Global views on premarital sex 2013

This statistic depicts global views on premarital sex in 2013. In Indonesia, 97 percent of residents believe that premarital sex among adults is morally unacceptable.

Sex before marriage

Nine out of ten people in Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, and Turkey believed that engaging in sex before marriage was not acceptable. The majority of the Europeans found premarital sex to be morally acceptable or not a moral issue at all. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world totaling over 209 million people. In some religions, like Catholicism and Islam, having sex before marriage is considered morally unacceptable. Other predominantly religious countries such as Jordan and Pakistan also have similar rates of this belief.
In the United States, 29 percent of people consider the act of having sex before marriage as morally wrong while 20 percent believe that getting a divorce is also morally unacceptable . Abstinence-only sex education is not uncommon in the United States where states can apply for federal funding for these programs. Abstinence-only programs try to prevent teens or all unmarried individuals from having any sexual activity. Critics state that these programs often include negative messages about sexuality, gender roles, and may also try to minimize the effectiveness of birth control. Some 13 percent of teenage students desire more information about contraceptive use . Education about contraception and safe sex can help prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Global views on premarital sex 2013

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Release date

April 2014



Survey time period


Number of respondents

700-100 participants per country

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews

Supplementary notes

Survey results are based on national samples. The missing percentage points to 100 percent are divided among participants who refused to answer and those who said that the answer would depend on the situation.
This question was phrased by the source as follows: "Do you personally believe that sex between unmarried adults is morally acceptable, unacceptable, or is it not a moral issue?"

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