Brigham Young University has delivered a questionable study about the effects of having sex early on in a relationship. The study asked 11,000 unmarried people in steady or serious relationships to rate their relationships in the areas of satisfaction, communication and stability. Those couples who had sex within the first few weeks of dating rated lower than those who waited longer to get it on.
“The eventual mismatch between individual sexual expectations and actual rewards may undermine healthy couple formation processes,” theorized the researchers.
But wait! Before you impose a mandatory, three-week abstinence period, how soon you have sex might not make all that much of difference after all.
“The overall difference in satisfaction and communication scores between those who had early sex and those who waited was one-tenth of one point on a five-point scale. Does one-tenth of one point really mean having sex on the first date will kill your relationship? No,” said Justin Lehmiller, a psychologist at Harvard University. Also, Lehmiller takes issue with the fact that the study didn’t follow the couples over time. So their ratings may have little to do with sex.
So, there you have it. Up for debate. Go back to doing whatever feels right to you, science be dammed. But you were probably doing that anyway. [Live Science]