## Premarital sex and relationships

*The Economist* magazine recently published a summary of a study examining whether postponing sex until marriage improved such relationship qualities as: **satisfaction** with the relationship, perceived** ****stability**, ** communication** and **quality** of sex, each on a scale of 1 to 5. Here is a plot of the results, ordered by the overall effect (assuming an equal number of men and women).

### Insights (based solely on *Economist* article)

- All comparisons show a perceived improvement for waiting.
- The results aren't much different for men and women.
- The presumed "strength" of the effect is shown from greatest to least.
- The effects range from .4 to .7.

### Original table

- The numbers are more difficult to compare than the "dots."
- The resolution of the numbers (1 part in 50) obscures the overall effect (about 1 in 7).
- The order of perceived value appears to be alphabetical rather than in terms of effect.
- The first column label should be "relationship factors".

### Technique

The data were copied from the published table into an R script which did the following:

- Generate a simple "data matrix" of values by factor, gender and timing.
- Compute the overall effect (assuming equal numbers of gender).
- Produce a "dotplot trellis graphic" ordered by the magnitude of the effect.
- The appropriate datagraphic for these data would be a box-and-whisker plot, but this is probably too sophisticated even for the Economist's educated readership.