80% Of Unmarried Evangelicals 18 to 29 Have Had Sex
According to a recent Gallup poll of people who self-identify as evangelical Christians, eight out of every ten between the ages of 18 and 29 have had sex. 64% of them have had it within the last year. 42% are currently in a sexual relationship. And 37% of all women who have abortions in America identify themselves as Protestants.
How did we come to this?
For the article at the link to Relevant Magazine above, several experts in the field were interviewed, offering a variety of theories. One involves the fact that we are waiting so much longer to get married than people did in Biblical times, when arranged marriages in one’s teenage years were the norm. A longer wait means more temptation and less chance of maintaining chastity.
Another explanation involves the notion that Christians are not focused on the true meaning of marriage, or the deeper reasons why it’s so important to limit sex to the marriage relationship. We should not be abstinent from something, according to this perspective; we should be abstinent for something, namely, for love of God.
The article gives a scant sentence or two to the fact that marriage has been devalued in the American Christian culture, where Protestants are just as likely to divorce as unbelievers. However, we believe that is a major contributor to the problem. The current unmarried generation sees less value in marriage, and thus less value in limiting sex to marriage, in large part because of the example of their parents’ broken marriages.
Whatever the reasons, one thing is certain: as our nation’s sexual mores spiral ever farther from the standards established in the Bible, with rampant adultery, pornography and the normalization of homosexuality, evangelicals have nobody but themselves to blame. After all, how can we expect unbelievers to live moral lives, if we will not?