Views on sex before marriage: 2001 to 2016

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Church attenders and leaders across 20 denominations were asked in the National Church Life Surveys about their views on sex before marriage. Church attenders were invited to express their views in surveys conducted between 2001 and 2016, and local church leaders in surveys conducted between 2006 and 2011. We present the views of church attenders and senior local church leaders.

Church attenders were generally more open to sexual relations before marriage than senior local church leaders. A sizeable proportion of attenders (38-42%) and leaders (26–27%) expressed more liberal views regarding the practice, considering it not wrong if engaged/committed to a long-term relationship or not wrong in any circumstances.

Authors: Fleur Hourihan

Citation: Hourihan, F (2023). Views on sex before marriage: 2001 to 2016. NCLS Research Fact Sheet 23011. Sydney: NCLS Research.