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Book: fundie kids are still knocking boots more than ever

In a new book, Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers by Mark Regnerus, a professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, he confirms what we already know — fundies teens are hopping in the sack despite virginity pledges and purity balls. His research is based on several surveys of young adults about their sexual habits (or lack thereof). 

The fate of the True Love Waits movement, which began with the Southern Baptist Convention in the ’90s, is a perfect example. Teenagers who signed the abstinence pledge belong to a subgroup of highly motivated virgins. But even they succumb. Follow-up surveys show that at best, pledges delayed premarital sex by 18 months — a success by statistical standards but a disaster for Southern Baptist pastors.

…When evangelical parents say they talk to their kids about sex, they mean the morals, not the mechanics. In a quiz on pregnancy and health risks associated with sex, evangelicals scored very low. Evangelical teens don’t accept themselves as people who will have sex until they’ve already had it. As a result, abstinence pledgers are considerably less likely than nonpledgers to use birth control the first time they have sex. “It just sort of happened,” one girl told the researchers, in what could be a motto for this generation of evangelical teens.

What’s frightening is that they are perilously ignorant about safe sex and contraception because of Dear Leader’s abstinence-only education that isn’t working worth a damn.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding