Research and Statistics

//Research and Statistics
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Statistics – Premarital Sex

Is this good news?
Among ages 15-17 in the new study, 58% of girls and 53% of boys said they have had no sexual contact, compared to 48.6% of girls and 46.1% of boys in 2002. For ages 20-24, 12% of women and 13% of men said they have never had sexual contact, compared with 8% for both sexes in 2002.
While the percentage of teens not having sexual contact has inched up, the raw percentage who have had contact is overwhelming. The paper says the slight uptick in purity is good news.

Though the uptick may be good  news, the overall picture is still disturbing. What will you do to inoculate your children to these coming or current temptations?

No, Christians Do Not Divorce At the Rate of the World

This might not help some struggling couples but no, Christian couples do not divorce at the same rate as those who are not Christians. Several different sociologists have found that actively religious couples have a lower divorce rate. HT: Tim Challies
The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes — attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples — enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers.
That may not help those Christian couples who are struggling. But it should encourage us to live differently […]

Effect of Cohabitation on Children

We continue to explore why God’s ways make sense when it comes to marriage. This is the third entry. Click here for part 1, here for part 2.

In a British study, Child Abuse by Mothers’ Boyfriends: Why the Overrepresentation?” in Child Abuse and Neglect 16 (1992): 541-51, Leslie Margolin found the incidence of child abuse with biological married parents, cohabitating parents, and mothers living with their boyfriends. What she found was startling.

1. Child abuse was twenty times higher for children living with their cohabitating parents than with biological, married parents.

2. Child abuse was thirty-three times higher for children living with their mother and her boyfriend when compared to biological, married parents.

God’s way as expressed in the Bible is still the best way. Social research bears […]

Stats are Not Determinism

Lest yesterday’s post leave you feeling discouraged, statistics are not determinism. Though God is sovereign, our lives are not ruled by fatalism. If I thought nothing could be done, there would be no need for The Apollos Project. Instead, research shows that it is parents involvement in the spiritual lives of their children that is the biggest indicator of whether they will follow the Lord. Here is what I wrote in an earlier post:
Sociologists have backed up what the Bible has long said, and evangelical Christianity has not figured out how to harness. In a 2007-2008 study, sociologist Christian Smith and Patricia Snell found that, “one of the most powerful factors was the religious lives of their parents – how often they attend religious services, how […]

Around the Web – 20 Somethings

And Then They Are Mine – The Real Agenda of Some Professors – Al Mohler reminds us of the need to forewarn and forearm our young people who head off the college.

Why Aren’t Emerging Adults Emerging – Al Mohler highlights the real cultural phenomenon of 20 somethings who are failing to launch into adulthood. This cultural issue affects the Christian young men as well. What will we do about it? The time to start thinking about it is before they reach this age!

Men Who Are Boys – On a related note, the Act 29 Network posts some thoughts on this issue and challenges the men to become men.

Teens Too Busy for Church?

USA Today highlights  dropping attendance at some youth events. As I read this, pertinent comments are:

Sweet 16 is not a sweet spot for churches. It’s the age teens typically drop out.
Teens say, “We don’t see the church as relevant, as meeting our needs or where we need to be today.
Kids are overcommitted.
Parents are not communicating a ‘church is important’ culture.

Good observations by a current youth leader saying:

I cannot compete with my students’ culture in the area of entertainment.
I can offer students the real gospel of Jesus Christ and they can handle it.
Growth happens not by entertaining but by equipping.

I love the comments but again conspicuously absent is the mention of calling parents to their role to disciple their children! Oh well, good observation for us […]

Facebook Usage Statistics

New Facebook Usage Statistics – (HT: Challies)

1/3 of women check facebook first thing in the am, even before using the bathroom!

Here are some other interesting stats regarding young women and Facebook:

21% of women age 18-34 check Facebook in the middle of the night
63% use Facebook as a networking tool
42% think it’s okay to post photos of themselves intoxicated
79% are fine with kissing in photos
58% use Facebook to keep tabs on “frenemies”
50% are fine with being Facebook friends with complete strangers

While everything is permissible, everything is not is helpful or builds up (1 Corinthians 10:23). We need to think biblically about these things.

What is the major influence in the religious lives of young adults?

Sociologists have backed up what the Bible has long said, and evangelical Christianity has not figured out how to harness. In a 2007-2008 study, sociologist Christian Smith and Patricia Snell found that, “one of the most powerful factors was the religious lives of their parents – how often they attend religious services, how important religious faith was in their own lives.”

Other research finds exactly the same results. One of the strongest variables associated with young people being “religious” was that same behavior in their parents.

Bottom line for readers of this blog. This Father’s Day be reminded that you are the most important influence in your children’s lives. And that sociological finding merely reflects the wisdom of God’s commands.
Read the whole thing.

Why Living Together is Bad – Negative Effects of Cohabitation Part 2

In an earlier post, I had urged inoculating our children to the temptation to think that God’s standards are not for our best. Specifically, I had pointed out how cohabitating increases the chance a couple will break up. A recent NY Times article highlights research that found just that. They showed how prevalent this thinking is:

“From the perspective of many young adults, marrying without living together first seems quite foolish,” said Prof. Pamela J. Smock, a research professor at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “Just because some academic studies have shown that living together may increase the chance of divorce somewhat, young adults themselves don’t believe that.”

The authors found that the proportion of women in their late 30s who had ever cohabited […]

Religion Among the Millennials

A Statistical Survey by the Pew Foundation.

From the introduction to the report: By some key measures, Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans. Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than older people do today. They also are less likely to be affiliated than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations were when they were young. Fully one-in-four members of the Millennial generation – so called because they were born after 1980 and began to come of age around the year 2000 – are unaffiliated with any particular faith. Indeed, Millennials are significantly more unaffiliated than members of Generation X were at a comparable point in their life cycle (20% in the late 1990s) and twice as unaffiliated as Baby Boomers were […]