Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Romeo and Juliet Effect: Why Christians Keep Having Sex Before Marriage




[Welcome readers: This is a post about the phenomenon of psychological reactance. If you're looking for information on "Romeo and Juliet" by Shakespeare, you can find Sparknotes at this link. If you're interested in my views on Christians and premarital sex, you can find them at this link.]

In William Shakespeare's play, "Romeo and Juliet," the titular star cross'd lovers fatefully decide to pursue their love, despite the chaos and war unfolding around them. Their decision ends up being a fatal one. I suppose the ironic question that some people might want to ask the protagonists is: Out of all the wo/men in the world, couldn't you have picked another one?

When I was a freshman in college, I remember reading in my Intro Psych textbook about "The Romeo and Juliet Effect." Essentially, it's an example of Psychological Reactance, whereby rules and restrictions actually make you more prone to resist them. In the case of "The Romeo and Juliet Effect," the theory goes that your parents' disapproval can actually spur your affections towards that person. I'm guessing many of us have experienced this ourselves; certainly the image of the attractive and sexy rebellious male teen is one that has been ingrained into our popular culture.

The thing is, Psychological Reactance can create some real-world problems. And by nature of the phenomenon, these problems often go unacknowledged. Take the following two examples:

-Saudi Arabia - According to this recent story by the BBC, "up to 70% of files exchanged between Saudi teenagers' mobile phones contain pornography." According to the report's author:

The flash memory of mobile phones taken from teenagers showed 69.7% of 1,470 files saved in them were pornographic and 8.6% were related to violence.
Saudi Arabia's oppressive sexual environment has been written about several times in recent days. In fact, this recent Atlantic Monthly article claims that heterosexual sexual relationships are so heavily regulated that it's easier to be a homosexual (because people won't suspect). Whoever the authors of this environment are, and I'm sure they are legion (including culture, religion, government, etc.), isn't this the opposite result of what they intended?

-Abstinence-only education - If abstinence-only education was shown to work, I might even be a fan of it. But studies have shown that it's not only riddled with inaccuracies, it's completely useless in accomplishing what it sets out to do.

More to the point, I'm an Evangelical Christian and we're taught at a very young age about sexual purity. Christians aren't supposed to have sex until they are married. In recent years, many have made it official by taking a pledge of abstinence. However, studies have shown that Christians, even those that take the pledge, are just as likely to have sex as non-Christians. Here are some shocking statistics:
  • "Not only are kids who take virginity pledges just as likely to have sexually transmitted diseases as kids who don't, but they are even more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior." This includes having sex without a condom (they are 1/3rd less likely to use condoms when they have sex for the first time), and engaging in anal and oral sex, which many teens don't consider "real sex."
  • Here's the kicker: Of the kids that take the pledge, 88 percent of them end up breaking it.
  • Of the couples that end up breaking the pledge, they are less likely to get tested for pregnancy or STDs. Says Columbia University's Peter Bearman, "They're much less likely to get tested for a sexually transmitted disease. They've taken a public pledge to remain a virgin until marriage. The sex that they have is much more likely to be hidden. It's likely to be hidden from their parents. It's likely to be hidden from their peers. And if they live in a small community, it's quite likely to be hidden from their doctor."

**

In both these examples, restrictions are placed upon people that many might deem "unnatural." Specifically, they are restrictions on sexuality, on the types of sex that people are allowed to have and enjoy.

What does all this hiding get us? Psychological reactance. A need to lash out against the rules and to disobey them to an extent we never would if the rules weren't even there in the first place. Despite American males' obsession with porn, I think it's pretty safe to say that 70% of us don't have porn on our cell phones, right? Right? It's probably more like 69% or something...

Let me be clear though; psychological reactance is not the only reason that Christian teens and young adults have sex. Obviously raging hormones play into it, as do any other reasons why teens would normally have sex, whether they are Christian or not. But these rules and restrictions undoubtedly feed into some innate human desire to explore the unknown, a desire for what is hidden, what is dark, what is carnal and sinful. As we all know, sometimes that desire must be sated and when it happens for someone in a Christian community, the results can be disastrous.

So I guess the question is: wouldn't we be better off just not having these artificial restrictions at all? Wouldn't we be better off acknowledging the world the way things are, and trying to engage in a dialogue about these things?

I'm a Christian and I think sex should be saved for marriage. However, if I had a teenage son or daughter, I think I'd rather they have a condom instead of some glorified notion of a supernatural ability to resist the devil. But that's just me. Despite high rates of teen pregnancy and STD transmission, I guess people still think that the way people are raising their kids now seems to be going just fine.

[Update 1: Put in new link to recent NYTimes editorial]

[Update 2: The comments have really been rolling in. Most of them have been constructive. I wanted to make three clarifications:

1) There seems to be some confusion: Several people have accused me of fabricating statistics. This is incorrect. My statistics about Christian sexual behavior came from this 60 minutes article, which I had already linked to in my original blog post. However, I didn't make it explicitly clear where the statistics came from. So now you know. The article is 2 years old, but I have a feeling its findings are still relevant today (Did you see my last link about chastity parties?).

