Slate’s Hanna Rosin reviewed Mark Regnreus’ ’Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers‘ in her book review column yesterday, and I have to say it’s a hell of a read.
There’s been much statistical work done on the merits of abstinence-only education and virginity pledging (spoiler: they so don’t work), but a book that actually breaks down the influence religion truly plays in teenagers’ sexual behavior is a pretty fascinating subject. Here’s a fun fact for you
[Evangelical teens] tend to lose their virginity at a slightly younger age—16.3, compared with 16.7 for the other two faiths [Catholicism and Protestant]. And they are much more likely to have had three or more sexual partners by age 17.
Terrible, I know, but I find that fact to be more than a little hilarious in the ironic sense. No data yet on how kids raised to worship the Ageless One (Cthulu) do, so I guess I need to hold off on buying into all the literature.
Here’s a tip: Don’t do a google image search for ‘teens’ + ‘sex’ and expect anything back you could publish