Relationship advice from the women who have never been kissed.

The oldest Duggar girls.



Heard of the Duggar family? If you’ve been a Mamamia reader for a while, you probably have. We’ve written about them here and here and here and here and here. (And that’s not even all of them.)

If you’re blissfully unaware, they are a fundamentalist Christian family from the US. They became famous through a reality show called ’19 kids and counting’ because they have, well, 19 kids and counting.

Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar don’t believe in contraception, so Michelle has been popping out babies since they married when she was 17 years old.

And now, it’s time for her oldest daughters to take the baby-making reins.

The four oldest girls in the Duggar family, Jana (24), Jill (23), Jessa (22) and Jinger (21), have all reached the age where they need to find a husband and start popping out mini-Duggars of their own.

But how do you find a husband when your beliefs dictate you’re not even allowed to hold hands with a member of the opposite sex until you’re married?

Quite easily apparently. So easy in fact, the Duggar girls have written a book. Yes, given that none of them have ever dated, kissed or even held hands with a man, they’ve decided they’re perfectly placed to write about relationships. That book is Growing up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships.



Jinger, Jessa, Jill and Jana

Now, there are some very complicated rules when it comes to finding a husband the Duggar way, and they all revolve around a process called courting. Duggar dad Jim-Bob explained it in a recent interview.

Apparently, a good girl NEVER dates a guy. She allows herself to be ‘courted’ by him. Basically, a boy calls a girl’s dad (never her mum, only a man can decide) and asks if he can court her. If her dad says yes, that boy then comes over to the girl’s home, and sits in the living room with her and her parents while the two of them talk and pray. Said boy and girl then sit awkwardly in the living room a certain number of times deemed appropriate before getting married.

Obviously the perfect foundation from which to write a book about relationship advice.

Two of the Duggar girls are being courted by boys right now (Jill and Jessa), and they are never left alone with them, ever. They aren’t even allowed to text the boys, unless it’s a group text that both parents can see.

Jill and Jessa with their man-friends.

There’s also next to no physical contact allowed until marriage. Except for a brief hug when greeting each other, or touching arms in photos, the girls do not touch the boys. They plan on allowing hand-holding when they get engaged, and will only kiss on the day of their wedding (which kind of explains why they all want to get married so bad). And to save the poor boys from getting blue balls, the Duggar girls say that women “have a responsibility not to dress or act in a way that builds up sensual desires in guys”.


Not that the girls feel like they’re missing out on anything. Sex is not something that the Duggars consider even remotely interesting for women. The girls helpfully explain in their book that the only women who behave sexually are the ones who are doing it in a misguided attempt to impress boys (because there’s no way a woman could, you know, just enjoy having sex):

“The girl may so yearn to feel valued and accepted by a male that she gives in to the boy’s desires. But too often the boy’s ‘love’ for her turns out to be fleeting, and the girl is left cast off and degraded. From there, things can easily spiral downward as the girl’s yearning to feel valued intensifies and she seeks acceptance from the next boy who comes along. We hear from a lot of girls in this painful situation.”

But forget the slut-shaming. Forget the fear of female sexuality. Forget the concept of boys being completely unable to control what they do with their wangs. The most important piece of advice the Duggars have to offer is to do with women and hair.

God says longer is better (unless you’re a man, then it’s icky):

“We choose longer hair based on our understanding of 1 Corinthians 11:14-15…while it is a shame for a man to have long hair, a woman’s hair is her glory.”

So ladies… Go forth, get courted.