2) Another clarification: I apologize if my title is misleading. I never meant to say that the Romeo and Juliet Effect causes Christians to have sex before marriage. Clearly, there are many causes for Christians having sex when they're not supposed to. Rather, I was reflecting on the recent news stories about Saudi Arabia and how clearly, efforts to curb sexual activity (or certain types of sexual activity) have failed miserably and in fact generated what would be considered even more inappropriate methods to resisting these prohibitions. I have also always been fascinated with the concept of psychological reactance and "The Romeo and Juliet Effect." Also, I love Shakespeare. These thoughts led me to combine everything into this hodgepodge of a post. This is not meant to be an academic article, as some have implied that's what I was trying to write. Nonetheless, I strongly feel that psychological reactance to rules and regulations is something that we all experience each day, and that this phenomenon, at least in part, feeds into Christian behaviors relating to sexuality.

3) Finally, several have accused me of writing an anti-Christian article, or of being anti-Christian myself. This could not be further from the truth. I have been a Christian for most of my life. I grew up in an Asian, ultra-conservative church. But over time, I have changed into what people might call a "liberal Christian." That doesn't mean that I think it's okay to have sex before marriage, or that we can pick and choose which of Jesus commands we should follow, or that they should be called "The 10 Suggestions." Rather, I believe that the Christian church, politically, has veered away from Christ's teachings. I believe that Jesus spent more time talking about helping the poor than he did lecturing about the evils of homosexuality or abortion. I believe that Jesus didn't spend most of his time condemning thieves and prostitutes. In fact, he spent most of his time condemning those who condemn thieves and prostitutes. How many Christians today would fit into that latter cateogry, I wonder...

I also believe that we should be practical, and that if what we're doing isn't working, we should change it. I wholeheartedly agree with user "Amy", who posted the following comment here on this blog:

"Because we can certainly all agree that a lower rate of STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and broken young people is good."

Thanks for reading.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the guilt factor too. I fear too many parents rely soley on guilt or the fear of an angry God to stop teens from having sex.

When fear and guilt are the primary motivators for behavior, said behavior usually doesn't last long.

Instead of telling children how huge of a sin it is to engage in premaritial sex (which isn't biblical at all), they should be warning them of the emotional and psychological dangers that come with any type of intimate relationship without a lot of commitment.

Anonymous said...

While I disagree and think sex before marriage IS a sin, I do agree with the comment above in regards to how to make kids understand why it is a sin. The fear of guilt and the fear of God isn't exactly a great way to motivate kids to not partake in sex before marriage. I don't even think that's how God himself would go about it. The whole reason is a sane and rationale one: It's a tool to bond two people together. A chemical reaction happens in a female three times in her life - When she gets married, when she has a baby, and when she nurses. This chemical reaction causes a bonding sensation beyond her control. I'm 22 and not married and still a Virgin and I'll be damned if that chemical reaction happens outside a committed relationship. Devastation would ensue. I already saw what getting too close emotionally can do outside a committed relationship... I can't imagine adding a physical closeness that only intensifies the emotional element. God isn't about making rules to make life suck... I think he set up rules to protect us from harm.

It's unfortunate the majority of the Christian community can't have more open and honest discussions about all of this.

I never took a 'purity pledge' or anything like that and wouldn't do it were it offered to me. It's a self conviction. It's not a fake 'altar call' ('cattle call') decision to be done for show.

I believe in practice, do not preach. Your actions speak 1000 times louder than your words. We just need to shine some light on the positives of waiting and the realities of not.

Amy Byer said...

Mr. Anonymous #2:

What is this chemical reaction you speak of that happens to "a female three times in her life"? As a gynecologist, I'd love to hear about mysterious chemical reaction that I've never seen before in any literature, because I'm certain it would profoundly affect my work. Would you be so kind as to back this up with some form of medical reference?

Jaime said...

Very good article.

I'll add one thing more. It seems to be that a Christian would be less likely to have a condom handy. Somehow if the act isn't premeditated it's less of a sin, more a momentary mistake. If you've got the condom WITH you, then you're just a slut. At least that's how someone who is trying to remain chaste, might see it.

It's a shame that we put all these good/bad sinner/pious on kids. Frankly, we're all less than perfect and we don't deserve the bad things that happen to us (HIV/AIDS, STD's etc).

I also wish that people could find some balance with the whole sex issue. Sex is neither as important nor as meaningless as many would believe. It's not everything. It's also not nothing.

Anonymous said...

Very insightful... and I totally agree. Focusing on sin produces more sin than not.

I believe sex before marriage is sin, but at the same time I believe God never expected us to live sinless lives. The 10 commandments (and the rest of the Mosaic law) was given to make it clear to us that we can't live perfect lives and need a Savior. Not only that, but since Jesus has died for ALL sins, past, present, and future, God no longer sees them at all. The only thing that determines where we end up is whether we accept His sacrifice. That's it, no sin (or good work for that matter) is going to make a difference.

Of course, that's not a license to sin. Sin provides an entrance to Satan and always reaps death in some form. Thus I've chose to abstain purely for that reason. Not because it's a sin. And being born again should naturally produce good works.

Anyway, that's my personal revelation.

BobKincaid said...

And there you have it! "Sex outside of marriage IS a sin."

