Jessa Duggar, 20, has an 18 year-old boyfriend and they’re only allowed to ‘side hug’

People Magazine has another glimpse into the insular world of the prolific and religious Duggar family. The third oldest Duggar daughter, Jessa, 20 is currently dating an 18 year-old boy who has been hand-picked by her father. The Duggars don’t allow Jessa to kiss, hold hands or even hug her new beau, Ben. Jessa and Ben are only allowed to “side hug” and see each other in the company of others. The Duggars don’t even call it “dating,” it’s “courting” and there are some pretty strict rules to be followed. The couple is not permitted to kiss until they’re married. You would think that the Duggars would make an exception for an engagement:

Jessa Duggar, 20, the third daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of Tontitown, Ark.,has entered into a courtship with Ben Seewald, 18, who lives in nearby Hot Springs, Ark., PEOPLE confirms.

The couple’s relationship will be featured on the family’s TLC show, 19 Kids & Counting, which returns Tuesday at 9 p.m.

“We are so excited for Ben and Jessa,” Jim Bob, 48, tells PEOPLE. “They are enjoying getting to know each other and are recommending sermons to one another.”

Jim Bob explains: “Courting is getting to know each other in a group setting, both families spending time together and the couple setting goals together to determine if they are meant to marry. With dating, a couple will often pair off alone and that sometimes leads to a more physical relationship.”

Jessa and Ben met in church, Jim Bob says, and then asked to correspond via text and on the phone. The Duggars agreed – and were kept in the conversation as the couple texted each other, mostly asking each other questions about theology and scripture.

“Jessa has a very steady personality,” says Michelle. “It has been interesting to watch their interactions because for her personality type, they share very similar beliefs. It has been fun to watch them and both of our phones are going off back and forth, ping, ping, ping.”

“Courtship is not just about having fun,” she continues. “You are really considering if this person could be your life partner – you pray about it and see what happens.”

Though other men have approached Jim Bob to ask if they could begin a relationship with Jessa – as well as his other older daughters – Jim Bob says that Ben is the first to make the cut.

“He’s the first one she has shown interest in that has a spiritual focus and legitimate calling about ministry work,” he says. “When a guy is pursing your daughter, you want to check him out and see if there are any red flags and with Ben, there hasn’t been. He is very sharp. It appears like a match made in heaven.”

Like her older brother, Josh, whose courtship with now-wife Anna was documented on their reality show, Jessa will save her first kiss for marriage.

“Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting,” Michelle, 47, explains. “Jessa and Ben have said that was the only contact they would have, when they initially greet each other, when he comes to visit for their first hello, they have a quick 30 second or less side hug and a goodbye side hug and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have.”

“They want to wait on the physical relationship until later,” she adds. “If there is an engagement that comes about, they will work together on their goals and standards for that.”

Jessa and three of her sisters – Jana, Jill and Jinger – have just completed the book Growing Up Duggar, to be released next year, about their relationships, including their thoughts about boys and what goes into deciding who and when to marry.

“It is sweet as a mom to watch Jessa go through this,” says Michelle. “She’s always been the organizer in our family unit and right now she is a little distracted. She and Ben are open to encourage others who may be considering relationships that you can stay morally pure and wait for the one God has for you and then on your wedding day, begin the physical aspects of your relationship.”

[From People]

This seems like an example of how these kids are expected to live exactly like their parents, which would be fine if it were their choice. Jessa is legally an adult at 20. It sounds like she has very little freedom. Are the Duggar children expected to conform mo matter what? What if one of them decides that they want to date before marriage or that they’d like to go to secular college? (The Duggars are creationists and teach their children that the earth is 6,000 years old. Some of the older children are pursuing online bachelor’s degrees through Christian colleges.) What if one of them is gay?

These happy stories don’t show the other side of the Duggars’ beliefs, the side where young women have little option other than to become wives who are subservient to their husbands. Boys are similarly expected to marry young and have as many children as possible. Is marriage the only way to move out of the family home? Even Amish kids get Rumspringa by the time they’re 16. So far the only Duggar child who has left the house is Josh, 25, and he’s married with three kids and another one on the way.

I should be more positive, Jessa looks happy and maybe this guy is the one for her. If this works for them and is what they want they both want then good for them I guess.

 

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279 Responses to “Jessa Duggar, 20, has an 18 year-old boyfriend and they’re only allowed to ‘side hug’”

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  1. Ange says:

    They’ll never know if this is what they want, all they know is being told what they want. Poor kids.

    • doofus says:

      yeah, at least with the Amish they’re given the chance to “see what they’re missing” and decide which life they want.

      this lifestyle is cult-ish.

      as far as “what if one of them is gay?” he or she will DENY DENY DENY and wind up living a miserable life of shame and self-hatred. if it’s a male child who’s gay, he’ll wind up being caught with a “wide-stance” in some airport bathroom.

      • itstrue says:

        My problem, as with many religions, is the heavy sexism of it all. The women are viewed as their wards and it’s pretty heartbreaking. I have a daughter. She is smart and capable. To reduce a woman to a permission seeking robot diminishes her potential.

      • lisa says:

        also the amish arent taught all of these anti science crap about the age of the earth etc,

        when i read about the side hug (is that so no boob is touched even by a flannel shirt?) i died a little inside

      • Macey says:

        I actually live in Amishville Pa, my entire life. yes, they do have a choice to stay or not but what most dont realize is that their options are very limited and the family does shun them if they do not stay. My uncle was born and raised Amish, even stayed in after rumspringa but left in his early 20′s b/c he wanted a different life and the woman he wanted to marry (my aunt) was not amish so he would have never been able to be with her if he stayed. all fine except he had very limited education and most of his family would not have anything to do with them. So yes, the amish can leave but very few have the resources to do so and the thought of leaving their families and no longer being a part of that scares them into staying. Trust me when I say it is nothing like “Breaking Amish” or Amish Mafia, I assure you both shows are 100% fake and scripted, in fact none of the cast of breaking Amish were ever actually amish, same for the mafia one. The one guy may have been born into it but never lived the lifestyle, in fact he’s kind of a laughing stock in that community now.

        @ Dannielle,
        I feel your pain so much. I know so many like you that went thru similar situations b/c of their religious (not amish, other religions)families. So much judgement and pain. I know a gay pastor who cant come out for the same reasons. Kudos to you for following your heart and your families for finally accepting it, unfortunately not many do even after traumatic life events.

      • Aud says:

        Holy crap Macey. Are you me? I live in Amishville Pa all my life and my uncle left the amish church and married my non amish aunt

    • Dannielle says:

      Or, alternately, they will eventually find out who they are and spend the next few years being worse for the wear as they try to reconcile the past and present.

      Example–I was raised in a very religious home, by parents who were very fearful that me and my brother would fall prey to the things of this world, or the people in it. I lived for many years in utter isolation from life. We lived in a small town of around 45 people, we had no zip code, we were so insignificant. And when I was in 3rd grade, my parents decided to homeschool my brother and I. For the first 2 years, while lonely, it was done in a somewhat organized fashion. But we were struggling lower middle class people, and my mom realized that to keep the house afloat, she too would have to get a job. At that point, it just became me and my brother home alone all day, everyday. No structure, no outside interaction, just us and the TV we would sneak in that we knew wouldn’t be allowed to watch if my parents knew. I never had relationships or friendships for that matter, and my brother and I were very angry and unhappy young people, frequently physically fighting with one another(hint–he would always win), and it was awful. At some point my brother declared he’d had enough and demanded to be sent to the local Christian school(population: 16), and that left me alone. The most frightening thing is that if I had been left to that life, I never would have done anything for myself. I was pushed into getting my driver’s license at 20. Once I got a job and my own car, I discovered LOTS of things about myself, the most interesting and distressing of them being that apparently, I was a lesbian. I didn’t fit into the stereotype that I’d been taught lesbians were, ie, women who pretty much want to be men. Short hair, flannel shirts, deep voices, etc. I was just a girl, finding myself attracted to other girls who also looked and sounded and acted like “girls”. I began having those feelings in college, attempted to ignore them, to no avail. Well, once freedom and this realization hit me, I began to self-destruct and find myself questioning why I was such a defective piece of garbage. What was wrong with me??? My life spiraled out of control.

      I met my girlfriend when she was 19 and I was 21. She was beautiful, and at that point I didn’t even care what anyone thought–I was in love, and that was that. My family, mother in particular, were not impressed. She informed me that she still loved me, but didn’t want to hear about my “gay problems”, ever. It was a horrible time of trying to be honest, while at the same time feeling shunned like a leper by the people who had made themselves the center of my very small world. It was heartbreaking.

      Cut to 10 or so years later, I’m 32, have just in the last year made complete and total peace with God. My girlfriend and I celebrated 10 years together May 12th. My family now loves and adores her. She is as much a part of my family as my brother’s wife is(maybe more so–they don’t care for her all that much, since she hasn’t always treated him well). But it took my mom getting cancer twice, losing relatives and a lot of very painful life changes for us to get to this point. Part of me wonders if any of this crap was necessary for us all to get to this place. Couldn’t this have been so much easier had we just had a more normal existence?? Of course, there’s worse things than having parents who actually love you, and want to keep you safe. But at what cost?

      TL; DR: I have sort of walked in these kids’ shoes. If any of them ever have something out of line with their beliefs they find themselves needing to accept, this will be a painful, long road for them. And I am actually one of the lucky ones, who had parents that truly were Christ-like in the end, and chose love over all of their indoctrination. I don’t know that the Duggar kids will be so lucky.

      • wonderwoman21 says:

        Very touching story Dannielle

      • littlestar says:

        Thank you for sharing your story.

      • buzz says:

        I hope this message reaches those it needs to reach.

      • chrissy says:

        Amen, and Blessings on you for the rest of your life. I am from the buckle of the Bible belt, and my parents were teachers, and not fundamentalists. My mother always said she never saw people who were more sex obsessed and who had dirtier minds than these ultra conservative types. The forbidden fruit theory. I think the teen pregnancy rate in the Bible belt bears this out.

      • Dannielle says:

        No problem, ladies. I hope it helps someone, too.

        @Macey: Hello, fellow Pennsylvanian! WOW. To be Gay and in ministry…what a nightmare. Since we’re told that we are not salvageable with such a “defect”, one can only imagine the suffocating pressure he must be feeling from all sides. How sad. =( And thank you for your empathy, we could all use more of it.

      • Macey says:

        @dannielle

        Thats so funny you’re from here b/c the 1st thing I thought when I read your post was how much your story sounded like so many I hear from other women raised in very religious families. A co-worker of mine was raised in a very strict Mennonite family and she had the same type of childhood that you described. I dont think people realize that sheltering your children from so much can harm them as much as being exposed to outside influences can.
        The pastor is a sad story, he battles depression over a lot of this too. Such a shame more religions dont practice acceptance of anything other than their own beliefs.
        Again, so glad you found peace in your life. Hope you and your SO have a lifetime of happiness :)

      • Stef Leppard says:

        Wow, Dannielle, I’m glad things seem to have worked out for you in the end. It sounds like you have overcome things most of us couldn’t even imagine. Good luck to you.

      • msw says:

        Thanks for sharimg your story. I’m glad things ended up happily for you.

