Guds grep – Kristendom, sex og samliv


What role does Christian engagement play in sexuality and in choice of cohabitation type among young Norwegians? A population-based sample (N 2454) was followed up by survey and register data from the mid-teens to the late twenties. Engagement in Christianity was measured through indicators of faith and participation in church services and other religious meetings. Christian involvement was associated with delay of intercourse debut and reduced frequency of masturbation. It was also inversely associated with number of sex partners and subsequently choosing to marry rather than cohabitation. The associations were reduced after controlling for confounding factors, but by and large they remained significant. However, even the most active Christians experience sexual intercourse before they marry, and – somewhat surprisingly – report the same number of same-sex sexual experiences as others. Thus, the findings are not unambiguous. Still, Christian engagement is associated with a variety of choices and experiences teenagers and young adults have in the sexuality domain. Most striking is the fact that some of these associations exist in large groups of the population, and not just in the smaller group of the most active Christians.

Keywords: religion,Christianity,secularization,sexuality,cohabitation