Laying Hands Upon The Faithful (and Available): Study Finds 80 Percent of Unmarried Evangelical Young Adults Have Pre-Marital Sex

A new study from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has identified an area of young adults who have been overlooked by prior campaigns: young evangelicals. The study found 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex. That is virtually the same (8 percent below) the national average. With a campaign infused with religiosity this year and all of the talk of “real America” versus urban America, the study challenges stereotypes.

The article below says that “Studies have not found that abstinence-only programs cut pregnancy rates, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or even the age when sexual activity begins.”

However, last year, a study indicated some success from these programs. Here is what the Washington Post reported:

Only about a third of sixth- and seventh-graders who completed an abstinence-focused program started having sex within the next two years, researchers found. Nearly half of the students who attended other classes, including ones that combined information about abstinence and contraception, became sexually active.

Perish the thought that we could have a substantive debate on this question, but it would make for an interesting exchange.

Source: Think Progress

59 thoughts on “Laying Hands Upon The Faithful (and Available): Study Finds 80 Percent of Unmarried Evangelical Young Adults Have Pre-Marital Sex”

  1. Jo:

    “I do thank you sincerely for the link as there are very bad problems here in the South. We are just not comperable to a third world country.”


    Of course you’re right about my hyperbole, after all we know for certain: The food’s better, the people nicer, and you won’t find 50 roaring vehicles spinning around a track in Nairobi.

  2. Mespo My original comment to you was about the way you spoke about the South in general
    You said “I suspect the distribution of those teens having unprotected sex is disproportionally skewed towards Southern states where birth control occupies the same status as boll weevils. I used to want to travel abroad to visit the Third World. Little did I know I could have just driven south a few hours.
    The third world remark was really disturbing. As was driving a few short hours.
    Even if I grant every statistic you threw out there, there was this exchange
    Me: “Oh wait a minute You are from Virginia …. and Virginia is considered by everyone to be a Southern State.”:


    You: ” Not since we got hornswoggled into fightin’ that little war of your’n in 1861.”

    OK here I go. Yes especially since “We the hornswogglers”
    (theReal South?????) Somehow Tricked? Forced? the po’ lil’ ole’ Virginians into fightin “our” war.
    First let me say that the Civil War (or any other of the silly names have been given to the Civil War Take your pick) began for all intents and purposes with South Carolinas secession on Dec 20th (some say the 24th) 1860. I’ll make a list so it will be better viewed.

    South Carolina ……………….. 12/20/1860
    Louisiana………………………… 01/26/1861


    and last but not least
    North Carolina…………………..05/20/1861
    (Maybe ya’ll dragged my po’ lil’ ole’ state into it!)

    Now as if that isn’t enough 06/15-19/1861 The
    2nd West Virginia Convention Seceded FROM VIRGINIA
    It was Union territory and Admitted to the United States in its own right 06/20/1863. For WVa to secede from Va means Va wanted to stay with the Confederacy. You weren’t “hornswoggled into fightin’ that little war of your’n in 1861.” Say Rather That Little War of OURS”

    Now that we have established that VA was a Southern State of its own volition …. So what …. Its the 21st century!

    Virginia is considered to be a Southern State by the country as a rule. And the fact that YOU Say: “And this from someone who lives in the semi-southern Commonwealth of Virginia (We’re #24. Yippee!). We can see across the southern boundary and “it ain’t pretty” as our Southern cousins might say. Slurs? Maybe, but lots of facts and experience to go with it.” Doesn’t change anyones views except maybe yours.

    Maybe you have been ridiculed for your accent and lumped into the same catagory as all of your statistics Its galling for an intelligent man to be assumed to ignorant or stupid because of his place of birth (residence?) or accent. You are not ignorant or stupid and you know this. So why feed the stereotype with slurs against the South???
    I grant that there many type of problems here in the South; Republicans, Teapartiers, Ignorance, Poverty, Crime,(This is one of the statistics that bothers me . Los Angles has a horrible crime rate but also a very dense population. Lump Places like that against sparser pop and say its per capita… we lose)
    I do thank you sincerely for the link as there are very bad problems here in the South. We are just not comperable to a third world country.