The Religion Industry's response to sex is a fraud on the faithful. It mirrors the concept of sin in the Garden in which humans are doomed to fail (because, interestingly enough, they wanted the "knowledge of good and evil," i.e. a CONSCIENCE) and to thereby "need" the religion to expiate the "sin."

The Religion Industry screams "DON'T" so loudly and so often that it guarantees the kids will "DO." And that's how they want it, because then, the "church" can hammer the guilt in till the nail disappears beneath the flesh and it can never be extracted, and all over the single most precious, trusting, blissful act of which humans are capable. And that, that trust, that gift of bliss, must be denied, restricted and withheld at all cost.

And the beat goes on . . .

hillhunt said...

Excellent piece, but I'd be a tad suspicious about the Saudi accounts of finding porn on cellphones. Heaven alone knows what the Saudi authorities would categorise as porn: Unclad ankles? A man's torso? A bottle of Scotch?

Amy said...

So it seems to me to be a classic case of "oh, well, I already blew the diet by having a can of coke, might as well go ahead and eat a whole cake. And maybe some pizza." I'm guessing a lot of these kids "slip up" a little and then figure, why not just go whole hog? And if they haven't thought about what they'd do to keep themselves safe in that scenario, a lot, they probably just go with the flow at the time.

In my experience, being safe means thinking long and hard about how you will keep yourself safe. If you don't have that "mental pathway" already set up, you're more likely to make a big mistake. But if you've already imagined the scenario in your mind, it's easier to do the right thing.

I'm anti-abstinence education (and frankly, think people should have as much sex as they want, as long as they play it safe and don't hurt others). But it's nice to see someone with differing beliefs who cares more about the facts than ideology.

Because we can certainly all agree that a lower rate of STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and broken young people is good.

Anonymous said...

Would you have all the sex you wanted if there is no God?

Anonymous said...

Since when is a Teenager a "Kid"?

From what I've read, before birth control, the average woman's age when having their first child is 16.

The only problem here is that society is fighting biology. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

I think that there is one thing missing from this discussion, and that is the fact that "god" is an imaginary creation. Once you get past the whole god nonsense, you can start to think rationally about this problem.

Why does God hate amputees?
God is imaginary

Anonymous said...

I agree full heartedly. Ever since murder was illegal I've gone out and killed people every night. Hmm.. wait, no, that's not true.

RSG said...

There is a stigma that runs rampant in Christian circles regarding sexuality. It's sad that suppression of desire is really the main device to discourage premarital sex. Being a Christian myself who also falls into the ranks of those who've given in to temptation on MANY occasions, I will be the first to tell you that suppression is NOT an effective deterrent... especially when the immediate nature of sexual gratification appears more rewarding than the long-term prospect of "holding out" (at least at the moment of arousal).

There is also a mystique around sex that is usually more pronounced with Christians because of the lack of acknowledgement of sexuality... it's what I call "The Forbidden Fruit Phenomenon". While exposure to various stimuli WILL desensitize one to it, it can often be observed that prohibition of said stimuli will make it more appealing. With that being the case I'm not encouraging that Christians who should be discouraged from premarital sex should be exposed to images of it, but by not acknowledging sexuality and encouraging a sexuality that is healthy by biblical standards, we leave our youth ill-equipped to silence the hormonal voice of "horniness". When something loses its mystique, it is less likely to attract someone to it (ask anyone who's partied it up for many years and has gotten tired of it... they just would rather do other things). The question is what can we equip youths with that will reduce sex's mystique and make them less likely to choose it before marriage.

Finally, we can't forget that obedience (as mandated by the bible) is NOT easy and does require a certain element of "toughing it out" and "resisting the lusts of the flesh". However, by encouraging believers in general to pursue God rather than emphasizing running away from sin, it's more likely that the decision to obey the word will be less difficult... and let's not forget that no amount of discouragement will take away the responsibility of personal accountibility that every Christian has when making decisions.

Josiah said...

Don't quote me on this, but wasn't it Paul who said something to the extent that if two people can't control their desires, and are going to engage in fornication, then have them get married so they won't sin... I think a lot of Christians make things more complicated then they really are, by focusing on rules and laws.

In doing so, they miss the point of the gospel and what Jesus taught. Being a Christian is liberation from sin and the law, and a change from your old ways into God's ways. It's a drastic change which, in my opinion, is hard for people to cope and deal with. So, to bring some sort of familiarity into their new found freedom, they try and integrate the old way, living under the law, with the new way, living under Jesus, such brings about these "sacredly" held positions with the "rules".

Nevin Horton said...

haha, the ankles always do it for me...

but seriously, sex, c'mon. if kids want to have sex, they will, its up to them, not their parents, their church, or their youth minister. It's unrealistic to tell them they can't.

I gave up on religion a while ago, and so far, I'm happier. I'm not looking over my shoulder every second of the day, worrying that some act of mine is going to be seen by the holy church members and i'll be declared a sinner!

god is love, but all we worry about is sin.

sex is nice, but even when you can have it, you want it with someone you can love.

Steven said...

You all should read "Theology of The Body" It really lays out the truth about all of this.
It is possible, you can wait until you're married, I did. I waited until I was 24, I'm now 25 and am so glad I waited, even though it wasn't easy.

