9+1 Myths about Sex and Relationships
As the weekend approaches I know that some that read this blog may be tempted to make some rather irrational (or rational by today’s standards) choices when it comes to sex and their relationships with the significant other. Social researchers Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker expose nine myths about sex and relationships among emerging adults in America (ages 18–23) and I wanted to add one more (not that I’m half as smart as them) to the end.
Myth: Long-term exclusivity is a fiction
- Truth: Half of all marriages last a lifetime, and extramarital affairs are not as common as assumed.
Myth: The introduction of sex is necessary in order to sustain a fledgling or struggling relationship
- Truth: The quicker sex enters a relationship, the sooner the relationships fails, and most relationships fail.
Myth: Boys will be boys. That is, men can’t be expected to abide by the sexual terms that women may wish to set. You may not want the double-standard to be there, but it’s there
- Truth: Women may enjoy sex as much as men, but they do not think and feel the same way about it. Generally they “set higher standards for their relationships.”
Myth: It doesn’t matter what other people do sexually; you make your own decisions
- Truth: The actions and attitudes of others do affect your decisions: “If a critical mass of men and women enjoy an extended series of sexual relationships and expect sex fairly promptly within them, it becomes quite difficult for a minority to do otherwise.”
Myth: Porn won’t affect your relationships
- Truth: Because more and more men are viewing porn regularly it “cannot but shape sexual market dynamics.” And studies have shown that the tandem of porn and masturbation actually “reduces the value of intercourse” because it is much more physiologically satisfying than masturbation alone. “Porn becomes easier, and so must women (on average).”
Myth: Everyone else is having more sex than you are
- Truth: You are less conservative than you think. “Most still overestimate how much sex is actually going on around them.” The authors write about this phenomena of pluralistic ignorance, “it happens when individuals within a group begin to believe that their own private attitudes, beliefs, or judgments are more conservative and rare than the public norms they see displayed by others.”
Myth: Sex need not mean anything
- Truth: This myth can occur broadly between the sexes, but exists especially among women. It is emotionally challenging for women to engage in casual sex and to experience a broken sexual relationship.
Myth: Marriage can always wait
- Truth: Most emerging adults still want to get married—eventually. They put off marriage for years and years and thus the marriage market “does not grow deeper and more impressive with age.” Thus, the authors encourage “men and women who’ve met someone who is ‘marriage material’ to think twice before rejecting the notion that they’re just not ready yet.”
Myth: Moving in together is definitely a step toward marriage
- Truth: In most cases, cohabitation does not last. “It overwhelmingly leads to either marriage or breakup within a few short years.” It is also more advantageous to men than to women as it gives them “more stable access to sex, without the expectations or commitments of marital responsibilities.”
Myth: Sex is just [a] physical activity
- Truth: I do not and will not act as if I fully understand this but I do know that this is true. Your sexuality is connected to your soul and person-hood in a more powerful way than I can comprehend. Don’t believe me we here are some rather awkward questions (that I do not have the full answer for) for you to ponder.
- Why is it when a child is sexually abused and becomes a adult and then connects to the their past they can’t just “shake it off”?
- Why is it that rape is so much more devastating to a woman than just being beat up?
- Why is it that men with the deepest sexual issues (most of the time) have uninvolved or distant fathers?
- Why is it that [most] men and women with sexual addictions when trying to overcome said addiction run into a “Family of Origin” issue?
- Why is it that most peoples greatest regret is sexual?
Again, I don’t claim to have a complete answer to any of these questions but I can say this with cofidence, Sex is NOT just a physical act!