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FSU Research Shows Beliefs About
Uncommitted Sex May Put Marriages at Risk
Neil Charness and Wally Boot
Juliana French

A group of Florida State University researchers has found that an individual's pre-marital views about uncommitted sex may make it more difficult to remain blissfully married.

In a study just published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers outline several factors that can contribute to a marriage's long-term happiness or dissolution. One big red flag: An individual's behaviors and attitudes about uncommitted sexual relationships even before the marriage.

"Marital satisfaction generally declines over time," said Juliana French, a Florida State University doctoral student. "But what we've found is that when, prior to their marriage, one or both spouses hold generalized beliefs that uncommitted sex is OK, that can contribute to the failure of a marriage."

French, along with fellow graduate student Emma Altgelt and Assistant Professor Andrea Meltzer, collected and analyzed data from 204 heterosexual, newly married couples. They collected information on their behaviors and attitudes prior to marriage as well as numerous factors related to their new marriages including their marital satisfaction.

Over the course of several years, researchers followed up with couples to collect information about their marital satisfaction and cataloged data on which couples separated or filed for divorce.


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