"The only thing that determines where we end up is whether we accept His sacrifice. That's it, no sin (or good work for that matter) is going to make a difference.

Sin provides an entrance to Satan and always reaps death in some form. being born again should naturally produce good works."
-This is silly, really. Heaven is being united with God. Sin is turning your back on God. Just because you believe there is a God and Jesus died for you doesn't mean that you will get to heaven no matter what you've done. And just because you sin doesn't mean that your former comitment to Jesus wasn't real. Your salvation isn't a toggle switch that is either on or off. It's up to God to judge, not us.

Michael said...

Yes.... I agree completely.. and boy does the Catholic framework create some very Adventurous Co-eds! Keep up the good work Vatican!

Anonymous said...

It happens! and thats just the reality of it. Why not try to educate people about it or give people the choice rather than telling them its damnation if they do. Sex is a normal act, and thats the way God/Biology intended it, by supressing or "believing" it isn't there is just going to make the problem worse.

As far as the 'purity pledge' is concerned, it's something one should decide for themselves, why do you NEED to do it infront of others? it just re-inforces the fact that people are going to be less willing to speak up if they actually have sex before marriage.

Anonymous said...

What!? are you stupid, people are human for f**k' sake. Repressing peoples desires and instincts only leads to a build up of resentment and frustration. People will break rules if they are contradictory enough to their instincts to override their scence of morality or guilt. You cant stop people having sex. Its the most basic and fundamental drive of all organisms on earth - to reproduce.

Jinson said...

excellent article. i think the abstinence teaching is great but the reason given is unbiblical. We try to scare our teens into abstinence. Sin will not stop us from entering heaven if we accepted Jesus Christ. He already paid the price. No matter how much a Christian tries not to sin, he will. The reason to avoid anything should be motivated out of love and appreciation and not fear. The best example is that of a husband and wife. A spouse's motivation for not cheating should be driven by his/her love for their spouse and not because of fear or becasue its wrong. we should let our teen know that the desire to have sex is going to be there. God will not send them to hell for that. Educate them on the mental and emotional effects of pre marital sex. and then tell them to freely choose. Tell them to avoid premarital sex as a expression of love but even if them fall, God still loves them. Let them choose without fear motivating them. That is my humble opinion.

Steven said...

"Instead of telling children how huge of a sin it is to engage in premaritial sex (which isn't biblical at all)"

"How can you join yourself to a prostitute? Don't you know that a man who has relations with a prostitute becomes one flesh with her." (I Cor 6:15)
Should we be "one flesh" with more than our wife?

Prometheus said...

One of my all-time favourite quotations from the West Wing (one of my all-time favourite TV shows) goes approximately as follows:

Christian minister, trying to get the White House to speak out on condoms in schools: "Show a teenage male a condom and his mind turns to thoughts of lust."
White House Communications Director's Response: "Show a teenage male a lug wrench, and his mind turns to thoughts of lust".

Amy, you're looking too much into this. Kids don't have unsafe sex because of the "I'm having a coke, might as well have a pizza too" ideal. Kids have unsafe sex because sex is fun and enjoyable and can only be made safe if you know what you're doing.

Expecting kids to be able to commit to withhold sex on a broad scale is unreasonable. Young people have been having, and generally enjoying, sex and sexual play as long as we have been a species. But with the risks we now realise accompany sex, safe sex is important. But it has to be taught, and it has to be learned. You cannot simply develop the notion on your own. This is why abstinence-only education fails: because kids will have sex anyway, only now they won't know how to do it safely.

I like this article, but I reject the notion that "Romeo & Juliet" syndrome has an effect; this can be observed by you stating that the rates of Christians and non-Christians having sex are similar. It's not that being told not to makes people do it more. It just doesn't make them do it less.

Pre-marital sex is fun (if you know what you're doing). People always have, and always will, want to engage in such an activity. I firmly believe that the best anyone can do is be honest and frank about the very real risks and the very real benefits that accompany sex.

Anonymous said...

ABC's of pre-marital sex..

Abstain. Sexual sin is powerful in its ability to lead young people away from God.
Be faithful to the loving God who forgives our mistakes. To say we can't be faithful to God is literally equivalent to saying we can't be faithful to our spouse which leads to the C
Control yourself.

How I stayed away from pre-marital sex is simple - I didn't spend time alone with any of my female friends. THAT'S a recipe for disaster. And I stayed accountable to my brother's in Christ about temptations I faced. We kept ourselves accountable to each other - and we we're all in our teens and twenties. Nothing is impossible to God. Why are most of you thinking it can't be accomplished?

It's all about being smart about your conduct. We need to be frank with our children and teach them to be smart about this topic.

Jarod said...

The thing with sin is that it has more to do with the heart than it does the external actions. This can be seen with Jesus' dealing with the Pharisees who meticulously kept the external law. He called them "whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones". This is why many of the chastity pledges fail because they are mainly about outward actions and do very little with the heart. Sex before marriage is just as bad as sex in marriage if our heart is not first fixed on Christ. He is to be desired more than sex. If we want teens to abstain from sex before marriage, then we must teach them to see Christ as more to be desired than sex or any other thing. That is what sin is, desiring something or someone more than Christ. Take care of the heart and the external actions will follow.