      • Aud says:

        Hello Pennsylvanians! I’m truly glad to see you both finding the strength to make peace with your life and find happiness. Being from PA myself, I see all the time the emotional (and often physical) harm that comes from growing up in these ultra-religious homes. I didn’t come from a religious home, but I came from a home where I was a nobody and basically raised myself. It takes a long time to make peace when your world is turned upside down. But the folks who have traveled a long hard road and found their peace, are often the most loving and understanding. Which is where we need to be.

      • Dannielle says:

        My goodness, Aud, it IS a small world! Us Pennsyltuckians have to stick together. I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles. In some very minimal way I can relate to the invisible feeling when you’re abandoned by those who should love you. It’s an unfortunate pain that can be heart rending. My deepest sympathies go out to you for surviving, and congratulations for clearly becoming a much stronger woman than you were given credit for.

        For PA being a northern state, it blends in far better with the stereotypes of southern states, does it not?

        James Carville once said, “Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between.” Shocking how close to true that is. =/ But it’s nice meeting other PA peeps here. =)

      • Elizabeth says:

        Brave and beautiful story, Danielle…and thank you for sharing. I know this is an online celeb gossip site, but this goes to show real people with real stories read and comment. I’m happy that you were able to overcome such obstacles and be forgiving towards your family. I’m sure it has made your own life better and may serve as a light towards those who may be in a similar situation, but not yet at the point of acceptance & satisfaction that you have reached. Proud of you for staying your own course & wish you & your girl many blessings! xoxo

      • Aud says:

        @Danielle We are a VERY southern state for being so far north. And largely a closed minded, do as I say not as I do mentality. My southern daddy calls me a yank. He has nooooo idea how we are lol.

    • norma warner says:

      imagine if one of the girls wanted to go to art or design school in NYC? I don’t think it would be allowed.

  2. mzizkrizten says:

    If I could, I’d go back and do things like Jessa is. Oh all the heartbreaks and stds I’d avoid. The ‘freedom’ seems fun when its happening but the baggage years later… yeah I wish I could go back and do things differently.

    • dahlianoir says:

      Either be a sl*t or a saint ? Hum I think there’s a middle, even if I don’t think you can’t judge a woman by her sexuality.

    • ORLY says:

      Couldn’t there be a middle ground, between the STIs and (most of) the heart breaks and the Duggars?
      It doesn’t have to be either or.

    • Anna says:

      No one looks at the upside. No heartbreak, no cheating, no std’s or pregnancy scares. Some girls spend their teen years worried about boys and crap. I bet she didn’t.

      • Regina Lynx says:

        No heartbreak, no cheating, no std’s or pregnancy scares. Some girls spend their teen years worried about boys and crap. I bet she didn’t.

        I’m not convinced that completely submitting yourself to the will of others (in this case, parents) will protect you from any of that. You can be married to the man your father chose you (*cough*) and still end up going through all of what you just mentioned.

        In fact, having closely followed my own parents’ work as Christian couples’ marriage advisor, the level of Christianity is not directly proportional to the happiness/success of marriage. Quite often it can be the exact opposite – some of the worst husbands I’ve come across are, without exception, evangelical pastors. They live under the misconception that women are somehow to be their servants. They are not.

      • doofus says:

        “Some girls spend their teen years worried about boys and crap. I bet she didn’t.”

        no, all she did was raise her brothers and sisters while her mom kept popping them out.

      • Zimmer says:

        All these things can come after a marriage too. Just b/c they start out “pure”, does not mean it will always be like that.

      • Masque says:

        Um, I lived a life of freedom without the pregnancy scares and STDs. I didn’t have sex until I was 20 but that was due to my choice, not my parents.

        It’s quite possible to instill sexual common sense while still treating your kids as human beings and recognizing their individuality.

        The Duggars are control freaks, plain and simple.

      • Florc says:

        What’s nice about being able to pick a boyfriend or girlfriend through out high school and college is you get to see what qualities you like in a person. To be taught you can’t do this until your dad gives the OK is likely teaching her her body belongs first to her father and later to her husband. Not to her.
        And Jessa may not have felt heart break, but I bet she struggled with her lack of freedom.

        This family might be destroying their kids mental health. God help the one who questions their own sexuality and can’t come to terms with it.

      • littlestar says:

        @doofus – EXACTLY!!! THIS!!! She had to help raise her younger siblings while her mother was a selfish/stupid woman who kept having children. On top of the religious indoctrination and being homeschooled, she did not have a “regular” or “normal” childhood because of that.

      • emmie_a says:

        Doofus: Great point! I think these kids are brainwashed to a certain extent to believe that their family is or should be the norm, when in reality it’s not normal to give up your childhood to raise your siblings. And it’s not healthy to have your parents still calling the shots when you’re 20. It’s like the parents want it both ways: They want their kids to act as parents and raise the younger crop but they also don’t want the older crop to grow up and have adult experiences.

        And not even KISS until marriage?? please.

      • buzz says:

        What if her husband ups and leaves her some day? Will she be capable of functioning in the world independently?

      • Mary says:

        Uum, I don’t see how being forsed into a relationship (more or less) that is then micromanaged by your parents would protect you from heartbreak and cheating- and std’s and pregnancy can be avoided quite easily. It’s called being responsible and mature, AKA using a condom.

      • Emily C. says:

        No heartbreak, no cheating? Yeah. Right. It’s not heartbreaking to be completely controlled by your parents. And we all know religious, controlling men never ever cheat, and it’s not like there’s potential for abuse when you’re told that your lot in life is to be controlled by men, and it’s not like being told your job is to be an incubator could possibly be heartbreaking. Because the worst thing that could possibly happen to a girl is to have her high school boyfriend cheat on her.

      • Josephine says:

        But life without freedom is a high price to pay. She’ll never know her potential, she’ll receive a very limited education at best, and it even sounds like she cannot control who she marries. She’s been told to obey her husband — what if he turns out to be a horrible person? What if he is abusive?

        And for the record, I want through high school without any of those worries about boys or pregnancy. I was an athlete and a solid student and had parents who encouraged me to explore lots of interests and feel good about myself. That allowed me to marry a great man later in life, a man with whom I am equal.

      • ol cranky says:

        no heartbreak, no cheating??! Are you sure of that? In many of these uber-religious super chaste relationships, it turns out the girl may be a virgin who doesn’t get pregnant but don’t be so sure the boy doesn’t cheat on her or break her heart. . . she may not deal with that crap until after she’s married (a time during which her head is in the sand until she gets an sti) but it does happen.

      • Ryan says:

        Heartbreak is necessary every once in a while, whether it be from a significant other or some other event. It’s a good reminder that we’re only human.

      • Jezzer says:

        Yeah, you avoid multiple heartbreaks by becoming a brood mare for a Quiverfull Cult for the rest of your life, until your uterus finally has enough and makes a mad sprint for the floor. That’s quite the upside.

      • Postcard of Dorian Grey says:

        I know someone raised in a religious home that was extremely strict and isolating. She was obsessed with boys and had plenty of heartbreak and rejection (within that community). Then she met and married a man within the faith, but from a different church. He takes her conjugal duties VERY seriously and she is required by God to relieve his needs whenever he asks, which is generally every day. She’s suicidal and on 3 different medications. One for depression and two for anxiety. She is QUITE heartbroken, despite following all the rules of celibacy. She was taught sex was dirty and awful and learned that lesson well. Now she has someone do something she perceives as dirty and awful to her every day.

    • Maria says:

      if it is your choice to stay celibate then its fun and you will enjoy it but i dont think if your parents force it on you that you will enjoy it.

    • teehee says:

      I am always ok with whatever a girl/woman chooses, so long she chooses for HERSELF.
      Unfortunately, I tend to believe most girls today (and they are getting younger and younger) are only embarking on sexual exploration out of fear, inecurity, competition, desire to be ‘like others’, and a whole host of others reasons that are the WRONG reasons, and, which just reenstates that though we are “liberated”, most women allow their sexuality to be dictated by MENS desires and attitudes, and not our OWN.

      • Justme says:

        +1 This – exactly. I’m not a Duggar fan at all, but the opposite is also true. The young girls getting involved with sex very early are frequently not doing it because they want to but because it is now expected of them. If all this made people happy, you’d think we’d have had an explosion of joy and happiness among young men and women over the last 50 years. Instead they often seem miserable. They are not making their own choices even though they think they are.

      • littlestar says:

        teehee – So totally agree with you! You are SPOT ON in what you are saying!

      • MaiGirl says:

        Preach! I work on a college campus, and the reasons girls give for being sexual are anything but “liberated.” While some are totally in control and having a good time with their sexuality (thank goodness!), most are acting out some idea of what a “sexy” college girl is supposed to act like, not what they really want. And thanks to the pr0nification of sexuality, the male-focused, risky things they are willing to do is a bit scary, and I am the exact opposite of prudish!

    • Erinn says:

      I started dating my now fiance when we were 14. There were no stds no cheating no pregnancy scares. But we were never forced to share every bit of our relationship with our families. We were never forced to avoid all contact except ‘sidehugs’. We led a normal life with room to make our own decisions – something these kids don’t get to do

    • TherapyCranes says:

      WTF? Why is heartbreak a bad thing? Don’t you learn most about yourself when life falters? Isn’t it a good thing to go through ups and downs at a young age? It builds character.

      I also don’t understand why being sexually active equates to pregnancy scares and stds. You can be sexually active and safe if you are educated beyond abstinence. I am a firm believer in knowing your sexual wants and needs before making a life long commitment with another human being.

      I find this article extremely sad. She is a 20 year old woman and should be exploring herself and life rather than still living under the thumb of her parents. What if she wants to do more than side hug? Does she get expelled from the family?

    • itstrue says:

      I was a serious idiot before someone broke my heart. Like serious.

    • bk says:

      This comment has to be a joke. Most of us can keep it together enough not to be ridled with STDs and weighed down permanently with a heavy, cynical broken-up heart. Experience is a great way to learn and grow, and reflecting on experience is an important tool in generating empathy. These Peter-Pan people just don’t get it. Heartbreak, among other things, is part of growing up.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      I’ll bet you’re an interesting person because of your experiences – look at Michelle – she is gonezo by giving her soul to her husband – no STDs but no life. I wonder if she looks back and wish she’d known other’s in the sack besides than Jim-potatobob – he seems in the closet to me.

    • Nerd Alert says:

      I don’t understand why it has to be a choice between STIs and being a robot for Jesus?

      I got no beef with Jesus or Christianity, but missing out on heartbreak and experiencing life doesn’t mean your life would have been better. Surely some part of you knows that.

    • Decloo says:

      Heartbreaks, STDs, pregnancy scares, boyfriend woes during the teenage years are what prepares you for adulthood. These are transition years. These are the years you learn what is important and what is not. What you like and what you don’t. If you take away a teenager’s freedom to make choices and make mistakes, you do a great disservice to that person when he or she becomes an adult.

      • bettyrose says:

        This. Even in much less extreme examples I know a few people who came from very sheltered, pampered homes and as adults really struggle with making life choices for themselves.

      • Hakura says:

        I agree with pretty much everyone who’s commented above. Making your own choices & mistakes when you’re growin up are what make you a stronger person as an adult, able to take on the truly negative challenges of life, & come out the other side.

