(Final post, #14, of a series. Series starts here)
In this series I have examined the sexual behavior of Christians. Namely, starting with the basic question "are Christians different?" I examined data from a several data sets, and overall Christians do appear to be different.
Relative to people of no religion, Christians are less likely to:
- have engaged in extramarital sex
- have engaged in premarital sex
- be promiscuous
- view pornography
- pay for sex
- be gay
- Christian women are more likely to have orgasms during sex with their main partner
- Christians report relatively high levels of sexual satisfaction
- Christian women are less likely to be forced to have sex
So, what does this mean?
Well, first off, there are many qualifications to make. The question here is simply "are Christians different." These data can't address whether it is Christianity making them different. Perhaps certain types of people are attracted to Christianity, and this selection accounts for the differences. Perhaps certain types leave more frequently, leaving behind those who look different. There might also be methodological biases--maybe Christians underreport some behaviors. Also, there is inconclusive evidence that Christians are different than members of other religions.
Still, according to the best data available, Christians are different. This does not mean that the church should be complacent about sexual issues, for this will always be an issue that needs addressing.
Instead, it appears that the state of Christian sexual morals is not as bleak as some commentators would lead us to believe. This should encourage Christian leaders in further teaching and modeling appropriate sexual behavior.