In 2014, just before the scandals involving their older brother became public, the oldest Duggar daughters published a book entitled Growing Up Duggar,and some of the excerpts are being taken to task by In Touch Weekly.
The four eldest girls, Jana Duggar, Jill Duggar Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, and Jinger Duggar Vuolo, wrote a book together that not only encompassed childhood memories of growing up in a mega-family, but also Christian morals and lessons they wished to give other young women.
One of the lessons they preached was, unsurprisingly, against premarital sex. The Duggar family is famous for its “courtships,” or “dating with a purpose,” and not allowing any physical contact until marriage. Thus far, all of the Duggar children have saved their first kiss for their wedding night.
While In Touch doesn’t take issue with the Duggar women preaching to their followers in such a way, they do take issue with a health statement made in the book, which insinuates that premarital sex can lead to cancer or death.
“God has created physical intimacy to be a wonderful wedding gift for pleasure and bonding and to procreate children, but if it is done prematurely or with multiple partners, the very thing that was created to bring joy can bring sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause infertility, cervical cancer, and a life sentence of pain and suffering,” the book reads.
While In Touch Weekly does not dispute that unprotected sex can lead to STIs, they do dispute that HPV certainly causes cervical cancer. Growing Up Duggar goes on to incorrectly cite a source that links cervical cancer to premarital sex or promiscuous behavior, which is not only untrue, but the magazine believes to be irresponsible fear-mongering.
The Duggars’ book also states that it is incredibly embarrassing for a young woman to have to tell her husband-to-be that she has an STI or that it is possible that she might pass one along to him if they decide to get married.
In Touch Weekly cited the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) who state that in the majority of cases, HPV goes away on its own without any form of intervention or treatment. Some strains or cases may cause cervical cancer or genital warts, but it isn’t the majority of them. In fact, only about 3 percent of cancer cases amongst women and 2 percent amongst men are tied to HPV.
While the Duggar family attempts to make a compelling case for abstinence until marriage, In Touch believes they fall short.