An Op-Ed writer in The N.Y. Times says that it’s no wonder chastity vows don’t work: Christian communities don’t meaningfully support those who make them.


N.Y. Times Op-Ed by Lauren F. Winner:

The recent Harvard study that found teenagers’ virginity pledges to be ineffective should come as a surprise to no one. Several studies had already come to that conclusion. If we are truly to help our teenagers adopt the countercultural sexual ethic of abstinence until marriage, Christians concerned about the rampant premarital sex in our communities need to rethink, rather than simply defend, young people’s abstinence pledges.

It is awfully easy for Christians to blame our community’s sexual sins on the mores of post-sexual revolution America ? to criticize Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs, to natter on about how “Grey’s Anatomy” portrays sexual behavior that doesn’t square with Christianity.

But perhaps it’s more important that we reconsider how we talk about sex in the church. For although the church devotes an immense amount of energy to teaching about sexuality ? just go to the Christian inspiration section of your nearest Barnes & Noble and compare the number of books about chastity to books that challenge, say, consumerism ? many Christians still “struggle with” (in that euphemistic evangelical phrase) premarital sex, adultery and pornography.

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