Mark Phillips was teaching again yesterday at church.

First thing that caught my attention was a quote from I Cor. 12 which I did not remember. “If any part [of the body] is honored, the rest rejoices with it” (v. 26).

Second thing that caught my attention was he asked two questions:
In the last week, what have you done for the kingdom?
In the last month, what have you done for this congregation?

And either showed up twice and gave money or those plus spent three hours at the 24-hour prayer thing. (That was Sept. 22, though, so it is more than a month.)

I talked to DH about it and he said at least we are still attending church. Every Sunday there are fewer and fewer people in the congregation. It is really sad.

The elders let our main pastor go, or at least they changed him from preaching pastor to missions pastor, and yesterday someone introducing him referred to him as our “friend,” rather than our pastor. Odd that. They want to get a younger pastor who will bring in the younger crowd. While I don’t agree with that idea, I understand what they are thinking. But why would they release him from his work when we had not yet gotten a new pastor? It was weird.

DH thinks that is part of the reason that the church is getting less full every Sunday. There are more and more people leaving.

However, I did feel convicted that I am not involved in church and I am thinking maybe we need to look around for a different congregation.

We had lunch with Don and Carla G, which was nice. Saw Dr. Ed M and his wife Georgia at lunch, too. I don’t think they recognized us, but one of these days we need to say hello when we see them.

Men, Premarital Sex, and Divorce

National Survey of Family Growth

The researchers released information about the effect of having sex before marriage increasing a woman’s divorce rate. Clearly this study doesn’t show causation, but simply correlation.

However, the researchers didn’t say anything about men and their relationship to premarital sex.

This survey (2006-2010) did not ask men and women the same questions. That seems to me to be a significant problem with their data.

My son went through the raw data trying to determine the correlation between men, premarital sex, and divorce.

In the study, there were a total of 10,403 male respondents. 1,773 were virgins at the time of the study. That means 8,630 were not virgins. (About 17% were virgins.)

Age distribution of this sample:
average age is 28 (That is a very young population.)
I am surprised it is that young. If you are making correlations about divorce rate, I would want to have a little bit older group.
The 10,403 men ranged in ages from 15 to 44. There is no clumping of age, but the average for the study was 28. (Twenty-nine years span, for equal distribution, average age should be 29-31.)

Also, I went to find out what the average age of marriage is.
For men for 2006-2010 in the US, the average age 27.5 (2006) to 28.2 (2010). For women the average marital age is 26 for the same time period (25.9-26.1). So that married men were included in this study at all is actually surprising, because men’s average marital age at the time is 28.

That gives 8,630 who were not virgins. When did they first have sex?
320 married
63 engaged/living together
106 engaged not living together
76 living together in asexual relationship, but not engaged
3858 going steady or going out with her
967 going out with her once in a while
2248 just friends
694 just met her
298 some other relationship
Total of 8,630

How many are married at the time of the study?
2824 were currently married
207 were separated
499 were divorced
15 were widowed
188 have been married and are currently living with someone, but not married to them (Does not say if these are divorced persons or widows or whatever)
For a total of 3,733 men in this sample who have ever been married. (This includes folks who have been married more than one time.)

3,733 men have ever married
434 have been married 2x (This could include the 15 who were widowed.)
55 3x
6 married 4 or more times

So the set for those who had no sex before they were married was very small; 3% of the 10,000 guys waited till marriage.

My son wanted to see what the implications for men having sex before marriage had on their divorce rate.

No sex before marriage:
divorce rate for men = 4%
So, if a guy is a virgin, it is a super good signal for a durable marriage.

Sex with their engaged partner:
divorce rate for men = 16%

For engaged versus married (men), p = .00193, that’s the largest p value. For men going steady versus men engaged, p = .000392. P value is the significance. Statistical significance is usually about .05.

Using the pi squared set (two data sets compared): If there were no actual relationship, you would get a .05 (2%) chance of getting a false positive. That is not the same as the odds of it being correct or incorrect.

The chance of getting the difference between the two sets of engaged v. married is .2% (10x less likely than the p value for a false positive). This indicates the results are VERY significant (one in 500 times would happen randomly).

