Evangelical Hetro Youth Are Sexually Active

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Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
October 1, 2011, 15:31

One suggested reason for the negative attitude from many churches towards LGBTI people is as a diversion from what many pastors know to be true but won’t discuss – namely, many of their hetrosexual young people are having sex before marriage. A fact long promulgated by Dr Roland Croucher. And now confirmed by this study .. .. ..


How many Evangelical young adults have sex before marriage? Study: Almost everyone

By: Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post. Thursday, 29 September 2011

As many as 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex, according to an analysis of a study on sexual activity in the upcoming October issue of Relevant, a Christian magazine.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 who identify themselves as evangelicals are almost as sexually active as their non-Christian peers, according to the article “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It.”

The article, which carries analysis of a study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in December 2009, notes that of the unmarried non-Christian adults surveyed, 88 percent said they have had sex – only slightly higher than evangelicals.

Of those 80 percent of Christians who said they have had sex before marriage, 64 percent have done so within the last year and 42 percent are in a current sexual relationship, said Relevant writer Tyler Charles, analyzing the study that did not look into religious identification initially.

What’s perhaps even more disturbing, Charles noted, is that 65 percent of the women obtaining abortions identify themselves as either Protestant (37 percent) or Catholic (28 percent). “That’s 650,000 abortions obtained by Christians every year.”

The Church must acknowledge the reality and address it. “It’s a call to the Church to live in reality,” Charles quoted Jenell Williams Paris, the author of The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is Too Important to Define Who We Are, as saying.

Order Online: The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex Is Too Important to Define Who We Are

The root problem, the article suggests, is the willingness to have sex before marriage. It’s hard to save sex for marriage, Charles wrote, identifying reasons including the media’s marketing of sex, the cultural endorsement of the “do what feels good” mentality, the prevalence of pornography and the widespread misunderstanding of sex.

Charles quoted a licensed counselor, Carissa Woodwyk, as saying that most Christians know God wants them to wait until marriage. But the problem, she said, is that most do not have a personal understanding of why it’s important. They should “go back to the beginning” and “focus on the origins of masculinity and femininity,” she suggested, adding that Christians must not think talking about sex is a “bad thing.” The Church should help people see “God’s picture of sex and marriage.”

Scot McKnight, professor of religious studies at North Park University in Chicago, pointed out in the article that while the abstinence message has been geared toward teenagers, in recent years, the average age for marriage has consistently risen. When Christians mature into their 20s, they normally reevaluate their beliefs, he said.

Joanna Hyatt, director of Reality Check, a group that promotes sexual integrity, wondered, if sex is only physical, why do sexually active youth often encounter depression? She said there is a need to promote “renewed abstinence,” a way to commit again to “a life of purity in body heart and mind.”


Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
October 1, 2011, 18:28

are the other 20% lying, asexual or some other reason

Joined in 2009
October 3, 2011, 15:13

Pity the church can’t be real and honest about sex.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
October 3, 2011, 15:59

Hi jamesn

You said:

Pity the church can’t be real and honest about sex.

Couldn’t agree more.

I also wish they’d update themselves about sex, commitment and marriage. I think it’s ludicrous that they prescribe no sex before marriage as a blanket rule and personally believe it should be up to each couple to decide what’s right and appropriate for them. And then there’s those of us in the LGBTI community who are not able to marry same sex partners legally in this country. So according to the church, if we follow their no sex prior to marriage rule, we’re meant to remain celibate until gay marriage is legalised! I think not, unless people feel specifically called to celibacy. And I certainly don’t.

I personally believe that people need to know as much about their partners as possible pror to making a big commitment such as marriage. And without having sex beforehand, there’s a lot of vital information missing. And I think a lack in that area that could be a foolish way to start a marriage. Don’t get me wrong: I respect those who decide to wait until marriage because it’s their decision to do so. In some ways I think it’s even sweet, especially if they’re building on more subtle forms of intimacy that can become easily eclipsed once sex is in the picture. There’s definite merit in that. However I resent when the church preaches that everyone needs to abstain from sex unless married. For me, sex is sacred and best enjoyed between two mature adults who love each other and are each emotionally ready to share that level of intimacy. However I wouldn’t prescribe this for everyone.

Overall I really think that the law and church are completely out of touch with peoples’ needs on these issues and need to progress into the 21st century.


Ann Maree

Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
October 5, 2011, 22:15

Rather proves the original point. Not untypical of any average evangelical/charismatic church .. .. .. well, any church, I guess. (Not that I am necessarily condoning pre-martial sex for Christians.)

Just as well God’s grace covers hypocracy too.

mrg, I really feel for you in trying to break through the misunderstandings, and pulling scales off people’s eyes, and copping the barbs from .. .. .. well, from some people who are well-meaning but ignorant, and some who are just modern-day pharisees. All very sad. Bless ya!

