Here’s a debate about that i’ve seen some Dopers come down on one side or the other. Though I don’t think i’ve really ever seen it as a debate, per se; it tends to crop up as a tangent in the ubiquitous religion debates or gay marriage debates. I know some Dopers are in favour of this as a personal choice, though I know of none who favour it as a good plan for all people, so this may not get any interest. Oh well.
My side of it is this; I don’t get it. Usually, when I hear it brought up (not generally here, and yes, I am generalising) the idea that someone shouldn’t have sex before marriage seems to be a factor of marriage being a highly important bond. Sometimes sex is deemed shallow and a meaningless thing without the bonds of marriage; sometimes to the contrary it’s deemed a highly important thing, often in terms of procreation, and that’s why it should be kept to within a marriage. I’d say that the many kinds of contraception deal with the procreation problem, assuming that the person in question isn’t againt those outside of marriage. But really my main objection is that it just doesn’t seem like a good plan.
The general idea of marriage is that it’s a pretty important and life-changing decision to make. It’s not something to be entered into lightly; though the anti-sex-before-marriage people may disagree on many things, this seems to be something of a constant, and i’d wager most people who aren’t bothered when people have sex would agree, too. People don’t propose at the end of a first date (generally). You get to know one another first. You find out what the other person things about things - their general outlook on life. You might meet their family. All the things that let you know that this is a person you can honestly promise to (and look forward to) spending the rest of your life with. And yet, on this particular issue, the idea seems to be that you should not get to know someone this way. And that just seems odd to me; I would think that the more value one placed on marriage, the more you would want to know about the other person to make sure you were making the right choice. And sexual compatibility isn’t guaranteed.
To me it’s like someone saying that you shouldn’t talk about politics before you get married. Everything else is fine, but talking about politics, about your views of how society works and how it should work, is a deeply intimate thing that should only occur within a marriage. Only when you are truly sure of someone, and have made a guarantee with them, should you share your views. And to me it just seems like it should be the other way around - you can’t know you’re sure without finding out these things.
But, like i’ve said, I don’t get this, which generally with me tends to mean I just haven’t heard the whole story. So what are people’s thoughts on this?