An Exploratory Study of the Relationship between Various Aspects of the Premarital Sexual Relationship and Marital Satisfaction, Sexual Satisfaction in Marriage, and Marital Fidelity
Baker, Tina M.
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Research has found absence of premarital sexual experience positively correlated with marital adjustment (Davis , 1929; Terman, 1938; Reevy, 1959; Shope and Broderick, 1967). Others raised doubt of this conclusion (Locke, 1951; Burgess and Wallin, 1953; Kinsey et. al, 1953; Ard, 1974).Bell and Balter (1973) found 81% of married women under 26 had premarital intercourse. Since a majority engage in this, it is appropriate to consider premarital intercourse relationship variables to identify marital correlates.In Love, Strong Affection, and Little Affection premarital intercourse relationships were examined. Questions were explored concerning premarital independent variables: number of relationships, length of relationships, number of live-in partners, relationship exclusivity, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and gender. Dependent variables were: relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and fidelity, in marriage.This questionnaire study consisted of the Marital Satisfaction Scale (Roach et. al, 1981) and other original items.Subjects were 286 volunteers from Long Island MacArthur airport, 209 of which reported premarital intercourse relationships and 77 who did not, all under age 41, in first marriages.Pearson correlation and t-test were used. The hypothesis was confirmed for only In Love premarital relationships with marital satisfaction and marital sexual satisfaction being positively related to premarital sexual satisfaction.Groups with and without premarital intercourse were not significantly different on marital satisfaction or marital sexual satisfaction. For subjects having premarital intercourse relationships higher marital satisfaction was related to higher number of live-in partners and higher relationship and sexual satisfaction for In Love type. Also for only this type, higher marital sexual satisfaction was related to higher premarital sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction.Having no or few premarital intercourse partners was associated with higher likelihood of fidelity. Other premarital factors associated with higher fidelity were longer In love relationships and higher number of In Love live-in relationships. Lower relationship satisfaction with premarital Strong Affection type also led to higher fidelity. Women were found to have higher likelihood of fidelity.Summarizing, In Love premarital intercourse relationships seem to relate positively to marriage. More independent variables were related to fidelity than the other dependent variables.