I just found this post in my drafts when I just started my blog...like two years ago. I feel like I've learned a lot in two years. I've grown. I've matured. I'm not so stressed out by the "rules" I grew up with. I want to talk with my kids about the consequences of sex and help them make wise decisions for themselves and loving decisions for their significant others. I'm not so worried now about when a public state-sanctioned marriage happens during that process. I think it's a big deal. But not as big of a deal as I did two years ago. I'm glad I'll be able to talk to my kids and hear their thoughts without freaking out. Sex before marriage obviously seemed like the end of the world to me two years ago. Now I know that the world will go on. =) I also am aware of the possibility that my kids might not ever get married for a multitude of reasons.
And still I think I asked some good and interesting questions. I still don't know the answer to this one: when, in general, are human beings capable of making a wise choice for a life long mate?
So according to this study if you want to wait for marriage to have sex you'd better get married by age 21.
I can't figure this one out in my mind. We don't have fully developed frontal lobes until about the age of 25. This means to me that we aren't capable of making a wise decision about choosing a mate until age 25. BUT we are also incapable of not having sex after the age of 21 (yes this is a generalization, but for the most part true). So what are we to do? Do we get married by the age of 21 and risk having made a bad choice of partner? Do we have sex before marriage and risk babies out of wedlock, disease, and the heartache of losing a boyfriend/girlfriend that we've shared our whole heart and whole body with? Neither answer sounds like a good one to me. The get married early answer sounds good on paper, but the problem is our culture is changing and very rarely can a 21 year old man make enough money to support a family. Unless you are an engineer, you need a master's degree. And let me tell you...You DO NOT want to go gradschool at the same time as having children if you don't have to! Talk about stressful! So, get married at 21 and wait to have babies until you have steady income? Sometimes you don't get the luxury of choosing. Sometimes babies happen even if you use birth control. And then can we trust ourselves or our children to pick a good mate at 21...or in reality 19, because they are probably going to date for a couple of years? I don't know. I think the consequences are so much worse when someone waits for sex until marriage, is married to for 10 years, has babies and then gets a divorce than if they have two or three sexual partners before marriage then have a long and happy marriage.
Question for the people who had sex outside of marriage: Did you marry the person you were sleeping with at age 21? I'm wondering if we as humans make our mate choice earlier than 25 whether or not we wait until age 25 or later to get married. I want to know because I'm trying to figure out what to teach my kids. I will greatly encourage them to wait for sex til 21, but at that point do i teach them to get married or not? It's obviously unrealistic to ask them to wait longer than that. They won't anyway, and then they'll just be carrying around guilt and shame. Not fair. So this is my question: what is most likely to turn out best for my kids, to marry at 21 and save sex til marriage or to have sex outside of marriage and marry at 25?
It doesn't make sense to me that we would desire sex so much earlier than we are capable of choosing a life long mate and so much earlier than we are capable of caring for children. I must be missing something.
p.s. if you're over the age of 21 and you haven't had sex you are a rock star! Amazing to me. Really amazing. I made it to 22 (when I got married), barely. I did everything else sexually I could possible do outside of actual intercourse between the ages of 18 and 22, so I'm not sure if my "waiting" really counts as waiting.