If there’s one thing we know about the Duggars it’s that they’re very strict when it comes to modesty. After all, the ladies definitely aren’t wearing those floor-length skirts for the fashion. The religious family has some pretty archaic notions about gender roles, and they enforce these rules, like wearing “Duggar swimwear,” on their gang of children.
Fortunately, many of the older Duggar kids have started breaking the rules. But honestly, when you start banning dancing and social media, is it really all that big of a surprise that a few start to rebel? Below, all the rules the Duggar family must follow, even though they’re broken from time to time.
Modest swimwear, only!
When the Duggars go on their beach vacations, don’t expect to see them in any bikinis or swim trunks. Instead, they wear full-body swimsuits by WholesomeWear that are guaranteed to protect them from sinful eyes.
Siblings of the opposite sex can’t be alone together!
After oldest son Josh Duggar was caught molesting two of his sisters, parents Jim Bob and Michelle put “safeguards” in place to avoid any more inappropriate behavior between siblings. Siblings of the opposite sex are not allowed to be alone together, play hide-and-seek together, babysit one another, and even sit on each other’s laps. Out of all the rules on this list, this one is by far the most disturbing.
No hanging out with unwed mothers!
In 2015, it was revealed that Jill Duggar, a practicing midwife, was banned from helping out a family friend who was giving birth out of wedlock. The woman was Susanna Keller, Anna Duggar‘s sister. A source confirmed to Radar that Michelle forbade Jill to help Susanna with her pregnancy and the family cut all ties with the mother. Cruel!
It’s no surprise considering their strict Christian beliefs that the Duggars find most modern music overly sexual and impure. Because of that, not only do the Duggar kids not listen to modern music, you won’t find them twerking to it anytime soon, either.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily a rule,” Jill clarified during an episode of 19 and Counting. “We don’t want to stir up desires, just different things that, um, cannot be…righteously fulfilled, that cannot be, um, I don’t know, so, anyway, our family has chosen not to dance.”
No social media until engagement!
If you’re wondering why you never hear from the other dozens of Duggar kids, it’s because they’re not allowed to have social media yet. It’s only after a Duggar is married that they’re allowed to have a social media account. Jana Duggar, who’s unmarried, still isn’t allowed to post on Facebook or Instagram — and she’s 27!
No dating without a chaperone!
The Duggars don’t date, they “court.” Courting means “dating with the intent to marry,” and the Duggar kids are required to include their parents in the process every step of the way. And one-on-one dates? Banned! When out on a date during a courtship, they must always bring along either an older sibling or a parent.
“Keeps things from going in the wrong direction,” Jim Bob explained.
Side hugs, only!
The Duggars are huge fans of side hugs. Full-frontal hugs are considered an abomination and only children who are married are allowed to do it. Joy-Anna Duggar accidentally broke this rule when cameras captured her hugging husband Austin Forsyth after accepting his proposal.
“We’re humans and sometimes we don’t always abide perfectly by our rules,” Austin said during the Counting On reunion special. “We try. That was a real hard try.”
Always have sex with your husband whenever he demands it!
Although the Duggars aren’t allowed to hug or hold hands during the courting process, once they’re married they’re expected to have sex — and lots of it. Their roles are to serve their husbands, obviously. And if their husbands demand sex, they must give it freely.
“There will be times you’re going to be very exhausted. Your hubby comes home after a hard day’s work, you get the baby to bed, and he is going to be looking forward to that time with you,” Michelle said on Today in 2014. “Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls.”
It’s no secret that the Duggar women love those blankets they call skirts. However, Jinger Duggar shocked fans when she stepped out in shorts — shorts! While everyone freaked out, others pointed out that technically Jinger didn’t break any family rules. Her husband, Jeremy Vuolo, approves of women wearing “modest pants,” and so Jinger is now allowed to wear them.
Too bad for Joy-Anna, who has said she doesn’t like dresses but wears them for her husband.
“I said before that I don’t like dresses, but Austin likes them on me, and so I’m branching out and I’m wearing some dresses now,” she revealed during Jill & Jessa: Counting On. “I don’t really have fashion. I just kind of wear whatever Austin likes.”
No TV or tabloids!
Although the Duggars are all over our TV screens and gossip magazines, both are banned from the household. Whenever they want to watch episodes of their TV show, they usually have a watch party over at a friend’s house. But magazines and other media are strictly forbidden. We guess the Duggars will never find out what the world really thinks about their “rules.”