Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Young Christians slightly worse than young non-Christians?

In his book, Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers, sociology professor Mark Regnerus says evangelical teens are slightly more sexually active than their non-evangelical peers. Non-evangelical teens have sex for the first time at age 16.7, versus 16.3 for evangelicals. Worse, 13.7 percent of evangelical teens have had three or more sex partners, versus 8.9 percent of their non-evangelical peers.

World Magazine reports 80 percent of U.S. teens claiming to be born-again agree that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong, yet 66 percent violate their own beliefs. "Evangelical teens don't have sex less than their non-evangelical friends; they just feel guiltier about it." He credits the clash of cultures in the evangelical youth experience: urged to drink deeply from the waters of American individualism and its self-focused pleasure ethic, yet asked to value time-honored religious traditions like family and chastity. "Who can serve two masters? Teens need a pure community of true believers who teach the truth about sex, including its beauty in marriage." (OneNewsNow 3/29/08, via Church Leaders Intelligence Report)

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