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The Duggar family is not your average family. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are the parents of 19 children, and they’ve raised all of those children very religiously. With that said, the family has a lot of rules, and for the most part, they’re very different from most families in today’s society. But as much as some fans like them, they can’t figure out why all of the Duggars seem to be obsessed with one thing.

The Duggar family
The Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

The Duggars were raised in a very strict household  

Growing up, the Duggar children didn’t live life the same way most American kids do. Instead, their lives were very closely tied with religion. Michelle Duggar homeschooled all of her children so that she could incorporate religion into their curriculum. The kids mostly made friends with others who attended their church in Arkansas, and for the most part, every activity they participated in was focused on religion. None of them ever joined sports teams, and when they graduated from the homeschool program, they immediately entered the workforce; the Duggars have never gone to college.

The ‘courting’ rules were even more intense

Their upbringing was intense, but their courting rules were even more intense. The Duggar children didn’t date around; they only entered courtships with the intention of marrying. While courting, the Duggars couldn’t engage in any sexual activity with their partners. Kissing was forbidden until marriage, and only side hugs were allowed to prevent temptation. To make sure the Duggars always followed the rules, all dates required chaperones until the wedding day — there could be too much temptation if the couples were left alone. But once they wed, anything was allowed; that often meant there were a lot of discussions about sex.

The Duggar family is forbidden to have sex before marriage.

Fans can’t figure out why the family is so obsessed with sex

The Duggar family has always been open about their intimate relationships with their partners. Michelle Duggar has even encouraged women to always be available to their husbands whenever the men have sexual urges. On the show, the daughters have made comments that Michelle always has pregnancy tests around the house. But the obsession with sex has some fans confused.

“They send the most mixed messages about sex to these kids,” one Reddit user wrote. “On one hand, sex is a holy, beautiful gift ordained by God only in the context of marriage. On the other hand, out of the context of marriage, sex is a disgusting, deplorable act…” Others agreed with the statement. “Jim Bob and Michelle flaunt it around the kids, basically, ‘I can do this but you can’t,’” one user added. Users seemed to suggest it was hypocritical of the Duggars to think sex is a heinous act before marriage but an amazing act afterward. However, that’s likely because people in society today tend to see sex as a symbol of love (or lust) rather than a symbol of marriage, so it’s hard for many to see the difference between having it before marriage and having it after.

The Duggars view sex differently from most people

For those who are very religious, sex is only something that should be shared between a husband and wife. To the Duggars, sex is taboo before marriage because unmarried couples should never engage in an act that God created only for those who have wed. When Duggar couples are finally married and can explore sex, it becomes a very important part of their relationships, which might explain the obsession. Plus, the idea that they need to abstain from all forms of intimacy until marriage might exacerbate their pre-marital obsession with it.