Many have suspected that not all Christian young people save themselves for marriage. Now there's data to prove it.
Relevant Magazine (via CNN) reports on new analysis of a 2009 study, yielding the following stat: 80% of unmarried evangelical Christians aged 18-29 have had sex. The figure is just under 88% for the general population, meaning evangelicals aren't all that much better at abstinence than anyone else. A young woman identified as Maria has a representative story about her own loss of virginity at 20:
It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had "done it." In fact, I waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.
Also, theological writer Scot McKnight points out that avoiding premarital sex has gotten a lot harder than it was in biblical times:
Sociologically speaking, the one big difference –- and it's monstrous –- between the biblical teaching and our culture is the arranged marriages of very young people. If you get married when you're 13, you don't have 15 years of temptation.
Young people today typically have years between sexual maturity and marriage — and that's a good thing. But it does mean that waiting for sex until marriage is increasingly unrealistic — something 80% of evangelicals have quietly realized. Now if only lawmakers would take notice.