In fact, there is a correlation between having sex before marriage and a reduction in the success of marriage for men.

Istock photo elderly couple holding hands

Based on the numbers, women’s premarital sex has less impact on their divorce rate.

For women:
The study included 12,279 women. 1,674 of the women were virgins at the time of the study. That means that 10,605 women were not virgins at the time of the study. The average age for women in the study was 29.

Seven women said they have never been married (as current status) and said they had been married once in answer to a different question. Obviously these 7 will skew the numbers. Which answer was incorrect? Probably the one of current status. (I would think that people would easily say how many times they have been married and not necessarily notice that a negative is permanent, not immediate.)

Even if the 7 skew the numbers, however, they don’t do much skewing for a study of 12,279 women.

The original study looked at women having sex with their first sexual partner and asking what their relationship was at the time (asked of men) and asking what the relationship was now (not asked of men–so you can’t look at that number for men).

When did women first have sex?
760 married (110 divorced) which is 14.6% failure rate
328 engaged (90 divorced)
3198 going steady or going out (981 divorced)

divorce rate for women = 14.9% based on the study parameters, 15% reported
Using the same data and same tests my son used, the divorce rate for women who had no sex before marriage was 14.56%, which would still be 15%. The difference may be because my son did not include the separations as failed marriages (since not everyone who separates gets divorced), but the study did.

Looks like the difference between having sex with a guy you are going out with versus engaged to is not statistically distinguishable. Since this sample is so large, that is very significant.

Comparing men and women:
About half as many men who had ever had sex waited for marriage, compared to how many women had ever had sex waited for marriage. (3.7 v 7.2%).

Even if virginity is not a cause of divorce rate lowering for men, there is a high correlation. Because of that high correlation, it is still a good metric to determine whether the male partner will stay married.

So, basically, the divorce rate for men who wait until marriage to have sex is significantly lower, 10% less, than for women who wait to have sex before they get married.


I’ve been trying to do more walking and I’ve been counting my steps on the roads around my house.

When I walked around the track at school (where each lap is more than 1/8 of a mile) I took 285-295 steps. So I am counting 300 steps as a lap and 2400 as a mile, even though that is clearly more than a mile.

Basically a mile would be 2320 steps. (Average of 290 and 8x lap, though that would still be more than a mile, so really I should count 2300 as a mile. However, that messes up the math in my head so I am going to stick with 2400 steps as a mile.)

9/21 I did 3900 steps with the dog.
9/22 I did 3300 steps with the dog.
9/23 I did 3300 steps with the dog and 1 hour in the pool.
(The hour in the pool is low impact aerobics and not particularly fast, so probably about 200 calories an hour is all I get out of that.)
9/24 I did 4500 steps with the dog.
9/25 I did 3600 steps with the dog.
9/26 I did 5500 steps with the dog.
9/27 I did 3600 steps with the dog, an hour in the pool, and 8 laps of the whole pool going against the current.
9/28 I did 4500 steps with the dog.
9/29 I did 3300 steps with the dog.
9/30 I did an hour in the pool.
10/1 I did 6000 steps with the dog.
10/2 I did 8600 steps with the dog.
I took it slow though and these took an 1.27. That is just a few steps short of 3 miles, but is at the slow rate. (So about 300 calories total.)

During this break I was in New Orleans and in Addison. I did not do much walking except for a mile or so in the French Quarter three times, but slow.

10/6 3300 steps with the dog.
10/7 1 hour in the pool and 4300 steps with the dog.
10/8 3500 steps with the dog.
10/9 6400 steps with the dog.
10/10 6600 steps with the dog
10/11 3200 steps with the dog in 25 minutes (so fairly fast), an hour in the pool, and 5.50 minutes on the row machine using only arms and staying over 500 calories.
The 3200 steps was between 150 and 200 calories. The hour in the pool about 200 and the row machine said 50. So for an hour and a half I got only about 450 calories.
I came home ready to go for a walk again, but I decided to wash dishes and sit down instead. I should have gone for a walk.