        & exploring your sexuality, even as a teenager, & “pregnancy scars & STI/Ds”… Are not mutually exclusive. It *can* (& unfortunately does) happen, but isn’t the case for everyone. But I am truly sorry that you had such experiences awful enough in that regard, that you’d rather be in this poor young woman’s position.

      • Hakura says:

        I agree with pretty much everyone who’s commented above. Making your own choices & mistakes when you’re growing up are what make you a stronger person as an adult, able to take on the truly negative challenges of life, & come out the other side.

        To the commenter who wished she’d lived as Jessa does to avoid heartache (Sorry! Forgot the name, & scrolling on my phone is a huge pain in the ass) – Exploring your sexuality, even as a teenager, & “pregnancy scares & STI/Ds”… Are not mutually exclusive. It *can* (& unfortunately does) happen, but isn’t the rule/case for everyone. But I am truly sorry that you had such experiences awful enough in that regard, that you’d rather be in this poor young woman’s position.

    • daisyfly says:

      If you could go back in time, you’d want to be indoctrinated into a religion that determines your value to society by how many babies you can birth out in a given year?

      Really?

  3. dahlianoir says:

    So basically they’re never alone and text eachother Bible verses ? Yeaaaah sure let’s get them married, who cares about their happiness.
    Seriously, do not tell me they don’t have sexual feelings for each other.

    • LadyRay says:

      LOL@ text each other bible verses. I think it’s a little extreme about the side hugs..like come on!

      • whipmyhair says:

        I have Christian friends who are very careful about physical contact while dating. I know couples who had their first kiss when they got engaged. And I have friends who have had physical relationships with their partners and kept it pg, or not.

        The important thing is choice. If you choose to have your first kiss at the altar fine (although I think it’s weird to have your first kiss in front of all your family and friends).

        But for me the most important thing is to love and accept no matter their life choices. I have had friends who slipped up and fell pregnant before marriage. And when they told people it was really hard for them. Luckily our church had the opinion of “you make a mistake, that’s between you and God; also we love babies!”

        So long story short, people should be able to choose what they do in a relationship, and not be told what to do by their parents. And if my dad had told me who I could and couldn’t date? I would have made some bad life choices just to show him!

    • Ruddy says:

      Exploring those sexual feelings now wont necessarily make for a better relationship though. Their appears to be an assumption that if the were allowed to make out their relationship would benefit.

      Perhaps where a couple views that activity as a mark of devotion (most of us in the West), then yes, it would grow the bond. But with a couple that believes that devotion is proven by waiting for marriage (most of planet earth) then waiting will be healthier for the long term relationship and for their own individual emotional health.

      • Zimmer says:

        I don’t know that “most of planet earth” believes that.

      • Tessa says:

        Outside of the western world, marriages are still typically arranged by the family, and intimacy doesn’t occur until after the wedding. I’d guess it’s a large chunk of the population of the planet… The Muslim world, India, China, etc…

      • Rosie says:

        The expectation of pre-marital sex is very Western as she says. The rest of us, S America, Asia, Africa, some Eastern Europe have more conservative ideals. Ofcourse some couples do stuff. And in urban areas the values are changing fast/have changed. BUT the general expectation is that you are a virgin on your wedding night.

      • Spooks says:

        Eastern Europe? Seriously? If you find a family as extreme as the Duggars anywhere in Eastern Europe, I’ll buy you a drink. No one is expected to be a virgin when entering marriage, it’s a choice. And the last arranged marriage happened in the 1800s.

        Which religion are they? I’m from Southeastern Europe and we’re Catholic. I have never ever met anyone as extreme. I don’t even know a lot of people who didn’t have sex before marriage, even the hardcore religious ones. I mean, a lot people wait quite long to have sex, but mostly they wait to fall in love, etc, not marriage.
        Also, never met anyone who doesn’t believe in the evolution, and only the priest quotes the Bible.

      • Ennie says:

        I am Catholic from a Catholic country and believe me that I had never ever heard that music was “bad” and forbidden or dancing was not OK until I visited my converted half brother in the US, he was biblical or something, I do not remember the denomination.
        They dressed normally, but had weird ideas IMO.
        Sme of these thoughts and principles relate too much to other religions that are sexist (again, IMO), under the excuse that God made the man the ward of women. I am sorry if I am too ignorant, but some aspects of Islam, like these extreme Christians, are demeaning to women, I just cannot understand it.
        And I am saying this as a daughter of two parents who had very old school ideas, heyI was a virgin until I was almost 30, but sure I had a lot of great fun dancing at clubs, touring, they really trusted me, and I had great friends, male and women which I hanged with, etc.
        I suppose that when one does not know what it is to have freedom, then one does not miss it too much.
        I could have done more if I had wanted to, I just was not sex-crazed, and I was very selective due to my upbringing.
        I could have started a bit earlier, tho ;)

      • Decloo says:

        Fortunately, most of planet earth does not believe that.

      • Shannon725 says:

        @Spooks: I had to comment on your never having met a Creationist just in case you ever do…

        I have known 2, and….wow is all I can say. The guy I knew actually argued dinosaurs and ancient texts with similar creation myths were God’s way of testing faith. He also believed being gay was wrong, and when I provided the rather lengthy evidence of what else was “wrong” according to the bible he continued to argue that back then times were different, but being gay was going against procreation, which was the ultimate gift God gave us. My other run in with a Creationist was a girl I worked with who actually said (it was so shocking I still remember it verbatim) “You honestly think we came from monkeys? That’s way crazier than Adam and Eve!” We won’t go into her response to my pointing out that taking geography into account Jesus did not likely have blonde hair and blue eyes.

        A very dear friend of mine is incredibly religious, but has changed a lot since she went to college. When discussing creationism, she made a great point: Faith that deep for that long doesn’t allow for critical thinking. There is no point in arguing or debating those beliefs since accepting any of it would call into question everything that person knows. The people I’ve met were essentially quite nice, but impossible for me to connect with. It was really hard to hear of my coworker and her husband having all out brawls in front of their children, but didn’t believe in divorce, or voting for someone just because they were “Christian”.

        So, if you meet a Creationist, just smile and save yourself an excruciating headache.

      • Spooks says:

        Thank you for the advice :)

        I think it’s pretty hard for those people. As I said, I am Catholic. Considering we are not sola scriptura, the Church aknowledges the evolution and scientific research, so I never had to go against my beliefs.
        Our local priest was actually a very modern man, he always said that progress is very important.
        The only thing I can think of that I have problems with in my religion is the view of homosexuality, but I find it to be more “mellow” in Catholicism than in some fundamentalist churches. We were taught that homosexuals are normal, born that way and should be loved and accepted, but should not have intercourse with the same sex. I am a supporter of gay rights so I hope the Church will change its view on that.

      • Ange says:

        Exploring sexuality is definitely healthier! What if they get married and find out they’re completely sexually incompatible? Besides that I can’t imagine reconciling years of being told sex is bad and dirty then somehow having to switch it up nympho style on my wedding night, how confusing and traumatic.

    • Annie says:

      America gives too much importance to sex. Honestly, I don’t see a problem with kids slowing down a bit, especially when you have so much to risk at 20. Let people take things slow. There’s more to a relationship than just sex. You don’t have to run and have sex just because people expect you to or because your body feels like it. The timing has to be right and you have to be ready for it.

      They have all their lives to have sex. And being a Duggar, she will f#ck enough to have her own soccer team.

      • whipmyhair says:

        Also some people say you should “try before you buy” so you know you are sexually compatible; but if you both wait until marriage then you can discover your sexual preferences together. And probably be super awkward and uncoordinated.

        Saying this, I think the Duggar family doesn’t understand the Bible and consequently do things that are kinda messed up.

      • Spooks says:

        The problem isn’t that they’re waiting, the problem is that is isn’t their choice.

      • Ana says:

        Spooks

        Depends on where in Europe. Parts straddling Asia for example are quite conservative. Parts of the old Soviet block too. I have cousins in Romania and although having sex isnt the worst offence, I know they are generally encouraged to wait for the ring. My mum used to tell me similar stuff when I was younger but she stopped for some reason.

      • Spooks says:

        Really? Well, they are probably isolated cases. I have a lot of friends from ex-Soviet countries and they are very open-minded, and they say that people around them are open-minded too.

        Can I ask, out of curiosity, are there other countries that take Christianity as serious as religious Americans do? Protestants mostly, because Catholicism leaves quite a lot of maneuvering space.

      • Emily C. says:

        That there is more to a relationship than sex doesn’t mean that sex is unimportant in a relationship. I can’t imagine what hell being married to someone you’re not sexually compatible with must be.

        I don’t care what people CHOOSE to do, so long as they have the education to make that choice. If someone asks my advice, it will be: at least give each other orgasms before marriage. I have seen so many women trapped in marriages with men who are sexually selfish, and they didn’t know this would happen because they waited for marriage. But this isn’t a young woman making an educated choice given all the options in front of her. This is a young woman trapped by a misogynist cult.

      • Ana says:

        You are assuming that all conservative cultures are religious, Spooks? How do you explain China, forget E Europe?

      • Spooks says:

        @Ana, what? Where did I say that?

      • Zimmer says:

        @Tessa and Rosie. I’d say often outside the west, the importance of saving intimacy for marriage lies solely with the woman. That is not the same. If Jim Bob chose this man, he is probably also a virgin.

      • Ennie says:

        He is most probably a virgin, but surely he has / will have more perks than his wife, same as Jessa’s brothers probably have had more freedom than their sisters.
        A boy I met in College was fixated and decided in staying a virgin until his marriage, but of course he wanted the same from his hypothetical bride.
        A few of us girls were discussing this with him and what would he do if he found the perfect woman and she was not a virgin… He decidedly said that she had to be, because he was offering something (his virginity) and he wanted the same from her regardless. He is not catholic,as few young catholics are this way were I live unless they are very very very traditional.
        I thought he would have a hard time finding a perfect person, as far as I know, he is in his 30s and still single.

  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Of course she’ll marry him. What other options does she have to get out of that prison? I’m all for girls being taught to respect themselves and their bodies, but a 20 year old woman who has never been kissed? Who has never been out in the world or allowed to find out who she is? This whole thing makes me sad and sick.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      Agree! They can’t possibly find out if they are even compatible if they are always with others. Plus the parents obviously weren’t into “side hugging” while they were making more white babies for Quiverfull. This is all kinds of f*cked up.

      • YoungHeartOldSoulNewView says:

        My question is, do these same “courting” rules apply to the Duggar boys?

        Also, Jessa is really pretty! Never noticed. I remember all the girls used to have this horrible long, stringy, bangs-fug outdated hairstyle going on, but it seems they’ve grown out of it.

      • bijlee says:

        I think so. The eldest had to be chaperoned for his dates when he was getting married.

      • Ennie says:

        You mean that his girlfriend had to be chaperones, not him. I bet the boysgo out to do chores by themselvs, unlike the girls that have to go accompanied. Macho mentality. Even if they are the same religion, I betbthe boys have more freedom.
        They have a saying in my country, more or less:
        Mothers beware, watch out for your chicks because my young rooster is out there.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        @ YoungHeartOldSoulNewView:
        I don’t know about courting rules for the boys, but they are not allowed to go out in public without an older sister. It is the girls responsibility to make sure that the boys don’t accidentally look at a “less modestly dressed” woman.

