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It’s able to poke holes in the “sacred canopy” over the erotic instinct, to borrow the late Peter Berger’s term.Perhaps the increasing lack of religious affiliation among young adults is partly a consequence of widening trends in nonmarital sexual behavior among young Americans, in the wake of the expansion of pornography and other tech-enhanced sexual behaviors.
But Christians are hardly exempt from wider mating market dynamics.
Sex has become cheap — that is, not hard to get — because it’s much less risky and consequential in the era of birth control.
However, exceptions to Farrell’s age effect are apparent among married evangelicals, meaning that under-30 evangelicals who were already married were notably less permissive.
But the age at first marriage of evangelicals is climbing, in step with — about a year earlier than — the median age of other marrying Americans (27 for women and 29 for men).
Levels of uncertainty — that is, neither agreeing nor disagreeing — about various sexual practices and attitudes are elevated among Christians.
When we asked more than 15,000 Americans about sexual ethics, many who attended religious services at least once a week were on the fence. One can interpret those on the fence as movable — open to being convinced.
Cohabitors without children are far less likely to regularly or even sporadically attend when compared with uncoupled adults, to say nothing of married adults with children.
All this puts pressure on American pastors, operating as they are in a free religious market. Because it signals that they can’t count on the predictable return to organized religious life of late 20-somethings after they marry and begin having children. It may not occur at all, if demographer Steven Ruggles’s projection that 1 in 3 20-somethings will never marry proves true.
(It’s not easy to raise the price of sex.) To be sure, there are those who hew to a more orthodox path — that is, dating without sex, followed by marriage in a timely fashion. Alternative online dating sites geared specifically toward Christians often disappoint, because their underlying template is no different. [Reverend and rabbi: Removing symbols of racism isn’t enough.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating