Can faith prevent teen pregnancy?

I saw this article a while back and found it interesting. In general, teen pregnancy rates have really declined over the last couple decades, which is a good thing. What was fascinating to me was to see the Washington Post attributing some of that decline to faith – usually all the credit goes to better sex education and more accessibility to safe sex resources. Check out this snippet (you can read the full article here):

It may be even more surprising for adults to ponder the role that faith and individual morals and values have played. Among those teens who haven’t had sex, the primary reason they give for…well…not doing it is that having sex at this point in their lives is against their religion or morals, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research makes clear that religion, faith, and a strong moral sense play vital roles in protecting teens from too-early sexual activity and teen pregnancy. In particular, being connected to a religious community has been linked with a decreased risk for teen pregnancy. Moreover, a survey we released this week suggests that the majority of Americans want more from religious groups rather than less. Some 52 percent of adults and 57 percent of teens think religious leaders and groups should be doing more to help prevent teen pregnancy.

All that to say, parents need to continue making regular involvement in church/faith communities a priority for their families, as well as ongoing conversations at home. At the same time, churches need to make talking about sex a priority – for all generations. Let’s face it, our congregations are being bombarded with messages about sex everywhere else; there needs to be some conversation feeding into that from the Guy that invented it.

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