Concerned Parents  Report is dedicated to reporting information and imparting knowledge to parents so they can empower their children to make the healthiest choice for their reproductive health - living a  chaste lifestyle

Summary: Change in Family Situation and Being Born Out of Wedlock Increases the Risk of First Premarital Intercourse

Findings show that experiencing more family transitions and being born out of wedlock place women at an increased risk for first premarital intercourse.

  • Theorists and researchers have argued for years that interactions between parents and children during childhood have long-lasting effects and that the type of family a child is raised in may affect behaviors later in life. This particular study sought to investigate the relationship between childhood living arrangements and the risk of first premarital intercourse. Three theoretical perspectives were examined through the study, two of which were found to be consistent with the results: socialization perspective, and instability and change perspective. The socialization perspective states that women who grow up in non-intact families during their childhood are socialized to view sex outside of marriage differently than women who are raised in intact families. Instability and change perspective states that young women who experience greater instability and change in family situations are subject to social and psychological stresses that increase the risk of intercourse. The 1995 National Survey of Family Growth was used for the study, and a total sample of 6,046 women was investigated. Findings showed that experiencing more transitions and being born out of wedlock increase the risk of first premarital sex. For Black women, each transition in childhood living arrangements increased the risk of premarital intercourse by 14%-21%, and the risk of premarital intercourse at each age was 34%-38% greater for Black women born out of wedlock. For White women, the risk of first premarital intercourse was 23%-41% higher for each change in family living arrangements. Additionally, White women born out of wedlock have a higher risk of first premarital intercourse (55% to 134%) than those not born out of wedlock.1

1Childhood Living Arrangements and Risk of Premarital Intercourse, Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 24, No. 2, October 2003, 867-894.

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