Findings suggest that demand-withdraw may have the role of “detector” of couple distress, especially in older couples.Moreover, the moderating role of relationship duration suggests that different couples may enact demand-withdraw in different ways.
For couples in between—those that became sexually involved later in their dating, but prior to marriage—the benefits were about half as strong.
Source: Adapted from Busby, Carroll, and Willoughby (2010). The effects of sexual timing on marriage relationships. Note: Figure depicts mean scores reported by spouses in three sexual timing groups on relationship satisfaction, perceived relationship stability, sexual quality, and communication.
Early sex creates a sort of counterfeit intimacythat makes two people think they are closer to each other than they really are.
This can cause people to “fall in love” with, and possibly even marry, someone who is not a good choice for them in the long run.
To compare these three groups, the authors conducted a Multivariate Analysis of Covariance controlling for religiosity, relationship length, education, and the number of sexual partners.
The results from the MANCOVA indicated that Sexual Timing Group and Gender had a significant effect on the dependent variables while holding the control variables constant.The demand-withdraw interaction pattern is a pattern of conflict in which one-spouse pressures or blames while the other avoids or withdraws.Research has consistently shown that demand-withdraw behaviours are associated with couple dissatisfaction.In contrast, relationships that move too quickly, without adequate discussion of the goals and long-term desires of each partner, may be insufficiently committed and therefore result in relationship distress, especially if one partner is more committed than the other” (p. So, why might sexual restraint benefit couples during dating and later in marriage?Evidence points to two primary explanations for why couples benefit from waiting to become sexually involved: Intentional Partner Selection A primary reason why sexual restraint benefits couples is that it facilitates intentional partner selection.Gender had a relatively small influence on the dependent variables. These patterns were statistically significant even when controlling for a variety of other variables such as respondents’ number of prior sexual partners, education levels, religiosity, and relationship length.