evangelical teenagers and sex

interesting article in the new yorker about evangelical teenagers and sex. important reading for youth workers (and parents).

here’s an extremely key sentence:

Regnerus argues that religion is a good indicator of attitudes toward sex, but a poor one of sexual behavior, and that this gap is especially wide among teen-agers who identify themselves as evangelical.

(ht to ypulse)

6 thoughts on “evangelical teenagers and sex”

  1. Great article, and one that reinforces my dislike for True Love Waits type events. What’s the alternative? Unfortunately, I have no idea. To me, it seems like a mixture of safe sex education and True Love Waits material, though I know the idea would be blasphemous to many.

  2. I guess it was a nice read, but what do WE do? as youth pastors, how do we speak out. For years, when I’ve talked about this subject, i’ve spoken out against the personal guilt and anguish that comes with sex. That as Christians we don’t preach abstinence because sex is bad, but because because of the mental, physical, and emotional baggage it brings (which should be good ‘baggage’ when applied to a monogynous marriage ). Does this make sense? Maybe not on paper, maybe not at all. I have no idea. I guess what I’m asking is What should we as christians be doing to preach the sanctity of marriage? How do we as youth workers get that across to high schoolers?

  3. I actually had a friend recommend this article to me tonight and I thought it was very interesting.

    Another quote from the article…
    Religious belief apparently does make a potent difference in behavior for one group of evangelical teen-agers: those who score highest on measures of religiosity—such as how often they go to church, or how often they pray at home. But many Americans who identify themselves as evangelicals, and who hold socially conservative beliefs, aren’t deeply observant.

    Even more important than religious conviction, Regnerus argues, is how “embedded” a teen-ager is in a network of friends, family, and institutions that reinforce his or her goal of delaying sex, and that offer a plausible alternative to America’s sexed-up consumer culture. A church, of course, isn’t the only way to provide a cohesive sense of community. Close-knit families make a difference.

    This part makes me think of how important that students are plugged into a full group, not just of peers but of mentors who really get to know them and are honest in figuring out what’s affecting the student.

  4. Painting God’s vision and purposes for our sexuality could change EVERYTHING.
    Check out http://www.christopherwest.com for an introduction to Pope John Paul IIs Theology of the Body. It brings it all together in a way that resonates deeply like no other.

    As evangelicals are daring to take a look at it, they realize that this goes way beyond the “Pledge cards” and warnings of consequences that have been recently the way of going about things in youth ministry.

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