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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Teens Ambivalent About Sex Before Marriage

A new survey shows that 61 percent of American teens want to be virgins at marriage, yet 34 percent have little problem with sex before marriage.

Even among those who valued virginity, 20 percent had tried "sexual touching" and 15 percent said they'd already had sex, says the national survey by OneHope, a Pompano Beach, Fla.,-based Christian mission organization.

"My reading is, 'Being a virgin until marriage is right for me, but it may not be right for everyone,'" OneHope's Chad Causey said. "It's the categorical rightness that has gone."

That gibes with another finding: 65 percent of teens said truth is relative.

Teens showed ambivalence toward traditional families as well: 82 percent believe God intended marriage to last a lifetime, yet 76 approve divorce when children are involved. Half consider an unmarried man and woman a family.

The survey is part of a larger study of teens in 46 countries, meant to measure not only moral beliefs but attitudes toward families and influences on teens' lives, such as parents and the Internet. The full study is due out by August or September.