Teenagers: In Vogue vs. In Christ

Teen Vogue, a magazine targeting 11- to 17-year-olds girls, recently published a how-to article instructing teens how to perform anal sex. This article is on the heels of a recent article on how to masturbate if you are a male and a similar article on how to masturbate if you are female. All three articles are written by Gigi Engle, a self-proclaimed writer, sex educator and feminist activist. In the “anal 101” article, Engle states that anal sex is a “perfectly natural way to engage in sexual activity” and that “there is no wrong way to experience sexuality.” The truth of God’s Word opposes both of these statements.

Obviously, this article promotes a troubling agenda aimed at teenagers[1] that is counter to biblical commands and principles. The four most egregious areas are:

  1. Promotion of sex outside of marriage. Engle’s article promotes teens having premarital sex. The Bible is quite clear that premarital sex is outside the confines of the biblical covenant of marriage. This distorted form of sexuality (sexual immorality) is referred to as fornication or sin (Hebrews 13:4, Matthew 15:19).
  2. Promotion of homosexuality. Engle’s article purports it is helping “LGBTQ young people.” God’s Word is clear that homosexuality is a sin. The biblical basis that homosexuality is a sin begins in Genesis 1:27-28 and Genesis 2:24. Here, God defines the institution of marriage (He’s the only one who can since He created it). He ordains it as a permanent union of one man and one woman. Jesus also reaffirms marriage as a sacred, monogamous and life-long institution joining one man and one woman in Matthew 19:4-6. Marriage is a covenant relationship and an institution established by God and is not simply a human social construct. ANY sexual behavior outside the husband/wife marriage relationship is sinful, including premarital sex, adultery, bestiality, pornography and homosexuality. The Bible speaks of the immorality of homosexual behavior in Genesis 19:1-27, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:18-27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
  3. Promotion of sex as recreation. Engle’s article promotes a counterfeit sexual morality by promoting sexual activity among teenagers as recreation. God intended so much more for sex. Sex is a coordinating sign of the covenant of marriage, a physical reflection of the one-flesh union (Genesis 2:24). Within the confines of marriage, sex is intended for procreation (Genesis 1:28, 4:1), unity (Genesis 2:23-24), sexual purity (1 Corinthians 7:1-9), and pleasure (Proverbs 5:15-23, Song of Solomon).
  4. Promotion of being unwise. The Bible calls us to be wise and not foolish (Proverbs 3, Ephesians 5:17). Engle’s article fails to state the wealth of medical evidence that states that anal sex is neither healthy nor safe. Anal sex can lead to tissue damage, including hemorrhoids, damage to sphincter muscles, anal fissures, and colonic perforation. Moreover, there is a high risk of developing fecal incontinence, infection, transmission of STDs, and anal cancer (due to infection by human papilloma virus).

Parents and the church need to counter the culture by teaching teenagers to be in Christ and not in vogue. In the truest sense, we need to teach teenagers to be in the world and not of the world (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17). Parents and pastors cannot be silent on the topics of sex and sexuality with teenagers. The world definitely is having the conversation—and not for teenagers’ eternal good.


[1] This post focuses on anal sex and teenagers. A natural extension I’m often asked in The Christian Home class I teach at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is whether anal sex is permitted within the confines of marriage. Although the wisdom principle (number 4 above) should apply, I offer the following three-step rubric for married couples to use in evaluating sexual practices: (1) Is a given sexual practice or activity prohibited in Scripture? Does it violate Scriptural moral principles? (2) Is a given sexual practice or activity beneficial or harmful (physically, emotionally and spiritually) (Romans 13:12-14)? (3) Does a given sexual practice or activity involve persons outside the marriage relationship (Hebrews 13:4)?