    • mzizkrizten says:

      How do you conclude she isn’t allowed to find out who she is? Perhaps she at 20 knows who she is quite well because the world hasn’t been able to influence her? Also, humans are much deeper than their sexuality. Just because she isn’t sexual yet doesn’t mean she has no identity. Sex and boys often consumes young women and clouds their real selves because they perceive their identity through their vagina and who wants it or doesn’t want it.

      • Kword210 says:

        So let me get this straight. She can find out whom she is in an overbearing home where they teach their kids that the earth is 6000 years old. Poor girl doesn’t have a chance because she isn’t given facts

      • Regina Lynx says:

        How do you conclude she isn’t allowed to find out who she is?

        How do you conclude that she is? Especially when all the details – not choosing your possible future spouse, not deciding what you want/don’t want to do, physically or otherwise – point to the polar opposite?

        Perhaps she at 20 knows who she is quite well because the world hasn’t been able to influence her?

        I’ve yet to meet the person who, whether having spent their life living in a fundamental Christian bubble or not, is mature, collected and independent at 20. Besides, is ‘worldly influence’ a bad thing? Were Christians/people put on this Earth to avoid it? Because if so, then again dang! It was the Stylites who got it right all along.

        Also, humans are much deeper than their sexuality. Just because she isn’t sexual yet doesn’t mean she has no identity.

        Agreed.

        Sex and boys often consumes young women and clouds their real selves because they perceive their identity through their vagina and who wants it or doesn’t want it.

        Well, then it’s the parents’ job to explain that a woman’s worth is not reduced to the state of “usedness” (ugh) of her vagina, and that if she chooses to explore her sexuality, it must always happen with her in control. In some Christian circles, especially in evangelical ones, they are teaching the exact opposite, that if a girl is not a virgin, she’s not worthy of a good husband or a happy marriage.

      • bk says:

        UM RLY? Because living your life on a reality show is living outside of “the world?”

    • whipmyhair says:

      I was thinking she was way too young to be married but then I also think she had been trained for this her entire life.

      And it’s one thing for your parents to approve/disapprove of your boyfriend but to choose him for you? Sounds an awful lot like an arranged marriage to me.

    • Isabelle says:

      Bet the guy she’s dating/may marry is as conservative as her family. Its called the quiverfull movement and they tend to date withing the circle. She’s probably just switching prisons.

    • Decloo says:

      Sadly, she will just go from one prison to another. From under her parents’ thumbs to under her husband’s. Another baby-making machine.

  5. DD says:

    The Duggar’s are basically good people, but, ignorant. The way they religiously brainwash their children is emotional abuse, to me. There. I said it. Children should be allowed to have an open mind, even if you have beliefs. The Duggar girls are particularly vulnerable because of the stifling limits that are put on them. This is not a family, it’s a cult.

    • LadyMTL says:

      ITA. I don’t think that the Duggar parents are malicious in any way but they’re old fashioned to the point of it being scary. It’s one thing to encourage children to be good people but it’s another thing entirely to foist beliefs upon them.

    • Emily C. says:

      I think they’re basically terrible people. Willful ignorance; complete control of their children; teaching girls that they exist only to be wombs, and if that kills them so be it. Their actions are completely vile, and their actions naturally flow from beliefs that are also completely vile. What else do we have to judge people on, besides their beliefs and actions? They are the worst.

      • Dannielle says:

        BAM! Emily C. ITA.

        These people scare me. And I feel that the awful oppression they’re foisting on these poor girls is a form of torture. It’s disgusting.

      • mayamae says:

        I’m in agreement. They belong to a cult run by a man – Gothard – who although an unmarried man without children, dictates how you must handle your marriage and children.

        The Duggars advocate blanket training a baby. This is when a baby learns not to crawl off it’s blanket for fear of being hit by or terrorized by a wooden spoon. Their children are homeschooled and then take the GED and quit learning at the age of 16. Their three youngest children have shown signs of speech impediments for years, without receiving speech therapy. They only pay for a doctor to stitch their child’s facial cuts if it’s a girl – since her beauty is all important.

        Women can’t work. In fact, they are taught that hobbies are destructive to the family, because it distracts from husband and kids. You can do things such as scrap booking or photography if it’s devoted to the family.

        Most people know that Michelle Duggar keeps her babies for 6 months, at which time she weans them and hands them over to one of the 5 oldest girls. From that point on, that child’s “buddy” feeds, bathes, changes, gets up with in the middle of the night, and actually sleeps with them. Unless it’s changed this season, the three youngest girls don’t even have beds – they used Pack N Plays.

        By the age of 9, the four oldest girls cooked all the meals, cleaned the house, and did all the laundry. Now Jim Bob’s poor pitiful mom does the laundry by herself. Something like 7 loads a day. They even put her in a special room down by the laundry. What were the boys doing while the J’Slaves ran the house? One of the oldest boys fed the dog, and the other one took out the garbage.

        A man cannot work for someone who does not share his values. Therefore, they have owned used car lots, gas stations, tow trucks, and whatever else they can self-employ with 16 questionable years of SOTDRT (School of the Dining Room Table).

        Having said all of that, Jessa has it far easier than her sisters. She’s thought of as the beauty of the family – and well she knows it. Jessa’s last “buddy” was poor Jordyn, who has been filmed since the age of 11 months (when the next one was born) forgotten and alone and even sometimes outside alone, if not clipped onto the dining room table in an old acient high chair and forgotten, while she cries for who knows how long until someone comes along and rescues her. For the longest time her older brother Justin, who was around 8 years old, looked out for her. It’s just unsafe.

        Sorry for the rant, but these people aren’t harmless. They are very dangerous. And now the oldest son has a job with the hate-monger Tony Perkins who runs the Family Research Council.

      • Dannielle says:

        @mayamae: How informative. I had no idea. I actually cannot watch the show; the parents make me sick. The very thought of it literally offends me. So this post was like a crash course through their insanity. Well done, and thanks for sharing.

  6. Anna says:

    This freedom thing is such a load of crap. Just because someone isn’t living their life your way doesn’t make it sad or weird. Yes, she’s 20, so don’t you think she has thought about all of this already? While they might appear to be religious robots I’m sure they’ve thought about their beliefs long and hard. There’s a point where you start to question things and Jessa has past that point. She must be happy living this way.

    • Erinn says:

      But its the guilt factor. Even if they’ve looked long and hard at their beliefs and didn’t agree with anything the bond they have with their family and the fact that their family seems to function on these values alone would have any of their children feeling like terrible people letting their families down if they did things differently. Whether intentional or not these kids have been set up to be just like their parents. I don’t think the parents are doing it to intentionally harm their development but these kids have no outlet to do anything differently. They live a very sheltered very supervised life with no chance to rebel if they wanted to.

      • whipmyhair says:

        ITA. What would happen to one of the kids if they decided that marriage wasn’t for them? Or one of the girls wanted a career (the horror!)

        I get the feeling that things would be awkward at best and estranged at the worst. Fundamentalism and extreme anything almost always is bad. Animal rights groups bombing labs because they test on animals. Two wrongs don’t make a right

      • Dannielle says:

        EXACTLY–Erinn gets it. As kids, we feel a sense of obligation and duty to our parents for a long time, if no other reason than we rely on them to meet all of our needs. So no, this is not an equal playing ground, AT ALL. These kids wants to please their parents because that’s the natural instinct of children. Especially sheltered ones. It takes a long time, if EVER, to break out of that thinking.

        Add to that fact the following: These people are on TV. If any one of these kids find a backbone and decide that they want–nay, NEED–to think for themselves, they will be shut out of the family, and then the subject of future episodes as their eternal soul is being “prayed for”. So, quite clearly, this isn’t a situation one can just flee if unhappy.

    • Regina Lynx says:

      I’m sure they’ve thought about their beliefs long and hard.

      How do you know? How can you be sure?

      There’s a point where you start to question things and Jessa has past that point.

      Again, how do you know? One of the most wonderful Christian scholars I know has been a believer 50+ years – and still questions everything regularly (this was his own admission).

      A claim like yours comes across a bit arrogant.

      She must be happy living this way.

      I was going to ask the same question the third time, but I guess you get my point.

    • Masque says:

      Jessa can’t even have private texts with Ben. Yet you expect us to believe she has the freedom that the average person has?

      If the Duggars had so much faith in their kids they would broaden their education and give them more opportunities to really develop their individual personalities.

      Jim Bob and Michelle are control freaks.

    • Nerd Alert says:

      That’s the catch-22, though–they’re not allowed to doubt. Once you have doubted, you’ve already sinned. How can people not see that this is blatant indoctrination, on the verge of brainwashing? She doesn’t have choices, she doesn’t get to live any other way, unless she wants to be disowned.

      No, Anna, she has not thought about it because her parents have made it perfectly clear to not only her, but the rest of their daughters and anyone who will listen, that she is not allowed to think about anything independently. They think that once you think critically, you go to hell. That’s a scary thought for someone who really believes it, and has been told all her life by the people she trusts most that it is true. You know, an eternity of damnation and all.

    • littlestar says:

      Even if she has thought about these things long and hard, where is she going to go if she disagrees with her parents? What is she going to do? What sort of skills does she have? Does she even have an education beyond being homeschooled? Has she ever had an actual job that wasn’t staying at home and caring for her younger siblings? Does she have any savings of her own, so that if she did want to leave, she’d be able to financially support herself?

      Even if there’s a small chance that she doesn’t agree with the life she’s told to lead, I don’t see how she can just up and leave.

  7. LadyJane says:

    “She’s always been the organizer in our family unit and right now she is a little distracted..”

    Looks like Michelle is missing the person who does a lot of her parenting for her. I am for religous freedom, but these children were never given a choice but to conform to their parent’s very limited view of the world. And if your father picks (or at least vets) who will be your husband, does he then have to attend marriage counseling with you if things go south? Seriously. She is 20 years old. And if they feel they have parented her well, then they should give her the confidence to pick her own partner. Apparently mistakes (including dating mistakes) are not allowed in the Duggar household. Gross.

  8. Aussie girl says:

    The mother is more concerned about the loss of her daughter (worker), with her been the organised one

  9. A says:

    I dunno, my knee jerk reaction is to be against the Duggars’ lifestyle, but I’m not sure that they’re forcing their kids to do anything. They have a cousin on the show who isn’t into this lifestyle, and they seem to accept her fine. And if you’re not forcing your kids to do anything, even if I don’t agree with your beliefs I guess I can’t complain about you teaching them to other people…. As long as its not violent or anything.

    • talullah rex says:

      They are monitoring the telephone of a 20 year old, they are choosing her future husband for her, sorry, it sounds pretty close to kidnapp to me. And even avoiding the dramatism, if you don’t allow an adult to take responsability of their actions you are effectively preventing them from developing their abilities. All in all, the Duggars way oft life might be fein in Europe some 400 years ago when not even men had a lot oft freedom to choose their destinies, but nowadays… I find their approach pretty perverse, sorry.

