WASHINGTON — The Washington-based Pew Research Center has revealed the results of a survey in which the organization asked sample Americans their views on dating and what is acceptable in relationships. While non-Christians were not surprisingly more approving of fornication, the Center found that many who profess to be followers of Christ think sex between unmarried adults is at least “sometimes” okay.
“Half of Christians say casual sex — defined in the survey as sex between consenting adults who are not in a committed romantic relationship — is sometimes or always acceptable,” the organization announced on Monday.
It outlined that “[s]ix-in-ten Catholics (62%) take this view, as do 56% of Protestants in the historically Black tradition [and] 54% of mainline Protestants.” More than one-third of evangelicals, or 36%, said that casual sex is either sometimes or always permissible.
Out of the respondents who identified as non-religious, 84% said that casual hookups are always or sometimes okay, including 94% atheists and 95% of agnostics.
However, the gap between professing believers and the faithless was of a smaller margin when it came to the question of whether fornication is okay when the two are in a committed relationship.
“A majority of Christians (57%) say sex between unmarried adults in a committed relationship is sometimes or always acceptable. That includes 67% of mainline Protestants, 64% of Catholics, 57% of Protestants in the historically Black tradition and 46% of evangelical Protestants,” Pew Research outlined.
It also explained that just over a third of professing Christians think it is at least sometimes acceptable for consenting adults to exchange sexually explicit photos.
“Three-in-ten evangelical Protestants hold this view, as do four-in-ten Catholics and Protestants in the mainline and historically Black Protestant traditions,” the organization advised.
Pew Research found that the answers were often related to how often the person goes to church.
“For example, a little less than half (46%) of U.S. adults who attend services at least once a month say sex between unmarried adults in a committed relationship is sometimes or always acceptable, compared with three-quarters (74%) of those who go less often,” it outlined.
“And about one-third (35%) of those who go to religious services at least monthly say casual sex is sometimes or always acceptable, compared with three-quarters (75%) of those who attend less frequently.”
The poll was conducted in October 2019 and surveyed 4,860 Americans. Read the survey in full here.
As previously reported, the Bible says much about fornication, urging Christians to flee sexual sin and to glorify God in their body (1 Corinthians 6:18-20), as those who engage in sexual immorality will not inherit the kingdom of God.
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints,” Ephesians 5:3 reads, warning in verse 5, “For this ye know: that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
1 Corinthians 6:13 teaches, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
Colossians 3:5-6 says, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 exhorts, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor — not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.”
Verses 7-8 add, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.”