Robert said...

Look here, another stab at the Christians with another non-story story.

I'd imagine that a lot of time and money was wasted on this research to come up with a conclusion about rebellion and temptation that is already common knowledge to most, including Christians. Great work. Sounded intellectual but contained nothing.

How about someone write another story that explains why non-Christian children keep having an abundance of children of their own out of wedlock at compared to Christian children. That would be a refreshing change.

Ben said...

I have never really understood the whole "sex before marriage is a sin" concept. The only answer i have been given is along the lines of "because it says so in the Bible". Frankly there are all sorts of things in the Bible that 99.9% of practicing Christians don't adhere to, so why this focus on sex as a sin.

How many practicing Christians live there lives according to the below Bible verses. Much of the Bible was wrtten thousands of years ago and needs to be interpreted in it's social and historical context as a whole. Cherry picking which bit's to take litterally and which bits to ignore completely because the world is a different place several thousand years later makes no sense to me.

* Exodus 21:20

If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

* Leviticus 25:44-46

Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

* Leviticus 23:14

...You must not eat any bread or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live."

Anonymous said...

God created life.

We are life.

Life creates life.

Christianity says that creating life is a sin.

God is a sinner for creating a creation that can recreate itself?

This article is messed up. Or is it Christianity? I think I'll focus on how to be a loving and affectionate human being, instead of a mental categorization or label called 'christian'.

Steven said...

Sex before marriage "not biblical"?

Give me a break! Try reading the bible and list how many times it lists fornication as being bad. If you don't know what fornication is, look it up. Perhaps your opinion will change.

Anonymous said...

robert: Yeah, it would be refreshing. If it was maybe even slightly true. Sorry that the facts don't bear up your preselected ideology.

Anonymous said...

To me, there is a significant different between sex and "making love". Sex is a selfish act where the only goal is to please yourself. On the other hand, love making is self-less and shared between two people who truly want make the other one feel good.

If two individuals really, genuinely love each other then why should they have to wait until they get married to be intimate? Why does having a ring around your finger and a vow before God making intimacy any more valid?

The problem with teenagers and young adults is that they often times can’t distinguish between lust and budding love - hence causing a world of problems. Should they decide to take their relationship to the next step they would be better served by knowing everything that it entails and how to best be safe while doing it.

Drew Unruh said...

As you eluded to, you appear to have studied first year psych and grasped on to the concept of the Romeo and Juliet effect. I challenge you to remember another concept that first year psych teaches us, that of writing a scholarly article. I recognize this article is located on a blog and therefore you should feel more than free to express your opinions. If however you are going to use statistics like you do mid article to talk about the amount of teens engaging in unsafe sexual acts, I encourage you to site your sources. It's a good concept and a good theory, don't be afraid to explore it more. Just be sure that you are not making the cognitive jump between the Romeo and Juliet effect and the other psych challenges that come with our wants being challenged by authority figures.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine found the best deterent from teen sex was when her daughter was 13 and my friend was having her 4th child she dragged her daughter into the delivery room. Needless to say, now 5 years later the daughter has stuck with athletics on the field and not in the bedroom or the back of a car.

okih said...

Pft. I never took a purity pledge. I never went to religious talks. My parents never really talked to me about sex.
I developed my own sense of morality by just growing and observing my surroundings.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with sex?

I happen to like it a lot. I did as a teenager, and I'm sure I'll continue to after I'm married and a father.

In the words of the great George Michael: "Sex is natural. Sex is good. Not everybody does, but everybody should."

Sex is fun, it feels good, and it's a great way to connect in a loving relationship. What's not to like?

You christians are weird. Always repressing the fun out of life.

Anonymous said...

In general, our society seems to take whatever "is" as extending in both directions of time as having been so. The strict Constituionalists, for example, talk about the intent of the founding fathers (did you ever think that was a strange term?) as though they could have contemplated changes in all facets of our society. A number of people point out, for example, that the Electoral College was a pragmatic way around vote counting in the new states; it was easier to count hands in a room than ballots in the countryside.

The Christian idea that sex is relate only to marriage is as likely to have come from very pragmatic social behavior as well. Thousands of years ago, when the Bible was chronicaling events, dietary laws were set down as a practical matter of survival. Family structures provided stability in an emerging wide-spread society, and governments - tribal, regional, or otherwise - had little in the ways of social order on the law books.

Sex within marriage, exclusively, is also another way to herd the faithful and toe the line. It is among the seven virtures or deadly sins, depending on whether your pants or currently up or down.

There is another social factor that is really swept under the carpet in the view that things as they are are as they have always been. The superior role of men over women (not in the missionary position sense) has been as dominant in the history of Christianity as in any other religion and very often still is: the Roman Catholic Church, the Morman Church (which activity campaigned against the ERA because it would "upset" the role of men and women), but also in non-Christian faiths. Men are empowered, women are not. See the Modana Complex for more on this. If you can't find it, just consider how women are worshiped as mothers and lusted after as sluts, but those images are never overlayed on each other.