    • Josephine says:

      They do seem innocuous on the surface, but the whole “submit to your man” thing is really quite dangerous for the women involved. They are raising woman to think of themselves as lesser human beings, and that’s not only terribly sad and wasteful, it’s potentially dangerous.

  10. KinChicago says:

    I am not a fan but have trouble shading this family when looking at alternatives like the Kardashians releasing sex tapes and being on the news for DUIs and cheap publicity.

    • Sue says:

      +1 Also comes to mind MTV show about pregnant teen mothers……

    • Emily C. says:

      Compared to sex tapes and teen pregnancy, the Duggars are far worse. They teach women that they exist to incubate fetuses. A woman is owned by her father until her father chooses a man to give her to, then she is owned by her husband.

      There’s nothing wrong with making a sex tape. (How the Kardashians used it is up for debate.) There is nothing wrong with accidentally getting pregnant as a teenager — it happens. And it happens more often when kids, particularly girls, are not educated about sex.

      But the crux is the question of whether a woman is a human being, or whether she is entirely defined by her sex organs. The Quiverfull movement says that a woman is not a human being; that all she is, is a womb. That girl is being consigned to a life of ignorance and being her husband’s sex toy/incubator/nanny, at least until she dies an early death from having so many babies. But hey, at least she didn’t get teen pregnant or make a sex tape? Um… what?

  11. Maritza says:

    They are taught to marry and breed like rabbits. I hope at least one of the girls has the sense to break free from all of that slavery.

  12. sarah says:

    I’m not going to comment on how they live. Who am I to judge a lifestyle just because I don’t understand it? However, I did want to say that she is a very pretty girl. I had no idea.

  13. Maria says:

    she is georgeous!

    if find it rather sad that we came from this duggar extreme to the hedonism extreme. i hope later generations will find a nice balance because right now we are all finding out that sleeping around is only fun.

  14. Jackie says:

    The entire family seems to be good people, but are they good because they are inherently good or good because their beliefs tell them to be? I hesitate to be too critical of them because they are decent, but indoctrination is never good. Taking the words in a Bible over scientific fact is never good. Encouraging and remaining in a state of ignorance is never good. I hope at least one of them can break free and be able to think about their beliefs critically. If that journey leads them back to the religion they were brought up in, fine. But I think a completely honest approach will not.

  15. Allie says:

    It’s scary when your only interest is religion.

  16. Macey says:

    Articles like this remind me of the catholic school girls that claimed to be saving themselves for marriage and that premarital sex is a sin in public blah blahs.. but then you find out they were secretly sexual active only they would claim to “only put the tip in” or they would only perform oral so they weren’t technically “doing it” and therefor not committing “sin”.
    Im sure these two have done a lot more than side hugs. Religious zealots always seem to be able to find a way to excuse their behavior by slightly twisting things so their actions are justified.

    • Regina Lynx says:

      Religious zealots always seem to be able to find a way to excuse their behavior by slightly twisting things so their actions are justified.

      THIS. SO MUCH. Seems to happen especially among fundamental Catholics.

      I’d rather be an honest sinner than a dishonest saint. That reminds me, where did I put my movie with nekkid Viggo Mortensen? I love me some hot nekkid Danish ass.

  17. Tig says:

    Is this young woman meant to have a life/employment outside of Duggar-vile? Surprised no one has yet suggested “side-hug” BF isn’t in it for TV. Who knows- maybe he wants to be on a “side-hug” Bachelor series?

  18. Anname says:

    I would take 1000 Duggars over the Kardashians, but it does bother me that these kids are SO SO sheltered, and don’t have access to the greater world around them. Every parent “indoctrinates” their kids to some extent, but I think it is also a parent’s responsibility to encourage kids to explore the greater world around them. Teach them right from wrong and then let them go and trust they will make the right decisions. Jim Bob doesn’t trust his kids to make the right decisions if he is choosing husbands for his 20 yr old daughters.

  19. mommak918 says:

    I’d much rather have a daughter or son like the Duggars than a Lohan, Cyrus or Kardashian. Call me what you may….but our society has only cheapen intimacy and sex.

    I may be the minority but but I’m perfectly fine with that.

  20. Joy says:

    While this lifestyle isn’t for me, I’m not going to talk sh*t about it because if we can’t “slut shame” on here then we don’t need to non slut shame either. People on here are QUICK to bring the claws out if somebody says wow put some clothes on so let’s all just live and let live even if its creepy to us.

    • Emily C. says:

      It’s not about the fact that she’s not going to have sex before marriage. It’s about the fact that she does not have the CHOICE. It is her body and it should be her choice what to do with it. It isn’t; it’s her father’s, and will be her husband’s. That is what this misogynistic cult is about.

  21. Kate says:

    The scary thing with the Duggars is that the kids really don’t have a chance to explore how they feel about religion, their parents choices and so on, because they’re too busy raising their siblings. And they’re not just looking after one kid, the older girls have pretty much raised ten kids. Anyone with a few rugrats will know wrangling young children isn’t exactly conductive to deep thinking, it’s all about just making it through the day. And that’s been these kids whole lives, they never had a childfree time to figure out who they were and what they wanted.

    It’s hard enough for kids brought up in more ‘normal’ fundie Christian families to break free, but with all these kids have been saddled with they really never had a chance. It will be interesting to see if the younger kids rebel a little, since they won’t have younger siblings to care for, though I guess they might be put in charge of their nieces and nephews.

  22. Dawn says:

    So I think there is a happy middle in there somewhere. I’ve always felt bad for the older Duggar girls because they are doing all the housework and raising all their younger siblings. I think when you are NOT allowed to know your peers in a school setting of some sort you are being robbed of knowledge you need to survive in the world outside of your home. With that said however they seem to be a happy group so maybe this works for them.

  23. Margaret says:

    I find all of this talk against religion very odd!!! This is the same site that says there is nothing wrong with celebrity couples having an “Open Marriage” as long as both parties are agreeing. Who have no issue with people breaking up marriages and such, but when someone embraces their religion it is an issue . Respect people’s beliefs. You may think the bible is nutty and people should allow their children to explore their own beliefs, And I could just as easily (as a Christian) say the idea that you believe the world is 4.8 billion years old and that we are all just here in space for no other reason than the earth had nothing better to do on a saturday then explode is nutty! There is no concrete proof that the world is that old nor that we evolved from any species! They are theories. And are always being questioned by other scientist! And I am a Christian who was raised in the public school all my life and learned about all religions and spent a whole lot of time in science classes! Evolution is a THEORY, a BY CHANCE thing! Our beliefs are no more strange than yours. I will for sure take the word of what many people said happen 3,000 years ago( Jesus), then I would the word of what current folks say happened 4.8 billion years ago.
    With all that being said, Yes their life style is not my idea! But the girl is 20 yrs old .. If she wanted to bounce she could and would! I knew kids who were raised strict and they left and NEVER came back! They are Christian they are against pre martial sex. It is a sin and against the will of God. That is their (and my) belief so it is not strange that they have this practice. My grandma was a virgin until she was married and stayed married 50 years before my grandfather passed. She always speaks well of her sexual experience (yuck LOL) and marriage! This site has a bad habit of knocking religion. I do not appreciate it! Have an opinion .. But don’t dare say that teaching your child a faith that has sustained you is “harmful” or “child abuse”! That is just NUTS

    • Anname says:

      I think the fear for Jessa is that she has never had the opportunity to see what else the world has to offer. She is so insulated, and may not even know she has choices.

      Passing on your faith to your children is a wonderful and natural thing, I agree. But at some point you have to let your children go and figure out who they want to be independent from you.

      This vetting that Jim Bob is doing is distasteful to me because it is implying that Jessa is incapable of figuring it out for herself.

      • Margaret says:

        That I agree with !!! I was blessed. My mother is a lot older than me and my twin brother and she was way more strict than most of my friends parents. But because she worked in the music business she was a lot more tolerant! We were raised in the church and loved it. Public school gave us both sides. And after learning about Allah… Buddah… and Darwin just to name a few Jesus was what worked best for my twin and I !!! I could not imagine living the way they live !! But the comments about their Christian faith (as extreme as it is) are very unkind and intolerant

      • Margaret says:

        You know Jim Bob reminds me of Jessica Simpson Dad when they were on their MTV reality show!! He was like a second husband to her!!! It was kind of creepy

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        “it is implying that Jessa is incapable of figuring it out for herself.” – Anname

        Bingo!

      • Mrs. Odie 2 says:

        It is distasteful to me as well. She is her father’s property and he gets to decide who to “give” her to. Also, he and her mom have an unnatural fixation on their daughter’s sexuality and sexual expression. She’s twenty. It’s time for them to let her go and trust that she’s absorbed the lessons they taught her and modeled for her since childhood.

    • Jackie says:

      Please educate yourself about what evolution is before you go off spouting things that indicate very clearly that you have NO IDEA what you are talking about.

    • Nerd Alert says:

      Most of these commenters have remained respectful of the Duggars, without having to respect their beliefs. If I told you I believed in a pink unicorn that granted me a wish every day, would you respect that? No, probably not.

      To respect the believer you don’t have to respect the beliefs.

      • Margaret says:

        You comparing the Bible and Christianity a Book and and a Faith that is believed by over billions of people in the world to a damn unicorn is EXACTLY my point !!! RESPECT !!!! Goodness!!! Those same scientist have proven things in the Bible and found physical evidence I have seen documentaries!!!!!! You would not appreciate some one making fun of your believes or lack there of!!!! There are tons of people who’s beliefs I do not agree with, I respect them

      • msw says:

        Margaret, the “pink unicorn” thing is most likely referencing a philosophical theory you are not familiar with, which is quite relevant to this conversation. Go check out the wiki page for “invisible pink unicorn.”

      • msw says:

        Google “invisible pink unicorn.” The point is that one set of beliefs is not more important or special than another, or more likely to be proven true, since you can’t prove invisible pink unicorns don’t exist. Its farsical on purpose.

    • Erinn says:

      Margaret, I do not believe anyone said religious belief was child abuse. I was raised going to church and Sunday school as was my fiance. However I consider myself as more spiritual than religious at this point which is beside the fact. The issue people have is that this girl is being shuffled from having a father control all of her actions to a husband control all of her actions. You can be religious and still make your own decisions while sticking to your morals.

    • bijlee says:

      I know right?! Evolution IS just a theory. It’s like the theory of gravity! It’s just a freaking theory!

      …wait a minute.

      Just because evolution is just a theory, it does in no way falsify it. That’s a case of semantics. Theory has a different meaning in science then in regular plain old English.

      You don’t prove things in science. You only disprove them. The only place you do prove things is in math. Science utilizes and creates models and gathers empirical evidence that may or may not substantiate these models. Typically this evidence is probabilistic models (in the region of physics I study at least). Models improve over time due to scientific advancement and experimental evidence. That is what a lot of science is. And even then my definition is incredibly simplistic. The theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, the theory of gravity are all well substantiated models that jive with our empirical observations.

      It’s not just you, but a great number of so called “scientists” on the internet that could stand to learn this too.

      • Nerd Alert says:

        *claps*

        Well said, bijlee.

