After the Virginity Pledge: Really Conflicted Husbands
Sociologist explores aftermath of virginity pledges
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2014 7:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – When men who take virginity pledges are taught that sex before marriage is beastly and wrong but sex after marriage is a gift from God, these very disparate messages can lead to problems down the road. So reports a sociologist who since 2008 has been studying 15 men in a support group affiliated with a mega-church in the Southwest, 14 of whom have since gotten married, reports LiveScience. While the men had talked freely about sex and sexual urges prior to marriage—including masturbation, pornography, and same-sex attractions—they said they shouldn't discuss sex after marriage because they'd be talking about their wives instead of just themselves.

Secular sociologist Sarah Diefendorf tells New Republic that the men would refrain from giving in to their "beastly" urges via accountability partners and "are you behaving?" evening text messages, but that once they married they no longer had a support group with which to discuss sex. Many confessed to her that they were struggling with extramarital desires, pornography, masturbation, and lingering conflicting feelings about the sanctity of sex. "When you spend the first twenty-plus years of your life thinking of sex as something beastly that needs to be controlled, it’s very difficult to make that transition to married life and viewing sex as sacred," she says. (Meanwhile, the vast majority of teen girls have no formal sex ed prior to becoming sexually active.)

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Showing 3 of 288 comments
Aug 20, 2014 9:46 PM CDT
All depends how you treat your sexuality. If you fill it with fantasies spewed by pornography then yes you have a warped sense and when you get married you will not be content. Look at the male ego, they try to make lesbians straight and straight women lesbians.
Jeff Haugan
Aug 20, 2014 7:13 PM CDT
First off, who is using the term "beastly'? Secondly, an competent researcher will tell you that 15 people from one group is not anyting close to an adequate sample size. Either the teaching is poor, the sociologist has an agenda or the writer of the article has an agenda; or all three. It wasn't all that long ago that abstnence before marriage was the norm and no one had a problem with getting married and having sex. Doesn't mean everybody did it,(abstinence) but there were sure no long term deep seated problems that were widespread. There also wasn't an epidemic of stds, over a million abortions a year, and an illegitimacy rate of over 40%.
Aug 20, 2014 7:03 PM CDT
virginity pledge?! is that nonsense still around?