Saturday, August 8, 2009

Early Marriage

marriage, young, christian, virginity, divorce,
Apparently, fundys have caught on that people have sex. Abstinence training is a dismal failure (not that fundys are ever going to abandon that one), so it would seem that they should just accept that people, including teens, have sex and deal with it.

Oh, c'mon now, people, that would involving dealing with reality, and we all know fundys just don't go there. They've got another solution: marrying young "early". That will solve the problem. We'll just marry the kids off before they manage to have sex outside of marriage.

In "The Case for Early Marriage," sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas in Austin argues that far too many American evangelicals have attempted to deal with sex without understanding marriage. In particular, he asserts that the "prevailing discourse of abstinence culture in contemporary American evangelicalism" has run aground. While not devaluing abstinence, Regnerus explains that his research has led him to believe "that few evangelicals accomplish what their pastors and parents wanted them to do" -- which is to refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage.


Regnerus's proposal is not to devalue sexual abstinence, but to address the fundamental issue of marriage. As he explains, "I've come to the conclusion that Christians have made much ado about sex but are becoming slow and lax about marriage -- that more significant, enduring witness to Christ's sacrificial love for his bride."

On the one hand, yes, if you marry the kids off young enough, they may indeed be virgins when they marry. On the other twenty hands, marrying young early causes a whole host of other problems I would think the fundy community would rather avoid, such as divorce. Marrying young, I'm sorry, "early", is a well-recognized risk factor for divorce, as is knowing one another for a short period of time before marriage (which goes hand in hand with marrying young, unless you're marrying a childhood friend).

Basically, the fundys have decided to trade nonvirginal brides and grooms for divorcees. We'll have to stop by in another 5-10 years to see what their solution to that is.


  1. To add, another reason to speculate about why fundies love early marriage: they hate women. Since they support repressive gender roles, pressuring women to marry early traps them in abusive relationships and prevents them from being able to support themselves if they leave.

  2. And of course, there's the extreme Christian patriarchal "Quiverfull" movement that is sliding steadily toward the model of radical Islam: Girls are not allowed to leave home until they marry a man that their fathers pick out for them. They're already halfway to burqas, as it is.

  3. This post hits home hardcore. My sister, at the age of 22, is set to marry someone that she has only known for 11 months. They were engaged at 8 months. They are both hardcore evangelicals. They both are attending Kenneth Hagin's Rhema Bible Training Center in Oklahoma. I have only been married for 2 years and have seen the horrors. This was her first relationship. It was weird to see how fast my family and his family rushed them. They would constantly say "the sooner the better". It was absolutely grotesque.

    It amazes me today when you go into a church today, as I sometimes do, you hear pastors preach on a Godless America and say something to the extent of "the divorce rate is at 50%, meaning 1 in 2 marriages fail" but never tell you what age group has the highest divorce rate. You guessed it the 20 to 24 year olds. On average 37% of women and men get divorced between the ages of 20 and 24. What also amazes me is it drops 50% to 16% of men and women divorce at the age 24 to 29. This seems ass backwards to me. If they would just tell them to wait a bit longer they are less likely to get divorced. Sex is the least of their worries. But yet they say it is because we are Godless Americans that the divorce rate is so high. Then they force the age group most likely to get a divorce to marry.

    What a repulsive, nauseating, revolting, offensive, atrocious, vile, and heinous dogma.

  4. Fundamentalists don't have a huge problem with divorce...they can justify divorce.

    Too bad they can't apply their same twisted Biblical interpretation towards homosexuals.

  5. Ugh, I got married cause abstinence didn't work and I found myself "in the family way". Of course, he was a class-A sociopath so I changed my vote from "I do" to "I don't". Sad, but true. I never wanted a divorce until I tried marriage :p

  6. Head. Desk.

    I grew up in the shadow of Wheaton College and, therefore, in Wheaton, Illinois, one of the points on the Bermuda Triangle of mainstream evangelical Christianity (the other two being Boulder, Colorado, and, um, I forget). There was a point in every school year when I knew who was about to announce their engagement. It was generally a couple who had been dating for about a year and were now hitting the end of their junior year at Wheaton.

    There was only one of those couples that I looked at and said, "Yeah, they know what they're doing." The rest of them? Not so much.

    It's a stupid, stupid subculture.

  7. Courtship: 6 weeks
    Marriage: 20 years
    Divorce: 10 years
    Result: Me, my sisters, lots of rich lawyers.



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