This paper will include my research on premarital sex. For many years, premarital sex has been seen as a type of deviant behavior; but like many other concepts, deviant behavior can be define in many ways. This research will include a clear definition of deviant behavior and its relationship with premarital sex. Deviant Behavior Defined According to the Sociology Index, deviance is nonconformity to social norms. However, often deviance is simply conformity to the norms or standards of a subgroup or subculture rather than those of the dominant culture.
Deviance is not inherent in any behavior or attitude but rather is a result of human interaction in particular normative situations. Deviant behavior usually evokes formal and informal punishment, restrictions, or other controls of society. These formal and informal controls constrain most people to conform to social norms. Despite the social sanctioning and controlling, however, we sometimes observe deviant behavior around us, with premarital sex being one. (Sociology Index).
What is Premarital Sex? Premarital sex is often referred to as fornication, meaning voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other; according the Webster dictionary. Fornication can also be found in the bible and is considered a major sin. Premarital Sex in America “Almost all Americans have sex before marrying, according to premarital sex research that shows such behavior is the norm in the U. S. and has been for the past 50 years.
The new study shows that by age 20, 75% of Americans have had premarital sex. That number rises to 95% by age 44. Even among those who abstained from sex until 20 or beyond, 81% have had premarital sex by 44, the survey shows. Researchers say the findings question the feasibility of federally funded abstinence-only education programs. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades,” says researcher Lawrence Finer, director of domestic research at the Guttmacher Institute, in a news release. The data clearly show that the majority of older teens and adults have already had sex before marriage, which calls into question the federal government’s funding of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for 12–29-year-olds. “It would be more effective to provide young people with the skills and information they need to be safe once they become sexually active which nearly everyone eventually will,” says Finer.
In the study, published in Public Health Reports, researchers analyzed data from four cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth from 1982 to 2002, which included information on sexual and marital behaviors. The results showed that the vast majority of Americans have sex before marrying. For example, the 2002 survey showed: By age 20, 77% of men and women had had sex, including 75% who had had premarital sex. By age 44, 95% of men and women had had premarital sex; 97% of those who had ever had sex had had premarital sex.
Among those who had abstained from sex until at least age 20, 81% had had premarital sex by age 44. Despite public opinion that premarital sex is much more common now than in the past, researchers say the number of Americans having premarital sex has not changed much since the 1940s. Among women who turned 15 between 1964 and 1993, 91% had had premarital sex before age 30, compared with 82% of women who turned 15 between 1954 and 1963. In addition, nearly nine out of 10 women who turned 15 between 1954 and 1963 had had unmarried sex by age 44.
Researchers say that though the likelihood that Americans will have sex before marriage hasn’t changed significantly since the 1950s, people are now waiting longer to get married. So they are sexually active and unmarried for longer than in the past (WebMD). ” In Janet Smith’s article about Premarital Sex, she states; “The evidence is overwhelming that children raised in households headed by a single parent are much more prone to sexual abuse, drug abuse, crime, and divorce, for instance.
Their health is poorer; their academic achievement is poorer; their economic well-being is less than that of children who are raised in two-parent households. In every way, children raised in single parent households seem to have a few strikes against them as they forge their way through life. (I do not want to suggest, of course, that all children raised in single parenthood households are doomed. I simply want to report that Catholic Church teaching, the teaching of most religions, sociological research, and perhaps common sense are at one in recognizing that children fare better when raised in a household with two parents. The number of single-parenthood households has risen dramatically, due, of course, largely to unwed pregnancy and divorce” ( Catholic Education Resource Center). Also stated in this article by Janet Smith, “The dimensions of the problem of unwed pregnancy are very serious, indeed. In the early nineteen sixties, some 3% of white babies were born out of wedlock, some 22% of black babies and as a whole, 6% of the babies born in the United States were born to unwed parents.
Now some 22% of white babies, 68% of black babies and as an aggregate in the United States some 31% of babies are born to unwed parents. One out of four to one out of three pregnancies in the United States are ended through abortion, the vast majority performed on unmarried women. Nearly every one of these births and abortions represent a failed relationship, a relationship that was not committed to the caring for any children that may be conceived through the relationship” ( Catholic Education Resource Center).
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