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In battle against premarital sex, Hindus and Muslims win

Published October 29, 2012 3:20 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When it comes to premarital abstinence, Hindus and Muslims in the developing world have it all over Christians and Jews.

That's according to a recent study published in the American Sociological Review.

"All major world religions discourage sex outside of marriage, but they are not all equally effective in shaping behavior," Amy Adamczyk of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a co-author with John Jay doctoral student Brittany E. Hayes, told Religion News Service.

Adamczyk and Hayes drew their conclusions from Demographic and Health Surveys funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which included data from 31 developing nations collected between 2000 and 2008. They "found that 94 percent of Jews in the nations they studied reported having premarital sex, compared to 79 percent of Christians, 65 percent of Buddhists, 43 percent of Muslims and 19 percent of Hindus."

So much for "True Love Waits," an evangelical Christian abstinence program that has been touted as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and premarital sex.

But, remember, all these numbers are self-reported.

Peggy Fletcher Stack