For women, but not men, the factor most related to early sexual involvement was later sexual satisfaction.
Having sex early in a relationship, followed by cohabitation, sets the stage for women to be less satisfied with the sex they’re having now.
The researchers weren’t sure if this finding reflected something unusual about the sample or that people just aren’t very good at estimating how long it takes for relationship to progress to sexual intimacy.2. For women, but not men, the longer the delay between dating and sex, the better the perception of the current relationship quality.
Slowing things down for women, but not men, meant paying attention to other factors that would ultimately improve the relationship such as commitment and emotional intimacy.3.
In general, the findings supported the hypothesis that having sex early (defined here as within a month of dating) was related to poorer relationship outcomes for men and women.
Early sexual activity symbolized relationship commitment. Again for women, but not men, having sex early in the scheme of things signified to them that their partner was committed to the relationship.
For men, having sex early in the dating period didn’t actually have that same meaning.4.
Over one-third reported having sex within one month after they started dating.
This percentage was slightly higher than that observed in previous studies.
These four additional findings flesh out that overall conclusion and point to some sex differences as well:1.