Friday, July 13, 2012

Evangelicals Struggle to Address Premarital Sex and Abortion

Evangelicals Struggle to Address Premarital Sex and Abortion - The Daily Beast: "It’s no secret that evangelicals have a big problem on their hands when it comes to young people and sex. The facts are staggering: despite almost universal affirmation that premarital sex is a sin, 80 percent of unmarried evangelicals (PDF) are having it, and 30 percent of those who accidentally get pregnant get an abortion, according to one survey. U.S. states where abstinence is emphasized over contraception in school sex ed—almost all in the heavily evangelical South—have teen-pregnancy rates as high as double (PDF) those of states with a comprehensive curriculum. Though an overwhelming majority believe premarital sex is wrong, white evangelicals are sexually active at a younger age than any demographic besides African-Americans, and are one of the least likely groups to use contraception.

"The fact that true love isn’t waiting has concerned evangelicals for years, but the issue is gaining new attention because such a significant number of Christians' unplanned pregnancies end in abortion. The scramble to address the situation is revealing fault lines over the place of contraception in church practices, giving birth control a new centrality in the largely pill-friendly Protestant domain.

". . . [T]he evangelical temperament is much more progressive than conservative. Despite the public’s idea of evangelicals as stubbornly resistant to change, they have always interacted and evolved in close parallel with the American mainstream. It remains highly unlikely that American evangelical culture in its current incarnation will broadly embrace a lifestyle at odds with the prevailing cultural norms. Evangelicals may claim to believe in abstinence and not to believe in evolution, but premarital sex, later marriage, and occasional abortions will be harder to resist than the limited debates taking place among evangelicals seem aware."

Editor: For what it's worth, I'm not so certain the links provided in the first paragraph prove anything. I skimmed the first one (supposedly substantiating the "80 percent of unmarried evangelicals are having it") and didn't find reference to religious beliefs. May have missed it, but be careful quoting this one.

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