On a day dedicated to celebrating love, let’s celebrate women, whose desire for love and commitment makes our world better.
This has been confirmed in long-term studies like University of Chicago’s The Social Organization of Sexuality, and studies of college-level experiences like Lost in Transition. More so than men, women strongly favor romantic, committed sex (especially sex within marriage) and have fewer partners.
So women’s longing for love and marriage isn’t just a stereotype. It’s a preference confirmed in social science and biology.
Their desire is a really good thing. Why?
1. When women wait for committed love, they are much less likely to get divorced. The most recent federal survey on marriage and family (the Center for Disease Control’s National Survey of Family Growth), showed that for women married since 2000, while a scant 5% were virgins at marriage, another 22% had slept with just one man in their lifetime, their future husband. The 5% who married as virgins had the lowest rates of divorce, followed by the 22%
2. When women insist on committed love, they avoid non-marital pregnancy, and are less likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease.
3. When women embrace committed love, they are much more likely to have better sex (and so are their partners). The people who have the most sex and are happiest with their sex lives are monogamous couples.
While widespread contraception use and abortion access has tilted the market for relationships away from women’s preferences, this is not an irrevocable phenomenon.
If women say no to contraception and uncommitted sex, men will notice and adjust their expectations for sex, dating and courtship.
In “The evolution of human mating: Trade-offs and strategic pluralism,” evolutionary psychologists Dr. Steven Gangestad and Dr. Jeffrey Simpson conclude that women choose men based upon the potential needs of her future children. Meanwhile, men adjust their dating tactics and preferences to the behavior of women. The authors’ conclusion is supported by another evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas: “In short, females track the environment; males track the females.”
So this Valentine’s Day, let’s acknowledge the “good” of committed love and marriage, and encourage women to embrace their healthy desire for life-long romance.