I don't wish to upset my friends and the readers who are devout in their faith. Most religions ask of their faithful NOT to question the teachings but to accept them as well matters of faith. But our religions, especially those of Christianity, have shown the shifting nature of social life over the centuries. Even moreso, there are any number of federate and confederate religions who lay claim to the exclusive path to eternal salvation and overcome death. So how do you pick?

I firmly believe you don't have to pick. Go with your faith and your feelings. Far be it from me or anyone else to say you have it wrong.

BUT, I do ask you to be as pragmatic as those who contributed to the content of the Bible and the wisdom of God. If the words of the Bible are divine inspiration, then God was helping to bring social order to His followers. There are some contradictions in the Bible, but there are contradictions in life and especially in organized religion, so it doesn't invalidate God's hand, if that is what you believe, in the scripting.

But it is not a violation of faith,I believe, to ask the why questions. Why did things happen as they did? What were the social, technological, and political circumstances that were the crucible for events and their outcomes? How, if those events played out now, would the outcomes be different and still consistent with fundamental themes?

When the issue is sex, there are fundamental and inescapable factors that need be added to the mix. Sex is a basic and natural drive among all living creatures. Much behavior among those creatures, including humans, is the desire to produce our DNA in offspring. Nature is so full of astonishing behavior of this that we should not be surprised at our own drives.

In a male-dominated and oriented religious framework, it is not surprising that sex comes off with guilt and shame, that it is governed by so much restriction. Today the headlines almost daily focus on men - and sometimes women - having sex with young teenage girls, in spite of the fact that it is illegal, is going to send you to prison, and is going to get you plastered on the Internet as a sex offender. Yet it was common, and indeed expected, that men would marry (often many of them) and yes have lots of sex with young girls. It was pragmatic based on life expectancy, the need to produce offspring for family structure but more importantly for labor for the family to survive.

Rather than recognize that our value system can change, we just layer guilt over the whole thing and pretend it never happened. We pretend that having sex drive, having lustful thoughts, is the work of the devil and lack of them, or overcoming them, is god-like. It was a basic problem the Catholic clergy finally came to grips with but more financially than morally. It is still something other religions might put on their calendars.

Inthe meantime, the best we can do for our kids is to lead by example. Do what we do, not just what we say. Recognize they will want to be their own persons, and that is a natural part of their development to adulthood. Support and love them for thier differences, but provide a steadfast course for them to come back to in their journey.

You can do this with or without religion, and it makes things a whole lot easier. And the thing that actually wasn't mentioned is the role of love with sex. Loveless sex does exist and it is - was - great, but it is not nearly so satisfying. It takes maturity and perhaps wisdom to get it, so let's not expect our children to have it in their back pockets along with condoms.

Disclaimer: male, successful parent

IPMblog said...

David said: "whereby rules and restrictions actually make you more prone to resist them."

I've thought about this in the past and have concluded that it depends on the personality of a person in large part. Some people, by nature, take more chances. Others, like my wife, abide by rules at all costs.

When you preach to youth or congregations you can't teach on a case by case basis. So whether you're touting some kind of guideline or leaving the topic alone from the pulpit, you'll still be missing half of the boat, so to speak.

And, FWIW, sex outside of marriage is still more prevelent in a lot of other corners in the world, from what I understand, that in the U.S.

father15 said...

Hello,

this question is meant serious: why is sex before mariage considered so bad? I do not get it!

I had my first sex with a girl when i was 15 and had sex with a few others until i found THE one and only. My wife and i have been engaged for a few years before we decided to marry, having had a lot of sex in those years.

Now, i am a father of a 15 year old daughter. I know she is taking the 'birth control pill' (i do not know the correct english term), because i have to pay for it. I am also quite sure that she is having sex with her boyfriend on a more or less regular basis. Why not? She loves him. Will he be THE one for her? Maybe not. Maybe she will have some other partners before finding the perfect match. And surely she will have sex with those men. What is bad about that? She is a very gentle, responsible girl. She too is doing 'athletics on the field' besides doing it 'in the bedroom'. Having sex doesn't make her a bad, irresponsible person.

So, what is it all about?

I am very interested in your answeres.

father15

Anonymous said...

I try to learn from the mistakes of others. It's sad to see the unwanted effects of pre-marital sex. It seems that the majority of our society end up in a marriage they don't want, or with kids they don't want. People treat sex as if the act itself is disposable, like a condom. You can't throw out your feelings when you're done. People have all this emmotional/psychological baggage from their brief moment of happiness. I know people who are truly in love, who abstained, and I can see that love is worth waiting for. I made the decision to abstain when I was 14, now I'm 22. I'm not deeply religious or uptight, but I believe that God loves us and tries to show us our mistakes. If I save my love for the right woman I believe we will be happy together. Our culture of consumerism has tricked us into thinking that "f#*k" and "love" are the same thing. They aren't...

Anonymous said...

We've arrived yet again at a point where religion fails to compete with what it truly means to be human. Kids have sex because they're programmed to do so after puberty. I agree with the point of this article that telling people not to do something makes want to do it that much more. Beyond that, the morality of religion tries to dictate a cultural standard that runs counter to human nature. With the advent of modern society, those that guide religion in its current state need to realize that if they don't adapt to how culture truly is (and not what they think it should be) they will kicked to the curb with all the other outdated ideals we no longer need.

