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02 February 2010

Press release

Young people in Northern Ireland still in love with marriage

Young people in Northern Ireland still in love with marriage

Despite rising divorce rates it seems that marriage is still an overwhelming aspiration for young people in Northern Ireland. New figures reveal that over 90% say they want to get married.

This information emerges in one of the largest surveys into sexual attitudes carried out in the province. Over a thousand 16-30 year olds were asked about their attitudes and behaviours around relational and sexual issues for the survey, conducted by Evangelical Alliance, Love for Life and Summer Madness. Uniquely, the survey was also designed to probe into whether and in what way faith had an impact in these areas.

*87% of young people surveyed said they believe that the Bible has something to teach about relationships and sex.

*81% of respondents said they thought pornography was harmful and yet 79% of males had accessed it online.

*63% of those surveyed felt that sex before marriage is always wrong

This startling information will now become a springboard for an event aimed at helping this age group explore these issues. The 'Not Just a One Night Stand'conference on Wednesday 10th February in Orangefield Presbyterian Church (6.30pm) is part of Marriage Week 2010. It aims to support young people as they navigate the Christian perspective on developing their 'relational intelligence'.

The trio of Christian organisations behind the survey also aim to stimulate fresh political discussions on the issues of family and relationship education. They are hosting a public conversation amongst political representatives, key faith based opinion formers and policy specialists. This event, which will include a chaired panel and audience discussion, will take place in the same venue on the 10th at 3.30pm.

Stephen Cave, National Director of Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland, said: "Alongside changing patterns in sexual behaviour, the desire for healthy and lasting relationships came through clearly in the survey results.

"I am excited to see the Church responding to this in innovative ways, addressing the real issues facing our young people today and to see the desire to work together with policy makers to benefit society as a whole."

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: info@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.