"Over 10,000 students heard lectures promoting traditional family values. Student questionnaires reveal significant improvement, with 34% opposing premarital sex, and 53% opposing abortion"
President Vladimir Putin recently awarded a grant for a project promoting traditional family values among Russian teens and young adults.
The grant was awarded in December, 2017, and the project involved more than 10,000 boys and girls from 102 different schools from the Tyumen region. They listened to talks about family, love, courage, and happiness, and they filled out questionnaires both before and after the talks, providing insight into their thoughts about Russian family life.
The teaching sessions went into detail discussing the importance of traditional marriage, the dangers of premarital sex, the problems with contraception, and the horrors of abortion.
According to the questionnaires, 85% of the youth believe it is unacceptable for people to freely change partners, seeking sex outside marriage with no strings attached. The majority said that intimate relations are only permissible when there are long-term stable relations between partners. More than a third of respondents held to fully traditional values on this point, with 34% stating that sex is permissible "only after the wedding".
Prior to the talks, hardly any students saw a problem with contraception, with only 3% opposing its use. After the talks, over 15% of students stated that birth control should never be permitted.
The questionnaire revealed that most of these high-school and university students oppose abortion. A full 53% said that abortion is "admissible under no circumstances".
Researchers also studied students' attitudes toward life goals. After the talks, over 63% of students said their top priorities are "love, family, and children". Fewer than 20% of students suggested "pleasure" and "enjoyment of life" as priorities. Only 8% placed "independence and freedom of relations" at the top of the list.
When asked about the impact that these lectures had on their lives, many students said the talks "change your outlook", "make you think", "change your views on life", "open your eyes", and "help get rid of errors in one's thinking".
More details about this study are available on the [Russian language] Pokrov website.
— Konstantin Shestakov, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This return to tradition is not unique to this region of Russia, nor to this study alone. There is currently a movement reverberating all across Russia, helping return mainstream society to traditional family values. A notable leader in this movement is Fr. Dimitry Smirnov, one of the most well-known priests in Russia. By preaching live to thousands of people, by teaching large audiences over the internet, and by making many television appearances, he has encouraged countless people to seek Christian role-models, to embrace traditional Christian marriage, to avoid birth control, and to abolish abortion.