Chapter 12 addresses how Geneva approached the period of time between engagement and marriage, including how premarital sex was handled, as well as desertion during the engagement. This post will only address premarital sex.
This time included heightened sexual tension therefore the “Genevan authorities regulated this perilous interval in some detail.” One of the difficulties Geneva ran into was that they treated this period like a marriage except you could not have sex. For example, if an engaged woman slept with someone who was not her spouse to be, it was adultery, not fornication. To get out of an engagement was like getting a divorce. Yet despite all these trappings of marriage, a couple was still supposed to refrain from sex until the wedding day. Continue reading