DoW I: Celebrating Hay in a Needle Stack

This essay (or, rather, one like it) was supposed to be posted last week, but I must admit that I lost the specific line of thought I wanted to attack. Then I read this comment at Dalrock’s by GW:

Certainly not all young females who delay marriage do so because they want to fornicate with multiple men, and in the church this demographic is rarer. Normal women tend to want to get married. The number of loving Christian fathers who are okay with their daughters whoring around is zero. Let’s put aside foolish and worldly talk.

I don’t know whether he means to be disingenuous or if he is just remarkably unobservant, but what he wrote is exactly the sort of thing Christians say to themselves and one another to excuse whores from being described as whores. It was these statements I had in mind when I decided to write discussion posts on four generations of whores.

The paragraph itself is a give-away of it’s intent to pretend the real world isn’t really here; as it’s actually a list of well-practiced objections rather than a cohesive statement. That’s fair enough play in the truncated world of blogs and comments, but their combined purpose is to disorient and so I hate them and will smite them individually as I go forward.; with–I should add–no ridicule meant towards GW himself. Everyone here came from there.

  • Certainly not all young females who delay marriage do so because they want to fornicate with multiple men, and in the church this demographic is rarer.

This statement must be factually true, (I doubt all women do anything for exactly the same reasons every time), but it is functionally a useless statement meant to lull cracking eyes back to sleep. A lot of women are tempted to fornicate with multiple men. My observation is that most woman, like most men, are fully capable of desiring the affections of more than one man. They are just less likely to admit it if they think such insight might harm them.

Notice also the descriptor rarer. Rarer than what? The implication is that women’s desire to fornicate is rare among non-church females. Just like the “all” statement this is meant to distract us from the facts found in the study Relationships in America:

Figure 12.1Premarital sex, by age group

In what might appear at first glance as ironic, older married respondents tend to report higher levels of premarital sex. The percentage of each age group reporting premarital sex increases as the age of the respondent increases through the age group 35-44, where the percentage of each group reporting premarital sex levels off. But before you conclude too much about this, remember that younger married respondents likely exhibit lower frequencies of premarital sex because more religious young adults are more apt to marry prior to age 25, or shortly thereafter. Which brings us to the key question we hear about premarital sex: does religion matter?

In short, yes. Increased religious service attendance is negatively associated with reports of premarital sex. Among married weekly religious service attenders, 65 percent reported first sex prior to getting married, compared to 88 percent who report occasional attendance and a full 96 percent of those who never attend religious services. But perhaps those who attend regularly are more prone to social desirability bias and less likely to give a straight answer to the question.

Just before the graph the authors of the Relationships in America study include a caveat about these numbers:

In these analyses, then, we are talking about premarital sex in the technical use of the term—sexual experience with a spouse prior to getting married (among currently-married persons). Because we define premarital sex in this way, we focus our attention on married respondents and tally those who report having sex with their current spouse before they married as those indicating premarital sex.

If you were cheering about that lower 65% number among 18-24s, I must interrupt your party to let you know that these numbers only account for people who actually married, and only counts the pre-marital partner. They did not count the sexual partners before the sexual partner who was eventually joined in marriage. So if Tammy slept with Brad only to get dumped, and then she decided no more sleeping around before she eventually married Bobby (who she made wait), Tammy and Bobby are not included in the percentage of pre-marital sex because the bridal bit with Brad never occurred.

How many people do you know unmarried by 24? How many people do you know who didn’t marry their first sexual partner?

So how much “rarer” did churched people practice premarital sex with their eventual spouse, but not counting the ones they didn’t marry, or those of the same age who haven’t married yet?

Figure 12.2Premarital sex, by religious service attendance

If you read those numbers and think, “See? That’s much rarer.”, then… I can’t even.

14 thoughts on “DoW I: Celebrating Hay in a Needle Stack

  1. Even if you took the point at face value and I think you’ve shown how there’s no way you can, let me add a point. If you were in a war and your unit took 65% casualties through incompetence, you’d probably be relieved, possibly court martialed.

    In the Red Horse by Eugenio Corti (semi-autobiographical fiction), the local priest was proud that he had kept the young people of their small town largely chaste until marriage and he was in a position to know. This is Italy in the 30s and 40s so not exactly a golden era for virtue in general one would think.

    If we’re failing at this rate, we need to look at what we’re trying to achieve here and why.

  2. If we’re failing at this rate, we need to look at what we’re trying to achieve here and why.

    Exactly. It’s black humor out the gate. “Only two out of three regular church goers…! We’re winning”!

    This is also the complimentarian creed of winning by losing less than the other guy. “We call our women ministry leaders ‘director’, not ‘pastor’. See?, we’re holding the line on biblical instructions!” It is to barf.

    I’m glad you mentioned that most of us were GW at one point. In my case it wasn’t that long ago, and I try to bear it in mind when directly addressing church men about these subjects. This stuff will test a man’s faith.

  3. His last paragraph is the most telling:

    “Also, where are these young women who are simultaneously listening to their fathers (by not getting married young) while rebelling against them (sleeping around with numerous boyfriends/flings)?””

    GW actually thinks that women don’t marry young, because they are obedient to their fathers! LOL

  4. It’s the same thing with divorce.

    “Only 30% of Christian marriages end in divorce! See how holy we are?!”

    Do these people even listen to themselves?

  5. Do these people even listen to themselves?

    It’s not a matter of holiness to them because they don’t think it’s a grave sin at all.

  6. We all want very badly to believe that most women don’t want to fornicate. We also don’t want to hear women shriek and shrill about when that statement is made. Two reasons why that statement is so common.

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  12. I’m glad I was raised and continue to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where the doctrinal and cultural expectations are abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity in marriage. I married at an age the culture considers too young (23) and we were both virgins. This was the norm among my peer group.

    If you find our doctrine heretical, but I think we have been more successful opposing the tide of worldliness.
    These were the standards I was taught in my youth:

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