TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting was a reality television show centered around the lives of a devout Christian family with very particular world views. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s goal was to raise their 19 - wonderfully, thematically named - children to be modest, pure, and adherent to a long list of things a Duggar simply doesn't do. The main draw of the show quickly shifted from the family’s massive size to the absurdity of the Duggar dating rules.
Duggars are not allowed to date in the casual sense. Sure, promoting purity before marriage is a nice idea, but, according to Duggar rules, there is no touching of any kind, and that includes kissing and hand holding. Private communication and spending time alone together are unheard of, to boot. Duggars don't simply impart values on their children and trust them to have the self control and integrity to follow through of their own volition. It kind of makes you wonder: are all these relationships really matches made in heaven, or are these kids marrying young out of sexual frustration?
Fraternizing With Unwed Mothers Is A No-No (Even If They Are Family)
The Duggar family’s beliefs on premarital sex are so extreme that they wouldn’t even allow their daughter (who works as a midwife) to help a family member who was pregnant out of wedlock. Susanna Keller got pregnant in 2012 and was ostracized for it.
A source told Daily Mail that, "Michelle and Jim Bob felt Jill shouldn't be exposed to an unmarried mother in that condition."
- Video: YouTube
Divorce Is Not An Option
Marriage is forever for the Duggar family. However, there’s a difference between standing by your mate because you want to and staying with them because you have to.
Considering the the double life Josh Duggar was outed as leading in 2015, everyone expected his wife Anna to head for the hills. Nope, she denies all the divorce rumors and is staying firmly planted by her child molesting, porn addicted, cheating husband. She won’t even discuss divorce as a possibility and has even been made to feel as if she should “shoulder some of the blame” for his actions. In fact, in 2017, Anna even became pregnant with the couple's fifth child.
All Text Messages Must Be Group Texts
Ma and Pa Duggar expect to be included in all of their children’s text messages, even the ones sent by the kids in their early 20s. Engaged couples aren’t even allowed to share private phone calls until after the wedding in the Duggar family.
However, it has been revealed that Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald broke this courtship rule and shared secret phone calls before their engagement. Scandalous.
Once You’ve Wed, You Better Bed (Often)
With all the restraint this family practices, it’s no wonder they are all about having lots of sex after those vows. Now of course it’s all about showing love and creating children (that’s why Michelle bore 19 of them). As Michelle put it, "You always need to be available when he calls."
Jim Bob Happily added, "We're like a newlywed couple every day!"
No Pants For The Ladies
No, not in a sexy way. In the sexist way that states females must be modest and wear skirts because only men get to wear the pants in this family.
According to Michelle Duggar, "I feel like the Lord is impressing upon me that I should be modest in what I wear [and] defining who I am as a woman by choosing to wear dresses and skirts.” She also stated that she believes, "from the neck down to the knee should be covered."
- Video: YouTube
All Dates Must Be Chaperoned
That’s right, the Duggar parents go out on all the children’s dates with them. If for some reason a parent can’t attend, then they send a cluster of siblings along to kill the entire mood.
According to Jim Bob, this tactic is simply to "keep things from going in the wrong direction."