The Invisible Effects of Sex Before Marriage?

Moral Revolution



What are some of the effects of sex before marriage?



We know what you’re probably expecting from an article like this– Yes, sex before marriage can lead to unplanned pregnancy. Yes, it can lead to sexually transmitted infections. Yes, it can increase the risk of identity issues, depression, and broken relationships. But, there’s so much more to talk about than that, particularly some of the invisible effects of sex.

First let’s start by understanding this: we can’t stop our bodies from doing what they were created to do. What were they created to do? Bond. We were created to connect with another human being in such a way that we would become one unit, together, for life.

Why does this happen?
Because our hormones cause us to glue, so-to-speak, with our partner. No amount of consent or informed decision making can change that. There’s a bonding that occurs that supersedes a mere skin-to-skin connection. Scientifically, we know that sex engages us hormonally, neurologically, psychologically; it forms intense bonds mentally, emotionally, and physically, especially when we do it over and over again.1

How does this happen?
Quite simply, any kind of sexual activity that takes place releases chemicals in our brains. For women, it is primarily the hormone oxytocin, and for men it is vasopressin. Oxytocin allows a woman to bond to the most significant people in her life. It eases stress, creating feelings of calm and closeness, which leads to increased trust. It also causes her to want to nurture and protect the one she’s bonded to. Vasopressin is very similar to oxytocin, except that it is primarily released in the brain of men. This hormone causes a man to bond to a woman during intimate contact. Some call it the “commitment hormone” or “monogamy molecule”. This hormone generates a desire for commitment and rouses loyalty. It inspires a protective sense over one’s mate, and can create a “jealous” tendency.2 There is a third set of hormones called endorphins released during sexual activities, and they affect both genders. Endorphins are what we call happy hormones. They are highly addictive and cause us to want to experience the rush again and again and again.
What makes things even more interesting is that these hormones are  values-neutral.3 Whether it’s a one-time encounter or a lifelong commitment, we bond the same way. It also crystallizes these emotional memories in our minds, making these encounters and experiences difficult to forget.

Now, in a marriage, these hormones are extremely motivating and helpful. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that some days marriage would get hard. He knew we would need some help choosing each other day after day, over and over again. He knew that some days we wouldn’t like our spouse very much. We would argue. Bills would come in. Babies would get sick. In-laws would come to town. Emergencies would happen. Stress would overshadow the relationship. So, He installed an over-ride system (hormones) that would cause us to stick together through thick and thin, in good times and bad, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. It would cause us to feel devoted, loyal, possessive, and willing to endure trials to keep what belongs to us. What an intelligent Designer we have.

So, what happens when we have multiple sexual partners?
Scientifically, we know this: As we bond and break, bond and break, bond and break, we lose our ability to properly bond.4 When we’re ready for that new, serious relationship or marriage, something is missing that prevents us from fully bonding; we don’t feel that connected or committed. Our feelings may seem to diminish. When we see someone else a little more exciting, more appealing, more perfect for us, we’re ready to move on in a heartbeat. The condition of being “crazy in love” suddenly disappears. We may say we don’t feel all that excited anymore. We may even lose faith in falling in love again.
This is why it is important to protect our purity; spirit, soul, and body. We must understand that ability to be pure and save ourselves is not just a religious ideal. It’s not just about giving your valuable v-card to someone. That’s not the point. The point is to keep our stickiness intact so that when we find the right person, we connect with them for life.


*For more information, check out Hooked: New Science On How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children by McIlhaney and Bush.

1. McIlhaney, Joe S., and Freda McKissic Bush. Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children. Chicago: Northfield Pub., 2008. Print. 45.

2. Ibid., 41-42
3. Ibid., 33
4. Ibid., 43

13 Responses to “The Invisible Effects of Sex Before Marriage?”

  1. So true! I believe this is also true with pornography since pretty much the same hormones get released. Thank you so much for this ‘scientifically’ true post and putting it in such an easy language that we can also pass to our children in schools

  2. I’d just like to add that if a person chooses to have sex with their boyfriend/girlfriend outside of marriage, it can create a feeling of being in an off-balanced and being in an unstable relationship. Because sex promotes bonding and because it’s the most intimate act that can be performed between two people, the couple will experience a physical connection that cannot be surpassed. The problem lies in the fact that, unless married, they will not be able to experience the same level of connection and closeness on a spiritual, emotional and every-day-life level. It may not occur right away, but it won’t take long before one or both feel that something is missing or something is just not right (i.e. off balance) with the relationship. They may think it’s them, it’s their partner, etc. But it’s really because of the lack of balance between the physical, spiritual, and emotional. Some will abandon the relationship having never pinpointed the source of the issue, but just recognizing that something wasn’t quite right. Others will subconsciously seek to create balance and will strive to grow closer in the other areas of the relationship. The problem is that the relationship is not taking a natural course, but it’s forced and coerced because we as humans need balance and we will seek it out in one way or another.

    • Hi. Great article. My daughter is writing a college paper on the effects of premarital sex. I was wondering who the author of this was in order to cite it on her paper.

    • So when a couple has sex before marriage, the bond is created, one of the partners feels that offbalance feeling, & tells the other & they agree to both stop having sex, what can do that. Can that break the bond or restore their relationship for a better future until marriage?

    • Moral Revolution

      Hi Ella,

      We do not believe a miscarriage is punishment for engaging in sex before marriage. Jesus paid the price for our sin at the cross, and God does not punish us for our mistakes. There may be medical reasons or other contributing factors for a miscarriage, but know that God’s heart for you is complete healing, restoration, and a beautiful future, no matter what your past looks like.

  3. Peach shine

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article that gave real insight into the pros and cons of pre-martial sex. It opened both my eyes and my mind. Gratitude.
    P.S. worried i am no longer sticky. Suggestions??

  4. Barbara

    I regret deeply, having sex for 4 years, with my fiancee. I told myself it was ok, every time. But i always felt wrong during and after sex. It really effected our relationship…not following God’s rules. Satan was always attacking us. Sadly, my fiancee ended our relationship lately. I am so heartbroken. He moved on very fast, and is now on several dating sites. I knew in my gut, not to be sexually active til after marriage. Now he is gone, I’m crushed, ..and he took a huge part of me, that should of been saved for my husband. Listen to God!! Trust me!! I’m 50 years old, and I have never listened to God, in regards to sex. It breaks my heart. Wait. Don’t mess up. You will end up like me, with many failed relationships.

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