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Sex and Christianity

Pre-marital sex practices:
2019: Conflict on the TV
program: "The Batchelorette"

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Pre-marital heterosexual sex:

Joan Jacobs Brumberg wrote in her book "The Body Project," that  in the US, the average age at which young heterosexual women become sexually active by first engaging in sexual intercourse has been dropping slowly and is was 15 years-of-age in 1998. She wrote that the contemporary young woman "is likely to be sexually active before the age at which her great-great-grandmother had even begun to menstruate." 1 However, the Centers for Disease Control estimated in 2017 that the average age was 17.2. 2

Nicholas H. Wolfinger, writing for the Institute for Family Studies during 2016 said:

Today, most Americans think premarital sex is okay and will have three or more sexual partners before marrying. 3

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2019-JUN-15: The Batchelorette TV program's 15th season dealt with pre-marital sex:

The ABC-TV series involves a woman who meets about 30 men for the first time during the first episode of the program. Her main task during that and following episodes is to date each of the male contestants, to evaluate their potential for marriage, and to send home any of them with whom she did not see a future together. Many episodes later, there were only four males left, and the program entered what is called the "fantsy suite week." Previous batchelorettes in the series had always invited each of the four males to a "fantasy suite" date where she would spend the night with one of them. The audience assumes that they engaged in sexual intercourse during the date.

However, during Week 10 of Season 24, a heated exchange ocurred between Hannah Brown, the batchelorette, and Luke Parker, 24, one of the four remaining male contestants. 2 The five were in Greece where the men went on individual dates with Hannah. Luke had discussed his conservative Christian faith during earlier episodes. He had revealed that he believed it was important for both himself and his future wive to "save themselves for marriage." That is, to remain virgins until after they were married. In the U.S. only about 5% of engaged couples are virgins when they first marry.

The four fantasy suite dates in previous series of the Batchelorette and Batchelor programs had always ended in an overnight stays in the suite, This time, Luke had told Hannah during a previous date that if she had sex with anyone else that he would want to leave the series and go home.

Luke refused Hannah's invitation. She angrily responded, saying:

"You’re questioning me. You’re judging me and feel like you have the right to when you don’t at this point. I get when you care for somebody that you don’t want to think about somebody being intimate with another person. But guess what? Sex might be a sin out of marriage; pride is a sin, too. And I feel like this is a pride thing." 4

She then asked Luke to leave the show and return to the U.S. She took him to a waiting limo but he said that he didn't want to leave. Hannah then told him that she:

"... have had sex and, like, Jesus still loves me."

Parker asked if he could pray with her and she told him “no.” He entered the limo and left the show.

It is almost certain that he was aware in advance of the fantasy suite component of the show. It was present in all 14 previous series of the Batchelorette program. In spite of this, he volunteered to be a contestant.

Most web site articles on the event took Hannah's side.

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References:

  1. book cover Joan Brumberg, "The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls," Vintage; 1 edition (1998) Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  2. Emily Gaudette, "When and How Do Most Americans Lose Their Virginity?." Inverse, 2017-JUN-05, at: https://www.inverse.com/
  3. Nicholas H. Wolfinger, "Counterintuitive Trends in the Link Between Premarital Sex and Marital Stability," Institute for Family Studies, 2016-JUN-06, at: https://ifstudies.org/
  4. A video of the scene is available online, but is restricted to U.S. viewers only. See: https://abc.go.com/

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