Kids need to be educated about sex to avoid STD's and to be able to properly plan on how to start a healthy family. They should never avoid sex because they think they will be punished by a magical ghost beyond the grave.

Anonymous said...

People tend to complain about the issues of pre-marital sex. There aren't any. There's issues related to juvenile sexual behaviour, sexual disease teenage pregnancy etc but these typically come from poor education on the topic.

Education will have a better impact than forbidding on every subject.

Richard McCord said...

While I agree that fear and guilt are far too often used as a "training" tool, I would point out that using God in any form is the wrong direction to take.

Far too often we (as human beings) err on the side of "fun" because the danger isn't readily apparent. With God, punishment is a maybe... or at the very least a long ways off. (IE: Not until we're dead) This isn't exactly a motivational argument for NOT having sex.

Instead, we should focus on the very real, and increasingly frequent number of teenage pregnancies, illnesses and abortions, and the number of "unwanted" or "oops" children that grow up without a blood-family because of teenage/out-of-marriage sex.

I'm not saying stray from the teachings of your religion... but DO focus on the concrete evidence that leaves nothing to Faith.

Shane Giroux said...

@hillhunt

It doesn't matter what is defined as pornography here though. The study was done in Saudi Arabia so it should be done on Saudi Arabias definition of porn.

If it's forbidden to be seeing women's ankles there and kids are doing it, it's the same idea as kids here looking at butts when they're not supposed to.

Anonymous said...

The logic of this certainly makes sense from a wordly point of view, but the problem is that the Bible states that sex before marriage is a sin. You are advocating something that runs contrary to your Christian beliefs. The danger here is that you are placing feeling over Biblical instruction. We are all sinners and our nature is to do what we want. Avoiding sexual temptation is hard, as is avoiding other types of temptation. Yes we live in an age of grace in that if we sin we can be forgiven for our sins if we accept Jesus as our Savior, but if one has done that, does that give them the freedom to do what they want and then ask for forgiveness? No. Paul talks about this in Romans. A believer who has turned his or her life over to Christ, tries to live a Christ like life, which means trying to be pure sexually until marriage. What really should be done is that we need to encourage our young people to not have sex before marriage, parents need to encourage group events, instead of allowing young men and women alone, and in church's we need to address the sexual activity endemic head on and address it realistically. But to say, I rather let them sin under these conditions is not what professed Christians should be advocating.

The High Visionate said...

As a long time follower of Christ, I have to say that much of what you have said in this post is truth, much of that truth I learned first hand.

Back in the day (and in many cultures now) young people were usually married about the time that the hormones really started flowing, it has only been in the last 100-75 years that the trend towards legally preventing marriage until the age of majority has been prevalent. It can be argued that it is natural for humans to engage in sexual activities at the time when their bodies have become sexually mature.

This coupled with the ultra-conservative religious teachings masquerading as Christianity has resulted in untold broken hearts, broken bodies, and broken souls; not to mention numerous people who have been alienated by anything to do with Christ by such actions and teachings.

Is sex sacred? Yes, very much so it is the very act of becoming one with another human. Is marriage sacred? Yes, as an orthodox believer I hold marriage to be one of the most special sacraments. Do we sin? There is only one who doesn't and HE has forgiven me, a (very) sinful man.

Anonymous said...

I am Christian and know that sex before marriage is a sin. It is a sin because God asked us to abstain before marriage. The reason that he asked us to abstain is not because he sits up there thinking of ways to torture us “I know, I’ll give them an uncontrollable sex drive and then tell them not to have sex.” He actually is “all knowing” etc. He knows all the problems that will come when you have sex before marriage and he would like to help us out on this one. That is really what any commandment is about.
So do any of you actually have kids? Teenagers? I grew up like many of you in the “sex is bad” era, so I definitely want to not perpetuate that attitude.
I actually have a teenager, and 3 more kids coming up to that age pretty quick.
These are some of the things I am ALREADY TELLING THEM!
Sex is great. It is fun. I wish I could do it more sometimes. I’m so glad I waited until I was married, because I personally witnessed lives ruined because friends (and family members) chose unwisely and had sex before marriage. Sex is only part of a relationship.
Having a respectful loving partner is a big part of the relationship too. It is not all sex, all the time. God gave us a desire to have sex, and that is normal and good. Waiting WILL make your relationship with your marriage partner better. There are already so many other problems that married couples have, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to worry about past partners, babies out of wedlock, or STD’s, not to mention self-esteem or guilt issues. I plan on educating them about all of the Facts of Life, and hopefully they will be able to make the right decision to wait, and that is all I can do. I can’t believe what Mr. Anonymous said about it not mattering whether or not you sin or do good works, “The only thing that determines where we end up is whether we accept His sacrifice. That's it, no sin (or good work for that matter) is going to make a difference.” That is not what the Bible teaches. Remember the whole “Faith without works is death” part in the Bible. Part of accepting his sacrifice is to repent and do better. To use the atonement to be forgiven and then make our lives better. I don’t believe people when they say they are Christians and then say that good works don’t matter. They Matter! They matter to me, and to all of humanity, and to God. This life we have is to learn to have self mastery, to be able to live with God in Heaven after death (I’m pretty sure most Christians believe that). We need Christ to accomplish that. There is no way that I can do what ever I want, murder, have sex with whomever whenever, shoplift, lie, cheat, abuse others, and then feel comfortable living with God in Heaven just because I believe in Christ and accept his sacrifice.
Bottom line: It’s possible to control yourself and not have sex before marriage, and it is appropriate to expect our kids to have the same control. With the right attitude and education, anything is possible. Also, I find that when I have high expectation for my children, and give them tools to accomplish those things, they rarely fall short. I don’t agree with all the pessimists who want us all to lower our expectations and standards and just deal with it. I will be teaching my kids abstinence.

