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Despite the clear instruction in the Bible, sex outside of marriage has become increasingly morally acceptable among young evangelicals. That’s one of the findings in a new research brief for the Institute of Family Studies produced by sociologist David J. Ayers, the interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, and professor of sociology, at Grove City College. He uses data from the National Survey of Family Growth to gauge trends in sexual activity among never-married evangelical young people.
Ayers has taught college-level courses on Marriage and Family for about 30 years, and his most recent book is Christian Marriage: A Comprehensive Introduction (Lexham Press, 2019). I asked him to discuss what the church needs to know about his recent findings.
Findings - Parents - Leaders - Practices - Teens
Based on your findings, what would most evangelical parents and leaders be shocked to learn about current sexual practices of evangelical teens and young adults?
Well, just how high the percentages engaging in sex is shocking to a lot of older evangelicals. Interestingly, in my experience, younger folk are typically less surprised. They know better what is going on around them.
Degree - Teens - Adults - Practice - Sex
Also, I think the degree to which evangelical teens and young adults practice oral and anal sex, often at an early age, would especially shock a lot of evangelical parents and leaders. The data I draw on from the National Survey of Family Growth gets into specifics even more detailed than I present in my research brief, and the picture is not a pleasing one. Parents of daughters would almost certainly be especially horrified at some of what these teen and young adult women are doing for males or allowing to be done to them. For example, when one of five evangelical Protestant females between the ages of 18 and 22 admit to allowing young men to have anal sex with them,...
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