Staying sexually pure in a polluted world seems to be getting harder and harder. At least, that’s the impression anyone speaking with Christian college students would get…
Turns out they’re right.
Then there’s the intersection of biology and culture. Over the past 150 years, the average for menarchea woman’s first periodhas dropped from nearly seventeen to twelve years of age with no signs of stopping. (Among African‐Americans in particular, the figure is closer to eleven!) Historical data for males is harder to come by but, without being too explicit, American males, on average, are “sexually functional” by twelve years of age. (Once again, the figure is slightly lower for African‐Americans.) At the same time the average age for puberty and menarche has been going down, the average age for first marriage has been going up: from 22.8 for men and 20.3 for women in 1950 to 27 and 25 today. For the college‐educatedthe status to which most Americans aspire, both personally and for their kidsthe average age is nearly two years higher. (Between 1970 and 1994, the percentage of women aged thirty to thirty‐four who had never been married rose from 6 to 22 percent. For men, the figures were 9 and 30 percent, respectively.)
The bottom line of all these numbers is that young Christians are expected to remain sexually continent for a longer period of time than probably any generation that has preceded them. And they’re supposed to do this while living in the most sexually charged culture ever seen.
You might be interested to read the thoughts which prompted Breakpoint’s article:
* There’s No Such Thing As Premarital Sex launched it by claiming that once two people sleep together they’re married and seeks to support his position from the Law of Moses.
* A Horseless Carriage rebutted the charge. She did an outstanding job, and used a very persuasive analogy: To cite the Exodus reference requiring a man to make right his seduction of a virgin (which, incidentally, falls in a long list of ways to make retribution when bad things happen) as evidence that the act of sex, rather than a process of marriage and consummation, made the two people married, makes about as much sense as arguing that a law requiring a thief to pay for the pie he has already consumed really means that the pie was rightfully and beautifully his the moment the first bite crossed his lips. The author of the original article responds on the same page and clarifies his position (and even makes a few interesting claims along the way).
All worth reading and reflecting on.