      • Shannon725 says:

        I posted above, but thought it had merit here as well. A creationist acquaintance of mine stated quite firmly dinosaurs and ancient texts with similar myths (flood, creation, etc.) Were put here by God to test our faith. I personally find evolution to be more appealing in terms of giving meaning to life. It’s amazing to see how different animals have adapted and evolved including humans – all for the purpose of survival. I find it very difficult to accept God just decided one day to make a planet, populate it, then test it’s faith. To me, that just makes no sense, and almost takes away from the “magic” of life. When I know why something happens it makes everything else all that more possible. In a very strange way evolution has made me think more about something greater, not less.

    • frivolity says:

      About evolution:

      Yes, it is a SCIENTIFIC theory, which means it is based on a great deal of evidence, regardless of the fact that there may still be holes in it for which we have yet to find evidence. If it was just an idea or supposition (which we call “theory” in layman’s terms), it would be relegated to the realm of hypothesis. So, this scientific theory of evolution has years and years and loads and loads of concrete geological, biological, chemical, etc. evidence to support it. The religious “theories” on the origins of life (which are really less than scientific hypotheses) have no supporting evidence whatsoever. Religious beliefs are not equivalent to the theory of evolution.

      • Margaret says:

        I know what a THEORY is in the Scientific sense!!! it is still not FACT!!! And 100 years from now if this world is still here there will be more advanced science that may say otherwise about things in our science books!!!

        I mean it is like the Gay issue! To this day there are studies but no concrete proof if a child is born that way or not! In my opinion it matters NOT! But even before there was ANY scientific studies and or findings most took the word of the people who were gay who told you “Hey I was born this way”. (And do not compare animals to humans). Even when there was NO PROOF . Many not all said “Hey maybe they were born this way” Why is it so easy to believe one before proof and not the other??
        Believe me in this world if there was no higher power people would have moved on A LONG time ago . Man in his nature is self serving!!!
        My faith and the faith of others is PROOF. When I talk to the Lord and he speaks to me, and confirms it I do not need you or any other scientist to say otherwise! I know what I heard! I know as well as others the power of God I have seen it work with my own natural eyes! That I will take over what someone says happened millions of years ago ANYDAY!!!!
        I am not here to argue that.. only to ask that you all respect people’s beliefs the same way you respect Gay’s and anyone else ! RESPECT!
        You never know who might be reading this site

      • msw says:

        I also don’t know or care if gay people are born that way, because i don’t think it is a bad thing. No one owes me a reason for being gay. The thing with science, social science in particular, is that nothing is ever a done deal. It is our best educated guesses resulting from empirical testing. But I will certainly put a little more faith in someone who has actually experienced something (such as being “born gay”) over someone who has never walked in their shoes.

    • AMA1977 says:

      Evolution is a scientific theory, which is entirely different from the colloquial meaning of the word theory. A scientific theory is rigorously tested, proven true, and widely accepted. After an extended period of time, a scientific theory is accepted as a scientific law, ie: the law of gravity. Evolution is not debatable. It’s not a “theory” like it’s just some guy’s idea. The word scientists use to classify an untested, unproven idea is a “hypothesis.” Of course, you are free to believe whatever you wish, but the best thing about science is that it’s true whether you believe it or not.

      • bijlee says:

        Yes, but I disagree about theories graduating to laws. They are two different things. The law of universal gravitation is very different from the theory of gravity. The law tells us it happens again and again in the same way, the theory tells us the why. Theories do not graduate to become laws. In science, theory, law, and hypothesis have special meanings and are completely different things. Only a hypothesis can graduate to become a theory.

      • Margaret says:

        And the best thing about the Lord is he exist whether you acknowledge him or not!!!! And there is not a thing you can do about it. You or any scientist !

      • msw says:

        Hold on. In one post you’re demanding respect for your beliefs, and in this one you’re right and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong? Where’s the reciprocity in that?

      • Ennie says:

        Using exclamations does not make your poit any more true. I am a believer, buy I do not go around saying these things, it is like when Galileo Galilei said “and it moves nevertheless”, in. His case the teory is absolutely true.
        I believe in God, but that does not blind me.

    • iheartjacksparrow says:

      @Margaret – I think Neanderthal and Australopithecus would disagree with you.

    • Decloo says:

      You just said that you went to public schools and learned about all religions and all about science. Then clearly you made a choice to believe the things you do. The Duggar girls and hundreds of thousands of girls around the world were never exposed to other ideas. They were and are never able to make a choice as to what they believe. This is called indoctrination and it is wrong.

      • Margaret says:

        Yes but If my Mother could afford to have sent my twin brother and I to the Christian School attached to our church she would have! Public school is FREE!!! That is your assumption of them! They know there is an outside world! They have a cousin who lives outside of their world! My point it those are their kids not ours! They can raise them as they see fit! I think anyone who has a strong faith and does not share it with their children is sad! That reminds me of some Mexicans here in L.A I know who refuse to teach their kids Spanish, it robs them!
        People raise their kids a lot of strange ways to me. But those are not my kids! She is 20, trust me she knows more than you think! Not enough but more! And I am sure she probably has snuck off and kissed. Wait till one of them ends up pregnant or Gay! It might happen, might not!
        I can understand people’s frustrations, I feel it everyday with A LOT of parents! But some of the comments about Religion is what I do not like and commented on not you all and your thoughts on the extreme Brady Bunch!

        Oh BTW here in L.A ALL of my friends and I do mean ALL of them who attended Christian Private Schools were way further along then those in the public schools!!! All my Religiously educated friends went on to skip a grade or two once their parents allowed them into public school!!! And they excelled in Math and Science!!!!

    • msw says:

      I actually see it as consistency, not hypocrisy. Those defending stuff like open marriage are in favor of people being able to make their own decisions. The majority of critical comments i have read on this post have been about the same thing. Those voicing negative opinions are concerned that jessa has been sheltered from practical experiences that are helpful in a marriage and for personal growth and that she is being overly controlled. There are also some complaints that women aren’t being treated with the respect we deserve. Some o the comments i agree with, some i don’t,but my point is it all comes from the same concerns for people’s personal freedoms and their ability to make decisions for themselves.

  24. Margaret says:

    Unless that faith is trying to send you to a sea org !!! LOL then hell fire away!!!!!

  25. MonicaQ says:

    You can have sex and closeness without “cheapening” it. My husband is the only man I’ve slept with and we started dating when we were 16. He’s Diest, I’m Buddhist. And if our parents had to vet each other, there’d be no way his parents would let their white upper middle class son date a black poverty stricken girl. Not in a million years. Thank everything for freedom of choice but if Duggars are happy, let them be happy.

  26. SamiHami says:

    This is not a lifestyle I would choose for myself or my (imaginary!) children. However, I am finding most of the posts here to be extremely judgmental. The Duggars have a different system of beliefs and lifestyle than most of us. And that is their choice. They are raising their children within that belief system, which is their right. I’m seeing “slavery” and other charged words here, but in reality I’ve never heard of the Duggars beating or being cruel to their children. They are merely raising them in the way that they, personally, believe to be best.

    I think it’s funny in a sad sort of way that a family that is trying to raise their kids to have a sense of values and self respect are being criticized, while teenagers having sex, getting STDs, unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and abortions are considered just a normal part of everyday life. Seems very backwards- and sad -to me.

    • Bridget says:

      It’s one thing for an individual to choose a conservative, religious lifestyle. But the important word being CHOICE. The role of the daughter was ward under the care of first the father then the husband (who is the father’s choice) is a deeply patriarchal notion, and in a society like that a woman is solely defined by her relationship to a man, rather than as a fully formed individual. As an adult woman she has the same rights as a child. As well intentioned as the Duggar’s are, it doesn’t make it right.

      Also, how is there no middle ground between ‘first kiss after marriage’ and ‘STD riddled whore’? It’s not one or the other. And can I just point out that rising STD and teen-pregnancy rates are directly linked to the Conservative directive to teach abstinence only sex-education in our schools.

      • SamiHami says:

        Parents have a right to raise their children to believe in what they think is right. There is nothing wrong with that. If their children decide to choose a different path as adults, that is their choice.

        A devoutly Catholic couple will raise their kids to be Catholic, a Muslim couple will raise their kids to be Muslim, and so on. Do you think parents of those (and other faiths) are somehow mistreating their children by teaching them (what they believe to be) right from wrong?

        Just because someone disagrees with you and your worldview doesn’t make them wrong. It just makes them different. And that’s okay. And it’s okay for them to raise their kids their own way.

    • Emily C. says:

      Having sex before marriage does not automagically lead to STDs and unwanted pregnancies. I don’t know where this idea comes from, but I expect it has something to do with a lack of sex education. Waiting to have sex until after marriage doesn’t protect you from those things, either. And being taught that, if you’re a girl, your destiny is to be handed by your father to a man for whom you will birth out a gajillion babies is more dangerous than nearly any STD, and certainly far more soul-destroying.

      • SamiHami says:

        “Soul destroying?” Such hyperbole. How ridiculous and overly dramatic. They live their lives and believe differently than you do. Accept it. Please don’t be so afraid of people who don’t think the way you do.

        I find it amazing that so many people talk about freedom and choice, yet are terrified of people who utilize their own freedom to live, and raise their families, in any way that is different from themselves.

        People talk a good game about respecting other beliefs, but when you come right down to it, it’s a big lie. There is little respect at all for those who think or live differently.

    • Mrs. Odie 2 says:

      Teenagers having sex is natural. Adolescence is an invention of the 20th century.

  27. roxy750 says:

    She is beautiful. Whatever works for them is great. I wish they would get off TV though, that just makes their whole lifestyle null and void bc they like the spot light. I have no problem with their lifestyle, why would I? But for their families sake get out of the limelight please.

  28. suhon says:

    I love picture No. 3; “Nice lunch date, oh hi mom!” Two is company, three is a crowd!! Love that “Christian side hug.”
    How about, “If you tongue kiss her, you might as well marry her!” Does mom and dad say, “Oh no, you can’t text that!” Only Davy and Goliath stuff.

  29. Bridget says:

    This makes me sad. I can understand and respect their conservative religious values. But this is IT for this girl: at 20, her life choice is to get married to a nice boy and have children. She’ll have no education beyond the education provided in her parents’ home and their approved online Christian college. She’ll never have a career, or travel, or even date. Her entire life is defined by her relationship first to hr fath, then to her husband. It makes me sad that at 20 she’s expected to choose her life partner and then begin procreating until her body is no longer able to. I want more for her.

    • SamiHami says:

      Maybe she doesn’t want your pity. Perhaps she is perfectly happy with they way her life is going. Do you pity all people who have lifestyles that differ from yours? Do you pity all of the women in other countries who have different lives, choices and ideas about life and faith?

      You come across as quite condescending, as do a lot of other people on this thread. Maybe you should accept that different people have different worldviews/lives/lifestyles/belief systems and save your pity for those who warrant it.

      • Bridget says:

        An ingrained lifestyle of women being subservient to men isnt a ‘choice’. Did you know that in developing nations microloans are typically given to women because they’ve found a direct link to a woman’s autonamy within a culture is correlated to greater peace and stability? It’s not pity that makes me sad that at 20 this girl’s biggest life choice has been made by her father, it’s because we cannot treat our daughter’s as chattel. It’s wrong in the US and it’s sure as hell wrong in the rest of the world.

