An article entitled “Almost Everyone’s Doing It” in Relevant magazine includes a poll that shows 80% of Evangelical singles admit to having pre-marital sex. What was even more surprising was another poll in the article showed that 65% of women who have abortions in the US identify themselves as Christian, but that’s a side topic.
The article goes on to try and determine what the reason is for such high pre-martial sexual relationships in Christians such as the influence from media, peer pressure, and how the average age of people getting married has gone up from the early 20’s to the late 20’s and it is just too hard to wait that long.
Out of curiosity, I thought I would look for statistics on LDS or Mormon singles. The only official study I found was from 20 years ago that stated 58% of LDS single women admit to having pre-marital sex. Since that study is pretty old and only relevant for LDS women, I would assume that if you threw men into the study and fast-forwarded it 20 years the statistics would be close to the same or maybe higher than the most recent study previously cited.
I definitely understand how hard it can be to wait to have sex until after marriage. I remember hanging out with a bunch of LDS guys one night when I was single. At the time, I was probably around 28 or 29. The topic of sex came up and as it turned out, me and one other guy were the only ones who hadn’t had sex yet. Even though I didn’t have sex before I was married, I was approached on quite a few occasions at the LDS school, BYU and (at the time) Rick’s College. Therefore, the results of this study do not surprise me.
I think there are many factors involved in why the amount of single Christians are having more pre-marital sex. From my experience as a single throughout all my 20’s and into my 30’s, I will share what I observed.
First, as humans, and especially in our 20’s, we have a very strong desire for sex. I went to Mormon schools where almost everyone was in the same age deomographic and the hormones are running high.
Next, there is pressure either blatantly, or subliminally through media in the form of books, magazines, movies, music, etc. to be sexual. If we just “go with the flow” so to speak and not turn off the media when we see it, or worse yet, seek it out, then it is no wonder that we at some point act on the thoughts that are in our head.
Next, I do think the later age of getting married does have relevance. Back in our parents’ day, they were married on average in their early 20’s. That is nearly 10 years younger and therfore, 10 years longer our generation has to wait.
Finally, I think many LDS Christians that I have seen feel they can sin now and repent later. This is a whole other topic of discussion, but to keep it short and simple, this way of thinking is damning to our souls and our society.
The question then, is how can we overturn or correct these statistics? Personally, I think an emphasis needs to really be placed on having a relationship with Jesus Christ. If we have that relationship, we’ll do all we can to stay close with Him. Even with that relationship, it is difficult to turn away, but personally I know that when you are in a situation where you can choose sex or choose God, God will give you strength to walk away.
Why do you think pre-marital sex is on the rise for Christians and what do you think needs to happen in order to bring those statistics down?