe making a mistake doesn’t make a woman unworthy of the love of a good man or her Heavenly Father.

Why are some people so ready to brand a woman as ruined or less if she has had premarital sex? Do you think there is a double standard for men in the same situation?

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.