Preserving Virginity Major Priority Among Youth

A majority of young people in the U.S.—61 percent—would like to be virgins when they get married. Another 63 percent said they would regain their virginity if possible. 

So says a new survey from OneHope, a Christian organization committed to understanding the harsh realities youth face and sharing God's love with them through meaningful media experiences.  

These surprising "virginity" results arrive just in time for Valentine's Day amid a climate of high teen exposure to sexually explicit media content, surfaced by the current controversy over the MTV program "Skins." According to a report by the Parents Television Council, 64 percent of all TV shows contain "sexual content"—anything from flirting to intercourse. Conducted with youth aged 13-18 in late 2010, OneHope's U.S. research revealed additional data about teens' beliefs, values and spirituality. Some of them are disturbing, others encouraging. For example, 52 percent believe spiritual development is not necessary for a satisfying life.

Additional findings include: 

  • 59 percent said the Bible has little/no influence on their thoughts and actions
  • 69 percent watch MTV on a weekly basis
  • 82 percent believe God intended marriage to last a lifetime
  • 65 percent believe truth is relative
  • 76 percent approve of divorce when children are involved
  • 57 percent believe being good people and doing good deeds will get you into heaven
  • 80 percent cite parents as having a lot/some influence over their thoughts and actions
  • (followed by teachers and friends)
  • 50 percent consider an unmarried man and woman a family
  • 34 percent spend less than 15 minutes a week talking with their fathers about things that matter 

What's your reaction to this story? Are you surprised or dismayed?

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