Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology and religion at the University of Texas, ultimately concluded that what influences teens more than specific denominational affiliation was what he calls "high religiosity" and teens being immersed in what he refers to as "religious plausibility structures." Here's how he defines that term: "A network of like-minded friends, family and authorities who (a) teach and enable comprehensive religious perspectives about sexuality to compete more effectively against ubiquitous sexually permissive scripts, and (b) offer desexualized time and space and provide reinforcement of parental values."
It is hardly surprising that, after parents, the church plays the biggest role in keeping teens from engaging in sexual behaviour before marriage. It is crucial that our pastors and church leaders realise that, far from interfering in people's private lives, their moral guidance is exactly what is needed.
Unfortunately, the majority of pastors are reluctant to speak on this subject from the pulpit. And I am not convinced that leaders of youth groups are talking about this much either. Just in case a pastor or youth leader might read this blog, I would like to suggest that, if you don't feel comfortable talking about the rights and wrongs of sexual behaviour yourself, there are people available who are. In this city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the director of the Pregnancy Care Centre would love to be invited out to your group to speak both to the teens and also to their parents. In Yarmouth County, the director of the Tri-County Pregnancy Centre is also ready, willing, and able to do this. Just give them a call, they would love to hear from you.
In Halifax, the person to contact is Willa at Pregnancy Care Centre
In Yarmouth, contact Pam at the Tri-County Pregnancy Care Centre, 902- 742-3865
And in the valley, contact Bill at Valley Care Pregnancy Centre
These crisis pregnancy centres offer much more than counseling to girls in crisis pregnancies; the directors are all skilled at speaking to groups on the subject of teen sexuality and why abstinence is their best choice.
Chastity and Church, by Marcia Segelstein