Tuesday, February 17, 2004
by Abstinence Guy
First of all, let me start by saying I am a 27-year-old guy. I am single, and I am a virgin. I have chosen to wait to have sex until I am married. In high school, myself and three other male friends all spoke of our desire to remain virgins until marriage. One became a father his senior year in high school, and the other two got engaged and were living with their fiancées…both relationships have since ended. All three have experienced emotional pain through these events. All this to say, I have seen many different consequences of sex outside of marriage and know, without reservation, that waiting until marriage is the best decision (by far!).
Some will say abstinence doesn’t work. Believe me, abstinence is 100% effective! And it isn’t impossible either. For decades, if not centuries, sexual abstinence was expected of unmarried individuals in Western society. According to the National Survey of Family Growth, abstinence was the norm among unmarried American teenage girls at least until 1982.
To say that all teens are having sex simply isn’t true. A study in 1992 showed that 56% percent of adolescents were virgins. Other studies suggest that abstinence is GAINING in popularity. Interestingly enough, a series of surveys conducted over the last 25 years by Who’s Who Among American High School Students shows that only one in four top students is sexually active. This suggests that abstinence is not only possible, but associated with high levels of personal achievement.
The attempt to make sexual activity “safe” for teens is not novel; additionally, its failures are visible everywhere. Except for a pause in the early 1980s, pregnancy rates for 15-19 year olds have risen over the last 25 years to the present high of 111 pregnancies for every thousand girls. This is not due to a lack of knowledge about contraception! Condoms fail almost 15% of the time in preventing pregnancy in the FIRST YEAR of use. Additionally there are many STDs that condoms do not protect against – including HPV, the human papilloma virus – the fastest spreading STD in the US, HPV is responsible for 93-99% of cervical cancer in women. It’s also incurable.
It is very clear that the high rate of repeat pregnancy among teens cannot be attributed to ignorance about sexual matters. A study of contraceptive use and repeat pregnancy among welfare-dependent teenage mothers found that half had become pregnant again within two years even though the majority were using some method of contraception.
Contrary to the expectations of many adults, the majority of teens seem interested in what abstinence-based programs might have to offer. A survey of 1,000 girls conducted by Emory University found that of a dozen possible sex education topics, the most popular (chosen by 84% of the respondents) was more information on how to say “no” to a boyfriend’s requests for sex without losing the boyfriend.
One other thing to think about: when dealing with high-risk activities such as smoking and drug use, the message is “Just say no.” Not surprisingly, that message is helping decrease the prevalence of these activities. Why then do we assume that this message won’t work for the high-risk activity of sex outside of marriage?
Don’t forget – it is NEVER too late to change abstinence. Past decisions do NOT dictate the decisions you must make today. Choose wisely, choose abstinence!