I had the pleasure, the honor really, of encouraging a young woman to stay the course, don't give in or give up. I sincerely doubt I said anything factually different from what her mom has said... but I've "been there, don't that" and that matters.
Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between a public pledge to wait and decreased sexual activity. But let's be real, most young people who make a “virginity pledge” don’t wait until marriage. The truth is, by the time they become young adults, about 81% of them will have engaged in some type of sexual activity.
Taken in isolation, that might lead you to believe that "abstinence programs" don’t work… But it’s only part of the picture.
What is much more likely is they will be surrounded by people who mock their goal, disparage their standards and leave them feeling isolated.
Every parent and concerned adult wants to believe that one really good “sex talk” is all it will take to convince someone not to have sex until marriage. One 50 minute Positively Waiting presentation, and viola! they should be impervious to the culture around them!
It delights me when anyone thinks we’re that good. But as good as we are, even our presentations aren’t enough! Young people need more. They need LOTS of voices in their head telling them they can do it. Every week, every day.
If the only reason for saving sex until marriage is to avoid pregnancy and disease, forget it. They won't make it. The physical consequences are not enough to deter the behavior, in the same way that fear of accidents doesn't keep anyone from driving a car. We know it's possible, so we're careful.
If the only reason for saving sex until marriage is so "it's special," forget that too. First Time Sex can be "special" because it's a brand new experience -- but it can also be awkward and comical. I've talked to many people who waited until marriage and their first time didn't live up to expectation because there was fear and shame mixed into it. It created a lot of resentment.
And I sure don't want anyone I talk to to think the state of virginity is more holy or valuable than the non-virginal state. Especially if they are "only vaginal virgins." There are a lot of people who call themselves virgins who have "done everything else but..." Maybe they are technically virgins, but they have NOT learned sexual self-control -- they don't really know how to resist temptation. They certainly aren't acquiring the skills needed to be faithful to one person for a lifetime.
And, sorry, "Abstinent by lack of opportunity" doesn't count either!
Maybe you thought fear of the physical consequences or highly valuing "being a virgin on our wedding day" would be enough, but you're finding out it's not. We can help. I'm honored to be a "Teen Whisperer."
I'm delighted to encourage ANYONE who wants to be a Master of Sexual Self-Control.