This research brief shows that the relationship between divorce and
the number of sexual partners women have prior to marriage is complex.
I explore this relationship using data from the three most recent
waves of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) collected in
2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2013. For women marrying since the start of
the new millennium:
Women with 10 or more partners were the most likely to divorce, but this only became true in recent years;
Women with 3-9 partners were less likely to divorce than women with 2 partners; and,
Women with 0-1 partners were the least likely to divorce.
Still, the study found that having more sexual partners was associated with reduced marital stability. Women who married as virgins were less likely to divorce within five years across all three waves of the study — just 11 percent in the 1980s and 6 percent in the 2010s.
But women who reported two sexual partners had the highest divorce rates in the 1980s and 1990s, the study found. For instance, in the 1980s, about 28 percent of these marriages dissolved within five years; by comparison, 18 percent of marriages ended when the women had more than 10 premarital sexual partners.
By the 2000s, women who had more than 10 sexual partners saw their marriages dissolve within five years almost 33 percent of the time, the study found.
Without giving sources to evaluate, I would be extremely skeptical of this or any other claim. In this specific case, it would be extremely hard to take into account or adjust for the changing attitude towards divorce and to separate that from effect of the number of pre-marital partners. Further, there are many other factors that can have a greater impact on whether or not a marriage lasts. Daily Beat list a number of factors, apart from the obvious like communication skills, that may play a role.
As a rule, I would be skeptical of any sweeping claim made about a complex subject like marriage. (BTW, I had multiple partners, was engaged twice and my wife had several partners and was engaged once before we were married and we're on our 30th year).