FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., February 9, 2011 ( – A poll conducted with youth aged 13-18 in late 2010 found a majority of young people in the US – 61 percent – would like to be virgins when they get married. Additionally, 63 percent said that, presuming they had lost their virginity, they would change the past if possible and regain it.

The survey was conducted from August through October 2010 by Drs. Rene Paulson and Jacquelyn Pennings under the auspices of the Christian youth research and outreach organization OneHope as part of their Spiritual State of the World’s Children study.

5,108 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 in the United States were recruited to take the online survey through a panelist company and through social networking websites.

A press release from OneHope announcing the release of the study today said the results of the survey were “surprising” given the high teen exposure to sexually explicit media content such as the controversial MTV program “Skins.”

According to a report by the Parents Television Council, two-thirds (64 percent) of all TV shows contain “sexual content” – anything from flirting to intercourse.

“There is a lot of research about young people, but when do we hear directly from them?” said OneHope Vice President of Global Ministries Chad Causey.

Additional data about U.S. teens’ beliefs and values revealed in this survey include some troubling aspects of the influence of media on children, such as:

• 69 percent watch MTV on a weekly basis
• 62 percent believe truth is relative
• 76 percent approve of divorce even when children are involved
• 59 percent said the Bible has little/no influence on their thoughts and actions
• 57 percent believe being good people and doing good deeds will get you into heaven
• 34 percent spend less than 15 minutes a week talking with their fathers about things that matter

However, some positive findings include:

• 82 percent believe God intended marriage to last a lifetime
• 80 percent cite parents as having a lot/some influence over their thoughts and actions
• only 16 percent thought sexual intercourse between two people who are not married was morally acceptable
• 79 percent overall had never had sexual intercourse
• 81 percent said it’s not OK to break the law as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody
• 84 and 87 percent said they had not watched a pornographic movie or read a pornographic magazine

The full text of the US Spiritual State of the World’s Children study is available here.