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
October 6, 2011, 10:57

The gulf between sexual belief and sexual behavior becomes apparent, too, when you look at the outcomes of abstinence-pledge movements. Nationwide, according to a 2001 estimate, some two and a half million people have taken a pledge to remain celibate until marriage. Usually, they do so under the auspices of movements such as True Love Waits or the Silver Ring Thing. Sometimes, they make their vows at big rallies featuring Christian pop stars and laser light shows, or at purity balls, where girls in frothy dresses exchange rings with their fathers, who vow to help them remain virgins until the day they marry. More than half of those who take such pledges—which, unlike abstinence-only classes in public schools, are explicitly Christian—end up having sex before marriage, and not usually with their future spouse. The movement is not the complete washout its critics portray it as: pledgers delay sex eighteen months longer than non-pledgers, and have fewer partners. Yet, according to the sociologists Peter Bearman, of Columbia University, and Hannah Brückner, of Yale, communities with high rates of pledging also have high rates of S.T.D.s. This could be because more teens pledge in communities where they perceive more danger from sex (in which case the pledge is doing some good); or it could be because fewer people in these communities use condoms when they break the pledge.

Bearman and Brückner have also identified a peculiar dilemma: in some schools, if too many teens pledge, the effort basically collapses. Pledgers apparently gather strength from the sense that they are an embattled minority; once their numbers exceed thirty per cent, and proclaimed chastity becomes the norm, that special identity is lost. With such a fragile formula, it’s hard to imagine how educators can ever get it right: once the self-proclaimed virgin clique hits the thirty-one-per-cent mark, suddenly it’s Sodom and Gomorrah.

Religious belief apparently does make a potent difference in behavior for one group of evangelical teen-agers: those who score highest on measures of religiosity—such as how often they go to church, or how often they pray at home. But many Americans who identify themselves as evangelicals, and who hold socially conservative beliefs, aren’t deeply observant.

Even more important than religious conviction, Regnerus argues, is how “embedded” a teen-ager is in a network of friends, family, and institutions that reinforce his or her goal of delaying sex, and that offer a plausible alternative to America’s sexed-up consumer culture. A church, of course, isn’t the only way to provide a cohesive sense of community. Close-knit families make a difference. Teen-agers who live with both biological parents are more likely to be virgins than those who do not. And adolescents who say that their families understand them, pay attention to their concerns, and have fun with them are more likely to delay intercourse, regardless of religiosity.

A terrific 2005 documentary, “The Education of Shelby Knox,” tells the story of a teen-ager from a Southern Baptist family in Lubbock, Texas, who has taken a True Love Waits pledge. To the chagrin of her youth pastor, and many of her neighbors, Knox eventually becomes an activist for comprehensive sex education. At her high school, kids receive abstinence-only education, but, Knox says, “maybe twice a week I see a girl walking down the hall pregnant.” In the film, Knox seems successful at remaining chaste, but less because she took a pledge than because she has a fearlessly independent mind and the kind of parents who—despite their own conservative leanings—admire her outspokenness. Devout Republicans, her parents end up driving her around town to make speeches that would have curled their hair before their daughter started making them. Her mother even comes to take pride in Shelby’s efforts, because while abstinence pledges are lovely in the abstract, they don’t acknowledge “reality.”

Read full article here

Why do so many evangelical teen-agers become pregnant?

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
October 6, 2011, 12:51

Hi avb

Thanks for this information – very interesting indeed.

You said:

Pledgers apparently gather strength from the sense that they are an embattled minority; once their numbers exceed thirty per cent, and proclaimed chastity becomes the norm, that special identity is lost. With such a fragile formula, it’s hard to imagine how educators can ever get it right: once the self-proclaimed virgin clique hits the thirty-one-per-cent mark, suddenly it’s Sodom and Gomorrah.

:bigsmile: You make me laugh with the Sodom and Gomorrah reference!

I saw Shelby Knox on 60 Mins some time ago. I liked her very much and agreed with her take on things. I thought the Virgin balls were utterly sick! The whole notion of Daddy pledging to help his daughter remain ‘pure’ sent the wrong message as far as I’m concerned. It seemed to me that the father’s love was based on his daughter remaining chaste, and therefore conditional. I thought it was very Stepford wives and quite artificial. It was almost like they were marrying their fathers and binding themselves to some kind of unhealthy, wierd relationship. It seemed very bizarre to me.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2011
October 8, 2011, 00:03

The other 20%

are the other 20% lying, asexual or some other reason

Some of us have suppressed our sexuality: I remained a virgin for 29 years but had a massive porn problem. Tried to teach myself that real people aren’t sexual but soon figured out that doesn’t work either.

So some people can abstain – but is it healthy?

There was an interesting documentary on SBS last week about the “Real Dolls”. Some people do not have the self confidence or self image or social skills to be able to have sex with others. Maybe more of an issue in communities that don’t drink?

And finally things like stress can reduce sexual drive. Put all these factors together and I think it could explain the 20%

Joined in 2010
October 25, 2011, 16:01


Joined in 2012
July 14, 2012, 18:01

I'm all for waiting until a lifelong commitment has been made. Don't really care if that makes me in a minority of 0.00001%! Used to being in minorities! Not sure you need to have sex to check whether you really want to spend your life with someone you love… That's just me. Each must work out their own beliefs with fear and trembling! 🙂

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