Duggar Courtship Rules: Do ANY of Jim Bob's Kids Actually Follow Them?


For a family that’s famous for its dedication to reproduction, the Duggars have very strict rules about male-female relations.

The Duggars first caught the attention of TV producers who were drawn to the spectacle of this nice, young-ish couple.

Lots of those out there, sure. But Jim Bob and Michelle had 14 kids, more on the way, and no plans for how to … anything.

Yet they made it work, and while their lifestyle was clearly very different than most of us can relate to, it became a big hit.

Faith, family and frugality were the central tenets of Jim Bob and company, and soon enough, an empire was growing.

But as time went on, more Duggars entered the world, and their show became more popular, more eyebrows were raised.

Viewers and producers alike realized that the Duggars’ belief system was even more unusual than the sheer size of the clan.

Jim Bob and Michelle are downright obsessed with rules, and the Duggar courtship guidelines are the strictest of them all.

But as you’re about to find out, they’re also the toughest to enforce. Especially nowadays as the young ones grow up.

Keep reading for a complete breakdown of how each Duggar duo responded to the stringent edicts governing their sex lives.

[UPDATE: Some recent developments — including a shocking accusation of infidelity —  have led to increased scrutiny of the Duggars’ bizarre courtship rules. Read on for more information.]

1. Falling In Line?

Falling In Line?

Of all the strange customs practiced by the Duggar clan, the courtship rules are among the most bizarre. They’re also among the most controversial, even within the family.

2. Starting Early

Starting Early

The courtship rules have been a part of life in Jim Bob and Michelle’s brood from the very beginning. And the kids are introduced to them at a very young age.

3. Sneaker Heads

Sneaker Heads

The conditioning starts long before Duggar kids reach dating age. One commonly cited example of this is the practice of shouting, “Nike!” when a “provocatively-dressed” woman is spotted in public. This is done as a sign for the boys to avert their eyes by looking at their shoes.

4. We Kid You Not

We Kid You Not

Yes, believe it or not, Jim Bob and Michelle are that creepy, and that obsessed with the urges of their adolescent children.

5. The Goal

The Goal

Of course, they think this is the best way of curtailing their kids’ desires and preventing them from becoming overly-obsessed with sex.

6. The Reality

The Reality

However, experience has taught them that that’s not the case, as their eldest son, Josh, grew up to be a sexual predator.

7. The Guinea Pig

The Guinea Pig

When Josh was courting Anna, the Duggars were not under as much scrutiny as they are these days, so we don’t know if the young couple followed the rules (chaperoned dates, physical contact limited to hand-holding, etc.) during the early days of their relationship.

8. Exhibit A

Exhibit A

But we do know that Josh’s depravity led him to molest four of his sisters when he was young and hire an escort (whom he allegedly assaulted) while he was married. We guess the system doesn’t work so well!

9. First Female to Flee

First Female to Flee

Next up was Jill Duggar, who married Derick Dillard back in 2014.

10. Under His Thumb

Under His Thumb

As the first of Jim Bob’s daughters to get married, Jill almost certainly followed the courtship rules to a tee. In fact, she had very little choice in the matter.

11. Not Taking Any Chances

Not Taking Any Chances

Derick was vetted by Jim Bob before he was even allowed to meet Jill, and their first dates took place under Jim Bob’s roof.

12. Lingering Resentment?

Lingering Resentment?

Of course, these days, Derick and Jill are no longer on speaking terms with her parents, and Dillard is threatening to write a tell-all memoir about the Duggars. Maybe JB should’ve eased up on those rules!

13. Rapid Succession

Rapid Succession

After Jill, it was Jessa’s turn to get married. She and Ben Seewald exchanged vows in 2014.

14. Nothing to See Here

Nothing to See Here

As with Jill and Derick, Jessa and Ben were closely watched. Ben even lived with the Duggars for a time, and it appears that he abided by Jim Bob’s insane rules — which may be why he’s remained one of the patriarch’s favorite sons-in-law.

15. Leaving the Nest

Leaving the Nest

Next up was Jinger Duggar, who married Jeremy Vuolo in 2016. Together, the two of them entered uncharted territory.

