No, I did not make that headline up. Since Christian girls being easy got a rise out of many readers (over 3000 views in a couple of days) I decided to do some purity research. There may have been some talk about stable doors and horses bolting when I announced my new research topic. Undaunted, I girded my loins and prepared to get upright and snow white (rather than down and dirty) with purity.
Purity means no sex, right?
Whilst I wasn’t raised in a Christian household, I definitely remember getting the message that ‘good girls don’t put out’. I suspect this was more due to fear of teen pregnancy and ‘ruining your life/reputation’ than any sort of desire to instil Godly purity. My message growing up: Sex was ‘better’ done within marriage but, if not, then at least do it safely, don’t catch anything, don’t breed, and for heaven’s sake, be selective.
I even attended a school that had a ‘six inches’ (15cm) rule. So members of the opposite sex could not be closer than 15 cm. Made the slow dances at the school disco interesting. Particularly when the teachers stepped up and started waving rulers around as Phyllis Nelson crooned ‘Move Closer‘ in the background.
So, at 14, I had Phyllis encouraging me to dance as if I was ‘really making love’, teachers fighting the good fight with plastic rulers and a parent who was superb on presenting the facts of life, yet possibly a tad over-zealous about the results of ill-conceived sex. I needed to do some research.
True Love Waits
Type in purity into Google and you can’t miss ‘True Love Waits’.
With a mission to educate young people on the issues pertaining to sex and purity through the lens of Scripture, since “True Love Waits” began in the U.S in 1993 more than 2.4 million youth have pledged their commitment to save sex for marriage.
This includes signing a statement which reads, “Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, those I date, and my future mate to be sexually pure until the day I enter marriage.”
True Love Waits Pledge jewellery and apparel start from as little as $4.95. Really? Shouldn’t purity be priced a little more highly? Ah but wait (pun intended): 2.4 million youth signing a pledge x $4.95 minimum spend on a ring or t-shirt = over $8 million.
But does true love really wait? With all of society’s pressures, a signed pledge because all your mates are signing too, and then buying a $4.95 ring as a reminder doesn’t yell important to me. If God and Jesus aren’t front of mind when the hormones are pumping, how’s a $4.95 ring going to serve as a reminder?
But you’d have sex if you truly loved me.
Ah, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that. True love isn’t waiting. It’s hopping round the bedroom with one shoe off and one shoe on, stuck pulling down its trouser leg. Research shows that many young Christians don’t even want the love: Sixty-one percent of self-identified Christian singles who answered a ChristianMingle survey in 2012 said they were willing to have casual sex without being in love, while only 11 percent said they are waiting to have sex until they are married!
Seems Jesus has been lost in translation…again
If you make purity all about not having sex, which is what True Love Waits has done, then, no surprise, it starts becoming all about sex. The True Love Waits pledge gets stuck on ‘sexually pure’.
Purity is bigger than that. The biblical definition of purity is a commitment to Godliness in everything. It’s putting God and Jesus first. It’s not just about getting your purity p-plates on from a ‘no sex’ perspective, but in everything.
Yet I can sort of forgive ‘True Love Waits’ for wanting to dumb it down for teenagers when faced with that definition. It reminded me of Robin Williams’ line about God being stoned when He created the platypus. I’d love to have seen what He was smoking when deciding to go with purity, teenage hormones and no sex before marriage.
My research continues…
6 thoughts on “61% of Christian singles willing to have casual sex without being in love”
I think what may warrant some of your investigation is a look into the culture of how Christian circles raise their men and women to think about sex. The undertones of modesty, power, responsibility, and submission are just a important (if not more) than the Bible. (Oh boy, might catch hell for that one.) Like what you have so far. Don’t let views rule your interests though. 😀
Blessings on your journey!
Modesty, power, responsibility and submission are big ones. Thanks for the pointer! Talking of submission, you may enjoy the (far less comedic) posts I wrote on submission and domestic violence. and
I remember a statistic that said that 6 out of 10 youth who signed the ‘True Love Waits’ pledge were unable to keep it. Honestly, it seems to me that Christianity has gotten weird about growing up. They want complete purity until age x and then marriage + kids right away. They want us to succeed where a great many of our parents failed. They want us to give up dating and do courting. They want us to give up courting and do betrothal. Christianity seems to be the best place to turn to for the worst possible advice.
Maybe it’s the ‘they’ bit, Jamie, that causes the weirdness. If people and religion can be kept from putting a spin on what Jesus taught? And, in my opinion, getting better advice!
One downside of the ‘purity’ movement is I suspect it can narrow peoples views of sex and sexuality which will impact their future relationships. I’m not sure if there is an ‘informed purity’ movement? Phil, check out the Irish Gypsys, the teenageage girls dress like absolute slappers and tarts – super tight gear and skin everywhere, you’d think they were very promiscuous but they have a very high value on no sex before marriage – they do marry young though. Good luck with your research.
Thanks, Grant. Yes, I’ve seen the irish gypsy documentaries. And the narrowing of purity to sex and sexuality is my whole angle – I think there could be an informed purity movement (or perhaps I shall start one. At $4.95 a badge.. :-)) Thanks for the comment!