Couples who keep off sex before marriage are happier

More than 2,000 married couples were questioned as part of a study by the Brigham Young University's School of Family Life in Utah in the US.

Psychologists found that couples who waited until after their wedding night rated the stability of their relationships 22 percent higher than those whose physical relationships developed earlier.

Those who practised abstinence were also found to have 20 percent increased levels of relationship satisfaction, 12 percent better communication and 15 percent improved "sexual quality", reports the Telegraph.

Experts said that this may be due to improved communication between individuals who were chaste before marriage, according to a Brigham Young statement.

Professor Dean Busby from Brigham, who carried out the study, said: "There's more to a relationship than sex, but we did find that those who waited longer were happier with the sexual aspect of their relationship. I think it's because they've learned to talk and have the skills to work with issues that come up."

For couples that became sexually involved later in a relationship but prior to marriage, the benefits were about half as strong, according to findings published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

Although vows of chastity often accompany religious involvement, researchers claimed that faith was not a factor in the study.

"Regardless of religiosity, waiting helps the relationships form better communication processes, and these help improve long-term stability and relationship satisfaction," said Busby.

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