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Why more evangelical Christians are having premarital sex

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 27, 2011 | 12:18 pm

Here is a surprising lede from Relevant magazine:

Eighty percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex. Two-thirds have been sexually active in the last year. Even though, according to a recent Gallup poll, 76 percent of evangelicals believe sex outside of marriage is wrong.

I’m not sure what I find more surprising: that so many evangelicals have had premarital sex or that only 76 percent believe its immoral. Probably the latter.

The entire Relevant article is worth reading here.

In following up on this article, both CNN and the Belief Beat blog tease out a theory about why more evangelical Christians are having sex before marriage. Nicole Neroulias writes:

the Bible and traditional social mores come from a time when puberty and marriage were synonymous, if not even reversed. So “waiting until marriage” was kind of a no-brainer. But now, the average Americans don’t wed until they are over 25. That’s another decade or more of polishing those purity rings — twice their lifetimes, at that point, and during the years when hormones and peer pressure are at their most insistent.

That is, no doubt, an important point. The longer one has to wait, the more difficult it is. It’s the reason that one of my college church friends used to say that if a guy at church was single, not married and not unusually weird, then he also wasn’t a virgin.

The question is what are the implications for churches and the U.S. Christian community? How should they respond?

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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