Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Bristol Effect

Since the revelation that Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant, there has been a growing national conversation about sex ed and abortion. Because the topic was widely divisive even before the Palin example came about, Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, published juicy read, Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers. Currently working on its sequel Red Sex, Blue Sex, Regnerus' findings are partly based on how one's religious background influences views on sex,
"On average, white evangelical Protestants make their “sexual d├ębut”—to use the festive term of social-science researchers—shortly after turning sixteen... evangelical Protestant teen-agers are significantly less likely than other groups to use contraception. This could be because evangelicals are also among the most likely to believe that using contraception will send the message that they are looking for sex. It could also be because many evangelicals are steeped in the abstinence movement’s warnings that condoms won’t actually protect them from pregnancy or venereal disease."
The article is chock-full of other statistics and trends when it comes to religion/sex (not just evangelicals), but I will stop my quotage there so you can get your nerd on and read!

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