  3. teen abstinence is actually pretty easy. when the kids are about twelve let them watch grandma and grandpa after grandpa gets a script for viagra.

    that’ll hold’em till they hit their mid twenties.

    p.s. i’ve been sprinkled as a lutheran and as a child dunked as a southern baptist. haven’t been back since i was 17. i didn’t like their answers to my questions.

  4. “Can an orgasm be unsuccessful?”

    My older, smarter brother told me,
    “Sex is like pizza.
    When it’s great, it’s great.
    When it’s not great, it’s still pretty good.”

  5. I dislike the use of “enlightenment” in this context, so here’s some similar data labeled with the very tongue-in-cheek title of “7 deadly sins”:

    You can certainly take issue with these labels (“pride” is a total cop-out), but look at theft, violent crime and STDs per capita – the “bible belt” sure seems to be a hotspot for a lot of bad behavior – particularly of the unprotected sex kind.

    Also, there’s data that could be characterized as “southerners are fat, lazy, eat like crap and make themselves sick, which the rest of us are going to have to pay for” but that would be rude, so here’s a funnier presentation of that data:

    “Passport ownership prevents diabetes” (Yeah, like the lack of pirates causes global warming)

    (Would now be a good time to bring up the “welfare” state versus “donor” state issue? No? OK, I’ll move on…)

    Regarding comparing abstinence-only to others: 1) That seems to be lumping both “no sex ed” in with “well rounded sex-ed”, which seems problematic. and 2) I wonder how this study controlled for factors associated with self-selection for abstinence-only programs…

  6. This is the problem with trying to regulate teen sex. You find out things that you did not want to know.

  7. assholishness … would that fall under the factor of Health or Lifestyle?

    I checked the site and can’t decide where to put it or how to test for it … but then I’m from Ohio listed at #28 and if I wanted to gain enlightenment I should probably move to the #1 state, Minnesota, where I could, conceivably, run into Michele Bachmann and her enlightened army of armed and dangerous constituents.

    The only two places I would rather live are the upper peninsula of Michigan or New Mexico and they are both burdened with less enlightenment than Ohio so I’d be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

    I guess I’d best stay put and accept the inference of assholishness though I’m pretty sure, if and when a test for it is developed, our abundance of teabaggers will guarantee us a righteous placement. Of course I live in the northern part of Ohio on Lake Erie and the majority of teabaggers live in southern Ohio.

  8. Mespo, “Of the twenty-five cities with the lowest rates of violent crime, 62 percent are in “blue” states and 38 percent are in “red” states. Of the twenty-five most dangerous cities, 76 percent are in red states, 24 percent in blue states. In fact, three of the five most dangerous cities in the United States are in the pious state of Texas. The twelve states with the highest rate of burglary are red. Twenty-four of the twenty-nine states with the highest rate of theft are red. Of the twenty-two states with the highest rates of murder, seventeen are red.”

    Red state, Blue state? Are the only red states southern and only blue states everywhere else???? What red state blue state map are you looking at? The statistics for the red states that are so dismal seems to encompass A great deal of the Us. According to Wikipedia map entitled “Average margins of victory in the four presidential elections between 1992 and 2008” The states are: Alaska Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. However if you use the map designated “Summary of results of the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential elections:” add the states of Ohio Florida And Nevada to the red states list.

    So I dont think much of the first set of statistics you list. The second set seems to hold more value. Seems at any rate .

    Here’s the bottom of the State Enlightment Rankings which takes into account SAT scores, infant mortality, prisoners per 100,000 pop, births out of wedlock, gonorrhea rate, and 7 other criteria

    But I would like to see the statistics of each state individually side by side and also the other 7 criteria. And what happens to the enlightenment scale if we add the scores of the several other criteria of “Enlightment” How about assholishness HMMMMMM The North might start edging us out…. Oh wait a minute You are from Virginia …. and Virginia is considered by everyone to be a Southern State.

    I rescind my apology from earlier.

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