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Fewer than one in 10 Canadian brides-to-be believes in abstaining from sex until their wedding night, despite a “save yourself” drumbeat that in recent years has reverberated through everything from school programs to pop-culture phenols such as Twilight and Glee.

The 1,241-person survey, published this month by Canada’s Wedding Bells magazine, reveals that only eight per cent of engaged women agree with the statement “sex before marriage is not a good idea,” with just four per cent saying they feel strongly about it.

Researchers say the findings suggest perceptions of virginity are finally aligning with the reality of what’s been happening behind bedroom doors for decades. In other words, the behaviours aren’t new to women so much as newly outwardly approved by them.

“There’s no question that there’s a gulf between the ‘popular’ perception of the appropriateness of waiting until marriage and the extent to which people actually wait until marriage to have sex,” says Lawrence B. Finer, director of domestic research for the Guttmacher Institute. “There’s much less of the latter.”

Read the full story here.

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