Morality of Premarital Sex by Religiosity and Generation
Premarital sex is an issue that most teenagers and young couples face as they enter new phases of their relationship. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a correlation between acceptance of sexual relations before marriage and religiosity or generation. This study is a cross-sectional, secondary analysis of the variables PREMARSX, RELPERSN, and COHORT (which was recoded into three generation categories), which were extracted from the 1998 General Social Survey (GSS). Data analysis of the three variables was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 10.0, applying Pearson's chi-square as the test of statistical significance and Cramer's V as the measure of association. The results of this study indicate that very religious people are more inclined to view premarital sexual relations as always wrong. When compared to the three generation categories, no significant correlation existed.
Most couples have asked themselves whether or not sex is the next step in their relationship. It enters into both teenage and adult relationships, creating pressure for teenagers to be considered cool by peers and pressure for adults to make a commitment. For some, sex is the basis of the relationship; for others, it is not even an issue until marriage vows are proclaimed. One may conclude that people's views of premarital relations stem from their parents' teachings, from their siblings' influences, from their peer or social groups, from their religious background, or from the era in which they were raised. (“Teenage Sex, Friends and Family,” 1994, p51)
As sexually transmitted diseases plague America, conversation about sex and its consequences has reached new heights. As the [Catholic] church's view of sexual relations before the sacrament of marriage has not changed over the years, neither has its followers' view. According to the Church, “the Bible tells you to wait, so you need to wait…sexual relationships are only for married couples”(Stafford, 1999, p55). Historically, generations have been noted as having specific characteristics unique to their era, and not until recent generations was premarital sex even mentioned. As there are many views on whether or not sexual intercourse is acceptable before the commitment of marriage, what is important to note are the viewer's religiosity and generation classification.
Review of Literature
The issue of premarital sex has spanned many centuries and has sparked much controversy between different religious and generational classification groups. According to recent studies, the number of women engaging in premarital sex and giving birth to a child before marriage has risen from 18% in the early 1970's to 41% in the early 1990's. A Census Bureau analyst examining women's marriage and child-bearing patterns...