How religious beliefs do, and don't, influence sexual behavior.

80 percent of teenagers who identify as evangelical or born again think sex should be saved for marriage. But thinking is not the same as doing. Evangelical teens are actually more likely to have lost their virginity than either mainline Protestants or Catholics. Atheists, you can stick it to religion, by sticking it in the preacher's daughter.

Evangelical teens are actually more likely to have lost their virginity than either mainline Protestants or Catholics. They tend to lose their virginity at a slightly younger age—16.3, compared with 16.7 for the other two faiths. And they are much more likely to have had three or more sexual partners by age 17: Regnerus reports that 13.7 percent of evangelicals have, compared with 8.9 percent for mainline Protestants.

In part, the problem lies in the temptation-rich life of an average American teenager. The fate of the True Love Waits movement, which began with the Southern Baptist Convention in the '90s, is a perfect example. Teenagers who signed the abstinence pledge belong to a subgroup of highly motivated virgins. But even they succumb. Follow-up surveys show that at best, pledges delayed premarital sex by 18 months—a success by statistical standards but a disaster for Southern Baptist pastors.

At least in Saudi Arabia the women are all covered up, so there's nothing to be tempted by. But among this elite corps of evangelicals, the women are breezing around in what one girl I know called "shockingly slutty conservative outfits" while the men hold their tongues. (No, they don't hold anything else. Masturbation is strongly discouraged in the literature because it promotes selfish, lustful behavior.)

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1 comment:

Eek said...

Sorry but as a parent there's no real difference between.. what was it? 16.3 and 16.7?


Kids are kids and they have hormones and desires and all that. Some have self control, some don't. Some have opportunity, some don't lol. It doesn't matter what your particular "version" of christianity is.

What would be more interesting is to examine Australian statistics comparing the average age of christian and non-christian "virignity losers", regardless of actual denomination/church.

Oohh and throw in the other main religions too. Perhaps I should encourage my kids to be Buddhist or something?

Someone sooo needs to do this type of all-inclusive virginity-loss research lol. And soon... before my kids are too old to put any of the info to good use. :P