“No, No, NO! to Go, Go, GO”: The Transition to Sexual Activity for Heterosexual Couples Who Were Abstinent Prior to Marriage

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Kelsea Hill, Utah Valley University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Sexuality has long been identified as foundational in the lives of married couples. An area lacking in research, however, is the transition into sexuality made by couples who practiced abstinence prior to being married. The data for this study comes from a survey of 597 respondents that had practiced abstinence before being married. This focuses on the qualitative responses to questions asked abstinent couples about what helped make the transition into sexual intimacy, what purpose(s) sex has in their relationship, what they wished they had discussed prior to having sex, and what challenges they experienced in the transition into sexual intimacy.

Chi-squared distribution tests will be performed on six particular emergent themes from the coded qualitative data, that of 1) communication as an aid in the transition to sexual activity, 2) bonding, 3) physical pleasure, and 4) duty as roles that sex plays in a relationship, 5) frequency as a topic couples wished they had talked about prior to making the transition into sexual activity, and 6) incompatible desire between partners as a challenge in the transition into sexual activity. The disparity between expected and actual counts for each theme, according to the gender of the respondent, will be analyzed.
Anticipated conclusions to this analysis include a hypothesis that women will respond more than the expected count for communication and duty, whereas men will generate a significant amount of responses in the frequency and incompatible desire themes. As for bonding and physical pleasure as roles sex plays in the relationship, it is anticipated that the responses for men and women would be more similar than current gender stereotypes insinuate. The overall intent of the study is to publish the results as well as create a family life education program based on the analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative data.