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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
by Penna Dexter
This article was first posted February 24, 2017, at pointofview.net.
A new study commissioned by the dating service Match.com shines a light on today’s hook-up culture, and it isn’t flattering. Match.com recently announced the results of its survey in which a shocking 34 percent of young adults report having sex before even going on a date with someone. Millennials — people between the ages of 18 and 34 — are 48 percent more likely to have sex before a first date, so they can “see if there’s a connection,” than all other generations of singles.
It’s a way to size someone up before committing time and energy to a relationship.
Match.com’s survey, that encompassed 5,500 people of all ages, also found that millennials are increasingly using Internet dating apps to meet people. Many of these apps are for the specific purpose of finding sexual partners.
But you can’t blame the apps. What has happened in the culture that makes this so commonplace?
One explanation for this phenomenon is hard to swallow: It says that young adults looking for love are simply too busy even to go out on first dates with people they have not already tested out as sexual partners. C’mon.
Another reason that’s been floated is that millennials are under so much pressure to get married. I hate to tell you girls but some things never change. This is no way to attract ‘Mr. Right.’
In reporting on this phenomenon, USA Today spoke with one sex therapist, Kimberly Resnick Anderson, who says the millennials who are engaging in sex before dating have inverted the relationship process. This, in a culture that has already destigmatized sex before marriage.
Jennifer Roback Morse is Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, an organization that deals with the fallout from the sexual revolution. Dr. Morse reminds young people of “the natural biological result of sex, bonding, and babies.”
Sex does create an emotional bond. That’s a positive if the couple is going to stay together. But when people treat sex as sort of a screening process for relationships they deny and distort that bond.
Sex is really a gift God has given us and, inside a marriage, the bond it creates enhances the relationship. Casual sex with multiple partners is really an abuse of the gift of sex. Jennifer Roback Morse says casual sex inflicts long-term damage on a person’s ability to form lasting, stable relationships. When young people do marry and have kids, these poor bonding skills will affect their children.
Dr. Morse says millennials respond better to real life stories than statistics. There’s a story that’s breaking my heart. The child of someone dear, barely 30, is ending her second marriage. Both relationships started out with sex early on, then cohabitation, then — bad marriages.
Sex before dating, even if the chemistry is great, means the parties are blinded by attraction. The couple that marries on this basis really has no
idea if they are well-matched.