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

33 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 once we’ve repented and given our lives to Him, God forgives us and does not punish us for our past 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.

      • Annette Herrera

        For those who do repent and those who have not and do or don’t have a personal relationship with the Creator, will always be reprimanded and guided by The Loving hand of the father period in real life when we do something wrong our parents will punish us. It is out of their love to correct us and guide us in the right direction. It is the same with our heavenly father. So yes he definitely can fix us when we are not obeying him. If he did not love us he would not bother to teach us right from wrong. There is always consequences for good choices and bad choices. There are Rewards for following his Commandments. The Commandments are good for us because they guide us and give us Direction to living fully healthfully productive lives in his sight. Without him we are on a collision course for disaster. I believe it is how he brings us around to seeing the light of day. Which is in fact his light. A loving father will correct his children whether we see it as punishment or being mean is usually because we are immature children and are still growing.

  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.

  5. Amos Augustine

    I have been in and out of several relationship that involves sex. The relationships never lasted. Either we broke up or I relocate.

    I’m currently in a serious relationship which I hope will lead to marriage because the connection is there. We bond very well we.

    We have been having sex for almost two years now but the guilt is always catching up with us. Most times, we make decision to stop having sex but little wonder we back to it.

    My girlfriend has a beautiful career why things kept falling apart for me which I presumed its a result of premarital sex.
    ThankGod , we have decided to seek God’s wisdom through prayer and fasting to abstain from sex till marriage.

    It’s worth waiting. The fact is, sex before marriage is not good.

    • Annette Herrera

      Yes absolutely premarital sex creates bonds that while are there emotionally they definitely are not there physically. A bond that has no lifelong commitment of marriage or any intention of continuing will definitely have devastating emotional consequences.

  6. i regret deeply having sex for one and half year with my fiancee every time i told him ok but beforecor afer sex i always felt wrong .he always used to attack us and so one day i got pregnent unexpectedly and got aborted before marriage .. now he ended up our relationship and moved on .
    My question is ll it effect to my husband in future when i ll get married in my life ??

    • Moral Revolution

      Past sexual relationships do affect us in marriage, but God can bring us healing and restoration if we go to Him. If you repent, ask God forgiveness, and press into Him and His healing for your mind and heart, then you can still have a beautiful, healthy marriage. He can restore you so you can walk out purity from here on out and sow into your future marriage. Here’s our blog about healing and restoration:

  7. Elizabeth

    I have been married ten years.. my marriage is a happy one, and a fruitful one. We have several children and I am blessed to be a homemaker for my husband. Before we started dating I had sex with multiple people, he did as well. Despite the fact that we havede it this far, our marriage is far from easy, and far from ideal. We both struggle with trust issues, as well as issues stemming from not getting to know one another before marriage. We jumped into sex early in the relationship, never taking the time or making the effort to find out if we were compatible. I love my husband, I am committed to him and he is committed to me, but our lives would be so much richer had we waited. Not only waited for marriage with each other, but never had had a sexual encounter until we were married. Homestly, we probably would have married other people. Our marriages most likely would have been easier and more fulfilling. Now I look at my past and am filled with regret, I look at our future and , while I know we will stay married, I find myself lonely. I wish I had waited. Sex before marriage is the biggest, most profound mistake I ever made. It is worth the wait.

  8. Thanks for this life enriching Article.

    It realy open my heart, mind and eyes that sex before marriage is a very great mistake.
    Am not yet in a relationship but thank God am a reader of this article.
    Sex is not just for physical pleasure it’s way more than that

    Sex means this Woman/Man is a part of me

    STAY A WAY FROM SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE or regret it your whole life.


  9. Oluwatobi

    Am really greatful to come across this article, thanks to married people who commented, God bless you all.
    am 21 and still struggling to keep myself despite all pressure from friends, i pray may God give me the grace to overcome. amen

  10. Shut Deborah

    This article is quite educative, i have been enlighting, our friends & younger once need to be inform too. Thanks to the married people that shared their experiences with us. May God bless & help us.

  11. asipa oluwadolapo

    Well, I must not forget to express how impressed I am by this piece.
    I’m currently writing a paper on “the attendant consequences of pre-marital sex on human values”, and I would have loved to relate my work to this piece except that I don’t who wrote it.

    I’m 21 and i know how high our sex drive is could be. I equally have had my share of pre-marital sex and it isn’t something that I’m proud of, this i must confess.
    It only succeeded in making me see women as sex object- as nothing of any other value apart from sex. I never knew anything about the bond a man and woman can share until last year’s June when i met Samantha. We’ve been dating for 4 months now and we’ve not had sex. Somehere in the back of my mind, the bell “potential partner” repeatedly rings and i hope God help me. We’ve not gotten physical yet i’m happy and content with the life of abstinence i’ve charted.
    And to the youth out there, abstain! Pre-marital sex isn’t the answer!!!

    • Moral Revolution

      The main heart behind this article is that a man should not just have sex with a lady he doesn’t love. God’s design for sex is that it should be shared between a man and a woman who not only love each other, but who are committed to each other in marriage for life.

  12. Thank you for sharing this article.. It is a great encouragement to me.. this journey of staying pure sexually before marriage is a tough one.. so many temptations, opportunities to give in.. Seem to only meet guys who say they are Christians but put so much pressure on me to have sex before Marriage… recently connected with a guy who I really thought had great potential.. we got on so well … but he had differing views regarding sex before marriage… as time went on we agreed to just be friends .. but he would also use every and any opportunity to talk about sex in graphic detail… As much as I was attracted to him. It made me uncomfortable.. I recently challenged him and suggested that he was only interested in sex that he never really cared for me to start off.. He got upset and has now stopped talking to me… I am really missing him and our connection and although I know it’s better am struggling on how to moved forward and let him go.. We met up briefly twice and shared a kiss and held hands but nothing more…
    I’ve prayed and asked God to help me move forward however i still want to maintain our friendship as apart from all the pressure to have sex with him we got on really well… There were also other issues that affected our friendship… which is why it’s better that we are not communicating at the moment.. He is a decent guy and I’m hoping for some sort of reconciliation in the future or should I just move on and put it down to experience..
    Thanks again… 😊

    • Moral Revolution

      First of all, we are so proud of you for setting a standard and sticking to it even when someone you cared about was pressuring you not to. It’s up to you if you want to move toward reconciliation or not, but it is most definitely okay to set certain boundaries so that you feel comfortable and respected in the relationship. If he refuses to treat you in a way that makes you feel safe and respected, then it’s okay to not allow him to have a place in your life. Hope this helps!

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