Abstinence can work

Posted By on April 20, 2011

It is refreshing to read common-sense editorials like this one, which highlight what we’ve said for years: self-control is completely possible and best for physical, mental, and emotional health over the long-term. Teenagers should not be treated like animals unable to control themselves, but that’s precisely how they are portrayed and taught in modern sex-ed classes:

Despite popular television shows that glamorize teen sex and portray it as ubiquitous, the study found that 68 percent of boys and 67 percent of girls ages 15-17 never have engaged in such behavior. What’s more, this is a much better percentage than a similar study in 2002, demonstrating that abstinence is a growing trend.

Another study, conducted in 2009 — the National Survey of Adolescents and their Parents: Attitudes and Opinions about Sex and Abstinence — found that a majority of adolescents in the United States oppose pre-marital sex for themselves and others, as do their parents. When the data is examined further, it shows the importance of religious training. “Adolescent frequency of attending religious services was strongly associated with more conservative general views about sex and abstinence among adolescents, as well as more restrictive views about their own sexual behavior,” the survey said.

Instruction and training, in other words, do affect behavior. Teenagers are not wild animals. They are rational human beings, albeit immature and with judgment skills that are not yet fully developed. This does not prohibit them from making correct choices when presented with facts, however.

Read the full piece HERE.

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About The Author

Jennie is the wife of Matthew and mother of eleven children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

6 Responses to “Abstinence can work”

  1. I agree that teenagers aren’t animals that lack self control, but I believe the message of abstinence is only appropriate for a specific season, and that that season is probably much shorter than we’re willing to acknowledge. Today’s teens are taught by scripture that premarital sex is wrong, but in biblical times people got married in their teens. Today most people have little hope of getting married before 25, and for Christians, this presents a problem. I think if young adults are going to have a chance at remaining sexually pure, they’re going to need the support and practical help of the Christian community to get them married early. The bible doesn’t really teach indefinite abstinence as a virtue, but it does clearly teach against sex outside of marriage. I would hate to go to a high school and tell 15 year olds that they have 10 to 15 or more! years to wait until they can finally have sex. We’ve seriously got to do something about bringing that number down. We’ve got to be realistic about our limits, so we don’t set people up for failure.

  2. Miss Pen and Paper, we heartily agree! Early marriage is a good thing when spouses have been trained toward marriage from youth and look forward to a lifelong commitment. My sister got married at 18, and my husband’s at 17. Both have wonderful, strong marriages. 🙂

  3. Jenn84 says:

    I wouldn’t recommend marriage for most at such young ages, but it’s definitely possible. Nor would I recommend telling kids how long they have to get married! We never know. But what a blessing it is know abstinence is increasing! Praise the Lord!!

  4. Please note: THIS COMMENT IS NOT FOR YOUNG READERS!

    Unfortunately, the statistics quoted at the beginning of this article do not accurately represent what is going on with today’s youth. Yes, conventional sex between teens has decreased since the early years of the Millenium–but that is because other types of sexual encounters are on the rise, primarily oral sex, which has now become so prevalent and commonplace that many of today’s youth do not even consider it sex!

    I agree with what this article is going for–and oh, how I wish that abstinence were really on the rise in secular culture! But, unfortunately, that is not the case. It just means we need to pray harder and work harder to train our children up with God’s vision for sex, rather than our fallen world’s.

  5. Totally true, Bethany. I think a lot of adults are turning a blind eye to what teens do not define as “sex” these days. They feel they are still virgins even though they are involved in a host of terrible sexual practices. God help us. It is really important to bring up our children to understand sex as a gift from God for married couples and to respect their own chastity and the chastity of others.

  6. DLight says:

    I’m very late in this conversation but thank you Mrs Chancey for posting this. I agree completely with Bethany and Mrs. Pen and paper.
    I’d like to add a comment and say that the increasing levels of sensuality in society make it even harder for teenagers to abstain. Not only does it tempt them but it also makes sex so commonplace that teenagers are less likely to abstain if the opportunity/temptation to have sex does arise. This, I believe, is one of the reasons abstinence talks are not effective today. No matter what we are teaching the, we cannot expect teenagers to abstain if we are constantly bombarding them with sexual images.
    As a prospective parent, I shudder at how much work and determination it will take not only to keep my heart pure, but also to keep the hearts and minds of my children pure.