The longer couples wait to have sex the more likely they are to last, concludes a new study from Bringham Young University, a school where Mormons are taught to abstain from sex until marriage. Not that there’s a conflict of interest or anything.

Two theories exist on the nature of sexual activity before marriage, relays Live Science: waiting is better, or getting it over with is better.

Past research on sex and its link to relationship quality has revealed two different paradigms. In one, sex is considered essential to a developing relationship since it allows partners to assess their sexual compatibility. Following this line of thinking, couples who marry before testing out their sexual chemistry are at risk of marital distress and failure later on.

The opposing view posits couples who delay or abstain from sexual intimacy during the early part of their relationships allow communication and other social processes to become the foundation of their attraction to each other. Essentially, early sex could be detrimental to a relationship, skewing it away from communication, commitment and the ability to handle adversity, this thinking suggests.

Not so shockingly, BYU’s data found that compared to respondents who did not wait until marriage to have sex, those who did:

* Rated relationship stability as 22 percent higher
* Rated relationship satisfaction as 20 percent higher
* Rated sexual quality as 15 percent better
* Rated communication as 12 percent better

Luckily, since most of us gays can never get married, the study is moot, and I’ll advise you to continue having sex before exchanging last names.

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