By Patrick B. Craine

June 10, 2010 ( – Less than 1 out of 10 engaged women in Canada disagrees that it is bad to have sex before marriage, a new poll shows, according to Canwest News Service.

The survey is being published in the June issue of the Canadian magazine Weddingbells, and shows that merely 8% of engaged women agree that “sex before marriage is not a good idea.”  Only half of those at 4% indicated they strongly agree with that statement.

The poll underscores the great need for women to hear the positive message about the true meaning of love and sexuality, said Gabrielle Waggoner, 22, who was married last July.  “My decision to save sex for marriage came from my understanding that our bodies and our sexuality can show us the truth about our purpose and meaning in life and ultimately lead us to true love and happiness,” said Waggoner, who is expecting her first child in October.

In waiting until marriage, she said, “we are saying yes to the true meaning of sex and that it is meant to be free, total, faithful and fruitful.”

According to one expert with the Planned Parenthood-linked Guttmacher Institute, the poll shows that the popular attitude is coming into synch with people's actual sexual behaviour.  “There's no question that there's a gulf between the 'popular' perception of the appropriateness of waiting until marriage and the extent to which people actually wait until marriage to have sex,” Lawrence B. Finer, the Institute's director of domestic research, told Canwest.

But Dr. David Beresford, professor of biology at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry's Bay, Ontario, argued that humans are a primate species built for monogamous sexual relationships and that traditional marriage respected this natural order in the body.  He pointed out, however, that the poll does not indicate a decline in respect for monogamy or commitment, but merely a lowering of respect for the institution of marriage.

“In humans, both parents are needed full-time to raise children,” Beresford explained, “and humans are primates in which women hide their ovulation.  Other primates advertise their ovulation because they're trying to attract mates, but humans are only trying to attract their single mate, so ovulation is only identified by close proximity.”

“Women's hormones appear to cue the male fertility to be in synch with her cycle, but it requires that they be in close contact,” he added.  “These hormonal synchronizations are arguments for being very close together, which involves a long-term commitment.”
“The poll doesn't mean that people don't believe in commitment,” he said.  “It just means that marriage is no longer necessarily proof of commitment in today's culture.  But we know it no longer has the same meaning, because it has been redefined to now have no meaning, whereas at one time it had a huge social meaning.”

Gwen Landolt, National Vice President of REAL Women, expressed great concern over the poll's results and insisted that “the purpose of sexuality, apart from being delightful, is also that it's to be within marriage.”

An attitude separating sex from marriage leads to “a dissolute society, without order, without self-restraint, without self-control,” warned the mother of 5 and grandmother of 7.  “Anything can happen, and anything does.”

She gave the example of the high divorce rate, with resultant issues such as alienated youth and high instances of substance abuse, as well as a general lack of commitment to relationships and the concept of marriage.

“We have self-indulgence as opposed to self-sacrifice, and responsibility, and commitment,” she said.  “Without these, you don't have a solid society or a solid family.  No marriage can exist without them.”

By staying true to saving herself for marriage, Waggoner emphasized, “I have come to see how immensely this has benefited my marriage by allowing my husband and I to give of ourselves each day in every way, and this is true love.”

“Every woman is desperately seeking true love and they need to know that they can find it through renewed understanding of sex as a free and total gift of self,” she added.

The survey of 1,241 engaged women was conducted by Nooro Online Inc. between February 18 and March 12, and is considered accurate within 2.8%, 19 times out of 20.


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