      • Regina Lynx says:

        Do you pity all people who have lifestyles that differ from yours? Do you pity all of the women in other countries who have different lives, choices and ideas about life and faith?

        If those ideas make them feel inferior and incapable and/or reluctant to make their own choices besides blindly following some doctrine, then, yes, I DO pity them.

        Maybe you should accept that different people have different worldviews/lives/lifestyles/belief systems [--].

        Yes, and not all of them are equally good. Some of them are destructive, debilitating and should be abandoned.

        You come across as quite condescending [--].

        Pot, I’m kettle. You’re black.

      • Jackie says:

        Do you honestly think she has any idea what else is out there in this world besides her family? She was brought up so insulated with people who all think the same thing. She didn’t even have the benefit of going to school with other people. Their entertainment was censored. Have any of the Duggars been encouraged to seek higher education? Do they all feel they have to procreate just as soon as they can? All in all, she’s probably a very well behaved girl with good morals, but she is very ignorant. Her upbringing has not in any way prepared her for any other kind of life than what she is living. It’s a disservice to her.

      • Ennie says:

        Just WOW. Maybe you think that a fellow woman is condescending, but truth is that men were condescending first.
        Religion, culture, whatever, many times enmask the works of a macho way of thinking. In some cultures this comes at its worst, like in those tribes where girls are mutilated because if they ar whole, then their possibilitiesif finding a man who will marry them are none. Yes, mothers, not only men are the ones passing on this culture, just like with the Duggars.
        The need to be circuncidated, mutilated with just a cicatrizated hole to pee, menstruate, have sex and give birth. No sexual pleasure coming from that part of their bodies for them, diminishing the chances for them to go and cheat on their man… Really?
        I am not Bridget, and this is an extreme thing, but yes, those women are to be pitied.

      • Yes, I'm That Leah says:

        Bridget was not being mean at all…. She’s just concerned.

      • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

        I feel very very bad for those ladies that have to undergo female ‘circumcision’ as children – that is scary and just plain wrong no matter which religious label you want to put on it.

      • SamiHami says:

        Holy cow, Ennie, I cannot believe you are trying to compare the Duggars and those who practice female genital mutilation (I refuse to call it circumcision, as that is not what it is. It’s mutilation).

        That argument is so off the rails that it’s hard to even process. A family raising their children to hold to certain values and beliefs is not even close to physical mutilation. And you actually trivialize such horrors by trying to compare the two.

    • Yes, I'm That Leah says:

      Amen Bridget! I don’t understand why she has to date one guy at a time. She is truly missing out on making the choice FOR HERSELF if this guy is really right for her, and having fun. Dating is just that…DATING. Not supposed to be that serious. Until you met someone special.

      But maybe to them there’s no point of dating unless you want marriage? So it’s really not “dating”, it’s looking for a partner right away, and more serious?

      Nevermind, I get it. They save themselves for marriage and only sleep with one person forever. That’s why they can only date one guy at a time. I mean, they can’t “side hug” with every guy in town, hey? Might get a reputation…LM*O!

  30. murphy says:

    Since when does Josh have a 4th child on the way? The baby is only like 3 months old and they have a post-birth sex limit of like 100 days.

    Anyway, I think the older girls not getting married is their form of rebellion.

  31. Quinn Parker says:

    Oh, blarf…all they talk about is sermons and theology?? No reason to talk about your personalities etc. when your dad is “hand picking” your suitors, I suppose.

  32. qtpi says:

    It’s sad too because a lot of these young kids get married asap because they can’t do anything physical so it becomes a race down the aisle.

  33. Crabcake says:

    First, she’s beautiful and he looks older than my husband and he’s 34.

    Second, I dont think she’s being roped into anything she doesnt want. If she wanted elsewhat she would have rebelled by now, she’s 20, not 14.

    Third, its a weird way of going about life but who cares.

  34. Suzy says:

    If they don’t have sex (or any other type of physical relationship) until they are married, then it’s no wonder they have so many kids. They realize “Sex is fun” then get knocked up 47 times

  35. Yes, I'm That Leah says:

    Keep it wholesome! There’s nothing wrong with this at all, but why must she date one guy at a time!!!? You can’t experience anything this way! SMH.

  36. umyeah says:

    They don’t know any better. They’re all homeschooled. They don’t watch tv. Only Christian movies and programming. They never have an opportunity to think for themselves. They’ve been fed this since they were born. what happens if you’re not sexually compatible with your husband? Doesn’t matter. You’re there to obey your husband and pop out babies. They don’t believe in birth control. They believe children are a gift from God. Siiiiiigh.

  37. Nerd Alert says:

    I just so happen to find this lifestyle and entire belief system appalling. I would like to qualify that the Duggars seem like good people and all that, but they don’t–not to me, anyway. They seem to me like horrific, controlling dictators as parents and brainwashed caricatures as members of society.

    I have the normal amount of respect for them that I give every other sentient being, but that’s where it stops. I don’t have to respect anybody’s beliefs; I only hold myself responsible for respecting the people that hold them…as much as I can.

    I don’t think its fair to compare them to Miley, the Kardashians, or Lohan. That’s a ridiculous and unnecessary juxtaposition, since most people are nothing like ANY of these media darlings. Certain people being unacceptably scandalous does not automatically make extreme religiosity acceptable.

    Plus, what’s with all the “everyone’s entitled to their opinions” people who turn and shout not to be judgmental? Last time I checked, you need to exercise judgment in order to form opinions.

    So pick one: you can be judgmental and have independent opinions, or you can be non-judgmental and think what someone else told you to think. The Duggars seem to do the latter, and I refuse to accept the notion that this makes them somehow respectable.

  38. Alexa says:

    I only read a few replies . . . just saying as someone who was COMPLETELY LEFT to do what I pleased regarding dating and finding a mate, what Jessa’s got with her family seems REALLY GREAT to me. I don’t believe that Jessa is BEING FORCED to date someone she’s not interested in at all. I think that’s what some are reading into this. (Also – many of us probably DO know of families that FORCE their kids to do terrible things, such as marry someone they don’t want to. But that doesn’t mean that’s what is happening here.)

  39. rianic says:

    From what I understand, the girls are never alone. As in, they don’t even make a quick run to the store without a sister or someone with them. I just don’t see how you can know a spouse without private conversation. If I remember correctly, Joshua and Anna weren’t even allowed to be alone in a room with each other the night before their wedding (while she ironed his clothes for the rehearsal)

  40. serena says:

    Boys at 18 are too immature and they want their daughter to marry one? .. sigh, this family..

  41. lucy2 says:

    I find it very, very odd that they’re so strict about all of this, and then put it on TV (which they don’t let the kids watch). The girl’s not allowed to kiss her boyfriend on the cheek or talk to him alone, but they’ll put their whole relationship on basic cable as a storyline for their show? It’s creepy.

    Like most everyone else here, I think it’s not the beliefs, but the lack of choice, that’s sad for the kids.

  42. lisa says:

    i remember when jinger said she wanted to be a nurse on oprah. but i dont think any of these half baked religious schools approved by the quiverfull program has an RN program. it’s sad not to have any choices.

    i think it is extreme they will never be alone until they are married. i dont mean to have sex but just to talk and relate to each other 1 on 1.

  43. mkyarwood says:

    If you take the weird ownership out of this, it sounds like how I interacted with my first ‘boyfriend’ at 13. We mostly talked about music and whatever and tried to kiss before I moved away — ended up kissing his teeth. Point being physical anything really never came up until I was about 17, many years into ‘romantic interaction’ school. She doesn’t have her own phone? I don’t have a phone by choice, but when my kid ages a decade and wants to send telepathic messages to her first amour, I’ll let her without listening in. Trust first, then you shouldn’t have to worry. BUT JESSA IS TWENTY.

  44. Cali says:

    She is such a pretty girl and he is handsome, I wish them well. These people obviously live in their own world and with all the daily $hit happening in the schools, work place and everywhere else in our so called “free” world, I will be the last to cast judgement on those who don’t want to be a part of it.

  45. Melanie says:

    The way they run their family doesn’t work for a most people but it seems to work for them. Jim Bob seems like a good husband to Michelle and a good father to his daughters. HOWEVER, I once read a blog written by a woman who escaped this way of life when it did not turn out so well. I think it was called no longer quivering. Anywho, my concern is that not all of Jim Bob’s daughters will be able to find husbands that will treat them so kindly.

    On another note, I also find it hard to believe that none of those kids will end up gay. I’ve read about research that says the number of older brothers a man has may influence his sexuality. And we may never hear about one of them coming out. I would think if one of them is gay they will think it is a moral affliction that can be cured through prayer and they will then spend the rest of their lives miserable.

    Just my opinion. I hope everything works out for their family. Except for Josh Duggar, he’s so smug. Kidding! Kinda…

  46. Emily C. says:

    I decided, as a teenager, that I wouldn’t be sexually active past making out until I was 18. That was my choice. I can’t remember the reasons I had then (I made a little list and everything), but the real reason is that I knew I wasn’t ready for it and I had way too many other things on my plate. That was MY decision. I was raised that way: to make my own decisions that were best for me, without any imbecilic “you’re a girl so your entire life will be defined by your sex organs” evil crap. Once I was 18… yep, I had a lot of fun. Still do, though now it’s only with one man.

    I do not regret any of the sexual partners I had one bit. I do regret not having had sex with this one guy when I could have. That is one of the biggest regrets in my life, and the only one regarding sex or romantic relationships. Teaching girls that they’re valuable human beings and educating everyone about sex is necessary to a happy life. No, I do not believe any of the Duggar women or girls, or any of the women or girls trapped in the evil Quiverfull cult, are happy. While some women can certainly be happy having lots of kids, no one can be happy being taught her job in life is to be an incubator and being completely controlled because she happened to be born with female sex organs.

  47. UsedToBeLulu says:

    What a cute couple. She is so pretty. I wish them the best.

  48. Havik says:

    All right, rant time! I’m not going to preface with ‘The Duggars are good people, but’ because you know what? It doesn’t make you an exceptional person just because you do not beat/neglect/mistreat your children. That’s nothing special; that’s what is EXPECTED of you.

    They are doing their children a great disservice, forcing the elder children to raise the younger ones and do the majority of the housework while their parents pop out more children. It’s not fair to their kids.

    If all Jessa and her boyfriend wanted to do was side-hug, then whatever. Not the choice I’d make, personally, but it doesn’t affect me. It’s that she has no choice in the matter that makes it so disturbing.

    I was baptized Catholic, but my parents raised me to question everything and make decisions for myself. And unlike some commenters suggest, I’m perfectly content (still a virgin, not that it really matters). I’m not shaming Bob and Michelle for their beliefs, I’m shaming them for dictating their children and essentially taking their freedom away.

    • Suzy from Ontario says:

      Exactly!! Question and explore! Learn for yourself and about yourself! It doesn’t have to mean you reject what you were taught or your parents beliefs, but it helps you learn more about yourself!

      Plus I agree with you regarding the unfairness of making the older kids constantly have to care for the younger. There’s a difference between helping out and basically parenting, and latter is what a lot of these girls end up doing and without any choice. If Jim Bob and Michelle choose to keep having children then they should care for them themselves. If they can’t, then maybe they should rethink how many kids they are having and how much of a real parent they are to those kids.