16. How Wrong He Was

How Wrong He Was

Jim Bob probably thought he was safe with Jeremy, who was training to be a pastor when he first met Jinger.

17. Wanton Devilry

Wanton Devilry

After the young couple tied the knot, however, Jeremy proved to be VERY liberal by Duggar standards, allowing his wife to wear shorts in violation of the family dress code, and permitting her to pursue interests outside of being a housewife.

18. A Couple of Rebels

A Couple of Rebels

As for the courtship rules, Jeremy is almost as pious as Jim Bob, so you can bet there was no premarital sex. But did they violate some of the other courtship rules? Almost certainly.

19. Return to “Normalcy”

Return to "Normalcy"

Next up was Joseph Duggar who married Kendra Caldwell in 2017. And Jim Bob clearly had nothing to worry about with these two.

20. The Pious Pair

The Pious Pair

Kendra was raised by a pastor who happens to be a very close friend of Jim Bob’s, and insiders say this marriage was pretty much arranged.

21. A Semi-Scandal

A Semi-Scandal

There have been reports that Jedidiah Duggar courted Kendra before Joe, but either way, it seems clear that these two were dutiful in their adherence to the courtship rules.

22. Moving Fast

Moving Fast

In fact, sources claim Joe and Kendra followed the rules more closely than any Duggar couple. Of course, with a four-month courtship, they really didn’t have much time to stray!

23. Joy’s Turn

Joy's Turn

Next came Joy-Anna Duggar, who married Austin Forsyth in 2017.

24. Learning From Experience

Learning From Experience

It seems Jim Bob learned from his favorable experience with the Caldwells, as the Forsyths are another deeply-religious couple with whom he’s very well-acquainted.

25. Making Up For Lost Time

Making Up For Lost Time

Joy and Austin wasted no time once they were hitched — she got pregnant on their honeymoon! — but there’s no indication of any premarital “activity.”

26. The Rebel Settles Down

The Rebel Settles Down

Next came Josiah Duggar, who tied the knot with Lauren Swanson in 2018.

27. Problem Child

Problem Child

Josiah is the only Duggar who courted someone else before meeting his eventual life partner, and many fans believe the family fast-tracked his relationship with Lauren so that he wouldn’t break the rules.

28. A Short Leash

A Short Leash

Some have gone so far as to say the marriage was arranged by the couple’s parents. Whatever the case, they appear to be happily married these days, and it doesn’t look as though they violated the courtship strictures before their wedding day.

29. Doing Their Own Thing

Doing Their Own Thing

However, Jim Bob would not be so lucky with John David Duggar, who married Abbie Burnett in 2018.

30. Trailblazers


Though they didn’t go into specifics, John David and Abbie have been candid about the fact that they “made their own” courtship rules. We guess even Jim Bob realized the absurdity of policing the sex life of a man who was nearly 30 at the time.

31. Restoring Order

Restoring Order

That said, you can bet that the younger siblings who will soon follow in John David’s path will NOT be so lucky!

32. [UPDATE] The Jana Problem

[UPDATE] The Jana Problem

You might think that Jana wouldn’t have to concern herself with the courtship rules because she’s still single. But believe it or not, the 30-year-old might be Jim Bob and Michelle’s most restrained child.

33. Best Friends … And Maybe More?

Best Friends ... And Maybe More?

Insiders say Jim Bob became concerned with Jana’s close friendship with Laura DeMasie as the women approached 30 and still seemed more interested in each other than in the prospect of finding husbands.

34. A Tragic Twist

A Tragic Twist

So when Laura moved to Georgia to pursue a career opportunity, many believed that she was essentially being sent away by Jim Bob, who is notoriously homophobic.

35. A Mysterious Getaway

A Mysterious Getaway

And when Jana took a vacation to an undisclosed location in July of 2020, many believed she was visiting Laura against Jim Bob’s wishes. The women had previously only been allowed to take chaperoned trips together. If the rumors are true, we couldn’t be happier for them.

36. Say It Ain’t So!

Say It Ain't So!

Sadly, not all of the recent developments in the Duggars’ love lives have been happy ones. Fans are convinced that Jeremy Vuolo has been cheating on Jinger.

Source: thehollywoodgossip.com