Sexual Immorality & The Church

According to an article in Relevant magazine, a Christian magazine, that has an analysis of a study done by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in December 2009 on sexual activity among those who identify as evangelical Christians, aged 18 to 29, in America, a staggering 80% admit to having sex before marriage. Keep in mind that the true number is likely higher as some people may have been too ashamed to admit to their ungodly behavior. So fornication is now the majority position, and those living biblical sexual morality and abstaining from sex until marriage is in the minority.

Of those 80 percent of Christians who said they have had sex before marriage, 64 percent have done so within the last year and 42 percent are in a current sexual relationship, said Relevant writer Tyler Charles, analyzing the study that did not look into religious identification initially.

What’s perhaps even more disturbing, Charles noted, is that 65 percent of the women obtaining abortions identify themselves as either Protestant (37 percent) or Catholic (28 percent). “That’s 650,000 abortions obtained by Christians every year.”

We have millions of so-called Christians, who are satisfying the lusts of the flesh and have a carnal mindset, fornicate, and then rather than accepting the consequence of their actions murder their unborn children. So we have a generation of so-called evangelicals who are fornicators and murderers!

This shows just how sick the evangelical church in America has become. For more on this topic see my post “The Sad State of American Evangelicalism” below.

Below are the results from several studies on premarital sex.

Kahn and London, 1991

Data from the National Survey of Family Growth indicate that “women who are sexually active prior to marriage faced a considerably higher risk of marital disruption than women who were virgin brides.” These scholars explain that even when controlling for various differentials between virginal and non-virginal groups — such as socio-economics, family background as well as attitudinal and value differences — “non-virgins still face a much higher risk of divorce than virgins.” Joan R. Kahn and Kathryn A. London, “Premarital Sex and the Risk of Divorce,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53 (1991): 845-855.

Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels, 1994

The massive and highly respected National Health and Social Life Survey, conducted at the University of Chicago, was the first serious, fully reputable study of sexual behavior in America. It found a marked connection between premarital sex and elevated risk of divorce. The authors explain:

“For both genders, we find that virgins have dramatically more stable first marriages…” Edward O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 503.

“The finding confirms the results reported by Kahn and London…those who are virgins at marriage have much lower rates of separation and divorce.” Laumann, 1994, p. 503-505.

Additionally, “Those who marry as non-virgins are also more likely – all other things being equal – to be unfaithful over the remainder of their life compared with those spouses who do marry as virgins.” Laumann, 1994, p. 505.

This higher prevalence of marital infidelity among the non-virginal is assumed to be an important factor in their higher likelihood of divorce, while “those who are virgins at marriage are those who go to greater lengths to avoid divorce.” Laumann, 1994, p. 505. Essentially, non-virgins typically appear to do more to harm their marriages and virgins do more to strengthen them.

Heaton, 2002

In a study looking at factors impacting increased marital stability, Brigham Young sociologist Tim Heaton examined how premarital sexual experience, premarital child-bearing, cohabitation and marrying someone of a different religious faith were all associated with greater risk of divorce. Heaton explains, “Dissolution rates are substantially higher among those who initiate sexual activity before marriage.” Heaton asserts that divorce is more likely among the sexually active and cohabitors because they have established their life together on “relatively unstable sexual relationships.” Tim B. Heaton, “Factors Contributing to Increasing Marital Stability in the United States,” Journal of Family Issues, 23 (2002): 392-409, p. 401, 407.

Teachman, 2003

Sociologist Jay Teachman examined how both premarital sex and cohabitation impacts risk of divorce among women. He found that “[i]t remains the case, however, that women with more than one intimate relationship prior to marriage have an elevated risk of marital disruption.” Jay Teachman, “Premarital Sex, Premarital Cohabitation, and the Risk of Subsequent Marital Dissolution Among Women,” Journal of Marriage and Family 65 (2003): 444-455, p. 454.

Paik, 2011

This newest study looks specifically at first sexual experience in adolescence and was conducted by Professor Anthony Paik at the University of Iowa. He explains that his “research shows that adolescent sexuality/premarital sex is associated with marital dissolution” and that a significant factor is whether the sexual experience in later adolescence was welcomed by the girl. He explains, “Adolescent sexual debut that is not completely wanted is both directly and indirectly linked to marital dissolution” which are the overwhelming majority of adolescent sexual experiences for girls.Anthony Paik, “Adolescent Sexuality and Risk of Marital Dissolution,” Journal of Marriage and Family 73 (2011): 472-485, p. 483, 484. Seldom do they report not being pressured or forced into sex.

Paik also found that females who first had sex in their teens had roughly double the risk of divorce later in life compared to women who had their first unmarried sexual experience in their adult years.

He found that teen girls who experienced their first sexual experience with a young man who would eventually be her husband did not have particularly elevated risk of divorce. However, very few of girls who lose their virginity in their teens end up having only had sex with their husband. The overwhelming majority of non-virginal adolescent girls – nearly all – end up having had sex with multiple partners before marriage, thus increasing their later risk for divorce. Paik, 2011, p. 479.

As you can see, the studies demonstrated that people who have sex before marriage are more likely to divorce when they marry, and also they are more likely to be unfaithful when married and commit adultery.

It should be noted that studies show that marriages, where both partners were virgins, reported the most satisfying sex lives.

There is a systemic and widespread lack of holiness amongst those who identify as evangelical Christians. The sad truth behind this is that in fact, the vast majority of these people are not Christians at all, but rather they are reprobates who were never regenerated!

There is also a lack of sanctification and personal holiness amongst evangelicals who are regenerated. This speaks to a widespread apostasy in the Church and a lukewarm backslidden church.

The new mission field, in this post-Christian society, is right here in America. We need to begin evangelizing our children and teaching them the gospel, as well as biblical morality, from a young age. That is the only hope to reverse these sad statistics.

On a personal note, as a 47 year old single Reformed male who is a lifelong virgin, it is very depressing to see how few women professing faith in Christ practice biblical purity. There are virtually no Christian women left who are lifelong virgins. By God’s grace, I’ve been able to abstain from sex until marriage. So I don’t think it’s unloving or unreasonable to require the same in my future bride. Sex bonds people together emotionally, physiologically, and spiritually. I could not be intimate with a woman who had prior sexual partners. There would be way too much baggage and the likelihood it would negatively impact our marriage is too high. If you are a Christian man and that doesn’t bother you that’s fine. But I must be honest. It saddens me greatly to see how far America has gone from biblical sexual morality.

One response to “Sexual Immorality & The Church”

  1. God meant for women and men to be together in marriage! It doesn’t surprise me at all that aids came about because if a sacred bond is violated, then the sinner will face the consequences! I hate to think of their future in the afterlife! God is fair and just!


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