A new study from Marquette University has found that religious attitudes toward sexuality, parent-based sexual education and intact two-parent households have a positive influence upon youth in their sexual practices and the onset of first sexual intercourse.
Researchers took a nationally representative sample of 3,168 men and women ages 15-21 years old from a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and obtained the data from 60-90 minute interviews with participants from the 2002 survey.
The study’s findings confirmed previous research literature, which suggests “religiosity” – defined by the authors as a set of institutionalized beliefs, doctrines and rituals, and ethical standards for how to live a good life – is “a protective factor that appears to contribute to decreased sexual risk behaviors.”
According to the study, those who viewed religion as “very important” reported an average of 1.9 lifetime sexual partners and on average began sexual activity at 17.4 years. In contrast, those who viewed religion as somewhat important or “not important at all,” began their first sexual activity at 16.9 years and had an average of 2.9 lifetime sexual partners.
However, researchers found that high religious attitudes toward sexuality (RAS) “appeared to be the most protective religiosity variable in terms of decreasing sexual risk.”
Good parenting from both parents in an intact family and a teleological outlook on life works well during the teen years, because teens sometimes don’t respond to arguments and evidence. They tend to think that bad things won’t happen to them, no matter how much evidence you show them. I would still show them the evidence, though.
But these numbers from the study do surprise me, because it seems as though not very many young people are abstaining from sex before they are married. I am in my thirties and radically, radically chaste. So it is definitely possible to abstain from sex and hold out for a more solid commitment and radical intimacy.
- MUST-READ: Has the decline of chastity and courtship hurt young people?
- The rules for friendship and courtship between Christian men and women
- Family Research Council’s Paul Fagan explains why chastity matters
- Indian government says sex education promotes promiscuity
- Assessing feminism’s results: the hook-up culture
- Why fiscal conservatives should care about marriage