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06 January 2011

Religious belief dramatically lowers probability of adolescent sexual activity: study

January 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Higher levels of religiosity in adolescents dramatically increase the probability that they will remain virgins during high school and college, a new study has concluded.

The study, entitled “Religiosity, Self-Control, and Virginity Status in College Students from the ‘Bible Belt’,” and published in the September 2010 Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, found that for every unit increase on its scale of religiosity, the odds of a male remaining a virgin increased by a factor of 3.86. For a female, the odds jumped by a factor of 4.13.

The study also found similar effects for oral sex. Odds of delayed initiation of oral sex jumped by 3.30 and 2.60 for men and women respectively.

To determine “religiosity,” the study asked participants to rate their frequency of religious service attendance, frequency of prayer, frequency of reading of religious texts, and the importance of religion in their lives. In order to find sufficiently high numbers of religiously involved youth, the study examined universities in the Southern “Bible Belt” region.

Other statistics mentioned in the study belie the oft-repeated claim by pro-abortion and pro-contraception organizations that adolescents will inevitably engage in sexual activity. Nationally, 53% of high schoolers remain virgins at the end of their senior year, and although the national statistic drops precipitously for college students, the study found a rate of 40% in its “Bible Belt,” schools, where young people are much more likely to come from religious backgrounds. In private religious universities, that number rose to 47%.

The most disturbing result for advocates of sexual morality was the percentage of college students who had engaged in oral sex: 73.5 percent, reflecting a national trend among adolescents of avoiding the consequences of natural sexual intercourse by participating in unnatural behavior.

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Religiosity, Self-Control, and Virginity Status in College Students from the “Bible Belt”

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