      Having no choices in your life is not a real life. It’s like being in jail with your parents as the jailors. Just because they are kind and your jail is comfortable, doesn’t mean it isn’t a jail.

    • chrissy says:

      Exactly. I have 8 planned children, am a big believer family planning and birth control, and they were not expected to raise each other. My husband and I have done our best to make them feel like 8 only children. Don’t have them if you can’t raise them doesn’t mean you are a swell parent because you have the money to support them. It mean YOU need to raise them, not pawn them off on their siblings.

  49. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I think it’s horrible the way the parents have utter and complete control over every single aspect of their kids lives. Every single book, tv show, everything on the computer, every trip away from home is completely approved by Jim Bob. They don’t read any classic or popular literature, hear music or see movies that aren’t completely steeped in Christianity and compatible to their beliefs. Never a chance to think or ponder different viewpoints or decide what might be right for them. Everything has to be exactly the way Jim Bob and Michelle think and believe, who ironically were allowed the freedom to explore and choose their way of life and belief system.

    How can you possibly find out who you are and what you believe about the world and your place in it when you have no exposure beyond the narrowest view? They are never allowed to read anything that offers a different perspective or food for thought. They learn only what their parents deem appropriate, continue to emphasize their belief system (such as women being subservient to men and aspiring to having baby after baby and bending to the man’s wishes always), and are told they have to think and act a certain way. There is no deviation from that whatsoever. None.

    What are they so scared of? If they love and trust their children and feel they are been raised right, then allow them to explore the world a little bit. It’s like they insist on keeping them isolated and never allow them to get “ideas” in their heads! Controlling much?

    I’m a big believer in parents being a strong and guiding presence in their kids’ lives, being there for their kids when they fall off the curb, and paying attention to them, doing things with them, being a family and providing structure along with plenty of love and support. But I also believe in supporting their individuality and encouraging them to explore the world, all different cultures, literature, art, music, science, everything! I want my kids to see the world as a wondrous place and not to be afraid of other culture and beliefs, but to understand them and appreciate them, even when they don’t share them. To respect others and respect themselves. But to control them and tell them what to think and limit the world to a very narrow space filled only with their own religious propoganda? Sorry, that is abusive imo. Where’s the encouragement to be anything they want to be? An astronaut? A doctor? Artist? Scientist? Archaeologist? Do they even know what’s out there or what they could be if they wanted to?

  50. gg says:

    All this weird stuff aside, they are a very cute couple.

  51. Madriani's Girl says:

    Is this crap for real?????? COURTING???

  52. cw says:

    I do’nt know why, but I just love michelle.

  53. Vl says:

    I just can’t with this shit.

    The fact that parents are allowed to teach their children that the Earth is 6K old without getting a call from CPS is fking mindboggling.

    As for how the women are treated, considering most muslim women are allowed higher education and goals beside child production, this is pretty much as bad as it gets.

  54. Andrea says:

    I really believe religions this intense are cults plain and simple. Let’s be honest here, from a biological standpoint, hormones rage in our teens. I am a girl and I remember masturbating quite a bit in my teens. These are the types of people who say its a sin, its bad, tell all those tales of growing hair on your hand etc. When people are repressed to this extreme, they either don’t know any better, or once they break free, they go the opposite way. I have a friend who was in a religious cult with his family growing up. Once he broke free, he became an extreme atheist and could never date a non-atheist now. He also suffers from severe anxiety and depression from the years in the cult. Religion to the extremes never ever is a good thing.

  55. frankly says:

    If they front hug the babies will start pouring out of her bajingo like a clown car.

  56. vicky says:

    Aside from the religious beliefs, as a young woman I would have loved the steady hand of a loving parent guiding my relationships and helping me keep the course. It is so easy to lose yourself to the physical,once that ball is rolling. I think it is imperitive as parents we give our kids a foundation that includes guidelines for how to pick a mate and structure a strong relationship. I hope I can help my daughter in a way that my mother wasn’t able to. Kudos to Jim Bob and Michelle for caring enough to be involved. And remember Jessa choose this boy too, she had a say.

  57. ray says:

    pray all u want, lady on the left in the bottom pic is going straight to hell with those bangs

  58. heidi says:

    She’s absolutely beautiful!

  59. msw says:

    That would only send me the message that my parents dont trust me or my boyfriend. It would also say that I’m still a child to them, and property at that, but they dont seem to take any issue with that.

    I usually ignore stuff about the Duggars because its full of people calling Michelle a baby factory, but i’m happy to chime in on this one, as a parent. My kids arent little extensions of myself. That level of control, even well intentioned, is rarely beneficial.

  60. Lucy Goosey says:

    I wish my parents had selected a mate for me. Then I would know for sure who NOT to marry and who to run away from while screaming down the block.

  61. kct says:

    This is the only life these kids have ever known and it seems to be a happy one. It’s likely none of them would WANT to leave it. To live a pure life and save yourself for one person is God’s plan, and that’s how they live. I don’t agree with some of their extreme ideas, but the commitment to their faith and lifestyle and their perpetual happiness is to be admired.

  62. Dorothu says:

    I truly loathe these disgusting perverts

  63. Hakura says:

    I’ve seriously debated w/myself as to whether or not to share my own very personal experiences, as they’re very painful & even embarrassing to admit. But last time I shared here, I was overwhelmed by the support. The fact that I have a unique perspective on this issue has made me decide.

    I’m 27, & have never been on a date, never had my first kiss, let alone anything else. This is very hard to admit, & breaks my heart to have missed out on so much. & it would be nice to have some sort of vLidation that youre attractive enough to be wanted. This is not for religious or ‘wait til married’ devotions. I’m from a family of Southern pastors (grandfather & 2 aunts husbands are ministers for the Church of God). Mom Held those morals, but was far more open minded. I’m not religious for the most part, but do take *some* very basic aspects of morality. Waiting til marriage for sex is not one of them. If the right person came along, & there was a relationship, I’d totally go for it.

    The reason for this is dealing with incredibly severe depression, starting at 18. Just shut down & became a shut-in.. Then it took years to find a med that helped, & it’s still hard. Never had a job, can’t drive.

    I’ve never been asked out, but then was never anywhere like a social thing, so didn’t have the opportunity to be around guys & asked. But sometimes it’s easy to let it make you wonder ‘what’s wrong w/my looks? ‘, even so.

    Jessa may be 20, but she’s in an invisible cage, just asy issues leave me on the inside looking out. I imagine it’s just as hard on her, if she hasn’t been brainwashed to the point of lacking any opinions of her own. I don’t mean to look for sympathy, but I can felt I could bring a different perspective to the convo.

    • Dannielle says:

      Darling, I hear you. I have suffered terrible bouts of both anxiety and depression in my late teens and adulthood. Even thought I have my driver’s license, it’s used once every 6 months or so for in town driving. I cannot handle freeways. And in a weird way that’s heartbreaking, because at one point driving fast on freeways was my favorite thing–it felt so freeing. I look back on it and feel nothing but terror now.

      And I didn’t kiss anyone until I was 20, myself. I suppose it was a combination of fear and all the wrong people that kept me from going further. And my lack of contact came from total sheltering, and the thought of not being pretty crossed my mind constantly, for the same reason it crosses yours–without someone to TELL you that you are, you wonder if that may be the problem. If you’re unattractive in some way, maybe THAT’S why things haven’t happened yet. But it’s always so much more complex than that. It’s environment, timing, personal struggles, and so on. I too am on medication, and I’ve found a combo that helps me go out and live, finally. I hope the same for you, and tell you to not give up. Ever. Things will level out, if for no other reason than nothing ever stays the same.

      I give you no pity–I have too much respect for your truth to demean you that way. I do, however, give you all my empathy. And I thank you for sharing something that has brought you grief. It’s humbling to open up, but it’s not without it’s rewards. Thank you, Hakura.

    • dagdag says:

      @Hakura,

      believe me, you are not the only one at all living in a box. My aide are two dogs, so I have to leave by box at least twice a day.

    • Marianne says:

      You are not the only one. I am 23 and I didn’t have my first kiss until earlier this year.

      I want to date, really do. But I have such trouble trying to approach people.

    • Danskins says:

      No judgement from me @Hakura and I appreciate you sharing such an intimate piece of your life which isn’t easy to do on a public forum, even if it’s an anonymous setting. You certainly are brave to me.

      I’ve dealt with some similar issues that you brought up – I didn’t have my 1st sexual experience until I was 27. This is due mostly to the fact that I was terrified of getting pregnant in HS & college, but also the fact that I’m painfully shy and have dealt with depression and social anxiety throughout my life. I was raised in a religious environment and attended private Christian schools throughout my entire life however my parents still always encouraged me to explore the world and question everything.

      I recently got married earlier this year to a wonderful person who accepts me for exactly who I am and I’m so grateful for that. I hope Jessa is able to find true love and happiness in her life, despite her obviously limited circumstances.

  64. Jess says:

    Um yeah. The worst husbands I have ever heard of were ultra conservative christian.

    A horrifying example; A small community near my mom is similar to an Amish community. You give all your money to the church and you work in the community to build houses and grow food. They do ranching as well and sort of live off the land. Well, one nice virginal girl got married and had about 3 kids before she caught her husband having sex with a horse in the barn. So she divorced him and was ex-communicated from the community.

    Christianity is fun!

  65. brumhildawayne says:

    Everything else aside, she is SO PRETTY!

  66. Lex says:

    No… females develop sexually pretty early, sometimes as young as 8 but society has deemed it unacceptable for them to explore that. When you say girls are becoming sexually active too young… well they may have gone through puberty 5 or 6 years before they ever act on it. No male was involved in my decision to have sex.. I simply couldn’t contain myself anymore! Dont presume that a few instances of pressuring means girls in general dont actually want sex and arent sexual but do it to please men. Sex dreams are a powerful thing and I sure got them early!!

  67. Jennifer12 says:

    I wish there was some middle ground between this kind of hyper parenting and cult mentality and the overly permissive parenting that produces wild children who never grow up. Side hugs only; I wish they were joking.

  68. John says:

    LOL, Hot Springs and Tontitown are not ‘nearby’, they are at least 3-4 hours apart by car. Not to mention the fact that Jim Bob and Michelle openly admit that they were banging the hell out of each other prior to being married. The one true religious motto- do as I say, not as I do!

  69. Mabs says:

    Good for them. I guess. In my world, a test drive is para’mount.’

  70. BigRog says:

    Should I be ashamed that I would totally volunteer to be her virgin surgeon?

  71. tonyZ says:

    Jesus, texting each other about scripture? Cuckoo cuckooooo

  72. Mrs. Odie 2 says:

    I have no doubt they have created an elaborate sex code using Bible verses and scriptural questions, and are sexting each other like crazy right under her self-righteous, pervy parents’ noses.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I do honestly hope that they will get married (if that’s what they want) and run as far away as they can.

      I do go on this website sometimes called “No longer Quivering”–and from what I’ve read of the personal stories there, the young people generally “grow out” of the whole thing, and just RUN. Especially if they’re with a guy that’s a Christian, but not from a “quivering” family–they figure things out as they want it.

      I hope that’s what happens with her. I never noticed that she was so pretty.