Anonymous said...

Abstinence is an outdated moral code, much like not being able to eat pork. Sure, back before there was blood and DNA tests to establish paternity, when women were property, and ruling people were wealthy and had to protect wealth by passing it down to rightful heirs abstinence was required. How else could a king or rich nobleman guarantee his son was actually his son? The only way was to have a virgin wife. A man's abstinence was never really the issue. Also, back several centuries ago 30 or 40 years of age was OLD, so people had offspring in their early and mid teens, when at their sexual peak. Now that we have "evolved" we are suppose to abstain until the 20s, mid-20s or later? Yeah, right...that's clearly NOT the way God made us.

Johann said...

It seems, furthermore, that the hyped-up sanctity of sex saved 'til marriage draws most of its excitement simply from societal expectations that it be such. I think that this is dangerous because if a child *does* have sex before marriage, society is allowing him or her to be emotionally scarred (however slightly) and regretful.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure you can't get an STD or pregnant from eating pork.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the author but don't have any solutions. Here are some of my observations:

I do believe that sex is a sacred thing between two people who love each other and our present society cheapens and encourages casual sex by the ubiquitous imagery in practically all forms of media. As with the author, I don't think abstinence is the correct way to solve the problem, but I don't have a better way either. I think the main problem is that our physiology is built for reproduction, the physical pleasure and emotional intimacy all serve to reinforce it. From an evolutionary perspective, it is certainly more advantageous for one to have sex and produce more offspring earlier rather than later in life. From a Biblical point of view, God created sex and saw that it was good. During Jesus' time, people got married when they were teens, not too long after puberty. Life expectancy was only about 30 years. As modern society places more demands on our careers, people delay marriage longer and longer. Nowadays It is not uncommon for people in their 30s to still be single. So if we are built for having physical intimacy starting from early life (whether by God or through evolution), I would say that it is unnatural for us to be denied from it.

One solution that the pastor of my church suggested indirectly in a sermon (I go to a pretty conservative church) is not to wait so long to get married. I guess that works. However, a cynical person would suggest that people are just getting married to "legalize" the sex. I don't know, but it seems to me that we should be certain of the person that we are marrying is "the one" rather than rushing into it and then end up in a divorce.

Neurofreak said...

I really respect the fact that you've adapted your views to accomodate the TRUTH (statistics, science, and fact) as opposed to simply doing the typical religious thing and simply deluding yourself. It's even more admirable that you've shared your thoughts in a comprehensible manner, even though you fully expected criticism from the Christian community.

Alfonso said...

I agree with your article. Funnily enough this is exactly why the "War on Drugs" has been a miserable failure" .. pouring money down the drain.

Ned Johnson said...

I do not know the age of the writer, nor those who have commented, but I have just barely turned 20 and thus have a completely different angle. I grew up in a church (as did all of my friends) that taught abstinence. In fact, for years I was scared that sex was some sort of disease I might get were I to look at a girl or that holding hands with a girl would get her pregnant. Grant it, these ideas were silly, but still in my mind nonetheless. Though it was pounded into my head over and over, I did not listen. I knew my parents would hate me; I knew my church would be disappointed; I knew it was a sin but I did it anyway? The author was right. The more you say "don't" the more kids want to "do". Personally, I believe sex before marriage is wrong, and having been a teenager only months ago, I know the pressures. We aren't teaching what is right though. We always teach that sin destroys others and that is why we should not do it. At least, most of the time that is how it is portrayed. But sex seems to hurt no one but yourself. That is how I rationalized it. It was my body and thus my choice. To my everlasting shame, I fell in love with a girl who was a virgin and had to tell her I was not. THEN and then only did I learn who my sin had truly hurt. We don't teach kids what sex really hurts. We try to scare them with AIDS and preganancy, but teenagers are risk takers. If there is a 1 percent chance it won't happen, a teenager will risk it. But with sex you can guarantee that you and someday someone you really love will be emotionally hurt. The chances are 100 percent. Sex is emotional and when outside of marriage is emotionally detrimental. If someone had told me I would love a girl who would leave me cause I was not a virgin, I would never have had sex. If someone had told me how much it would hurt or the images I could never forget, I would never have done it. We are not teaching the truth. James says "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." I know he was talking about Jesus Christ, but the message still applies, if we teach kids the truth about sex (no stats about STDs, pregancies, or abortion) and its true sin nature the truth will set us free.

~Ned

David said...

Here's what I think about all of this (as another evangelical):

It's true, Christian kids are probably just as prone to have sex as non-christian kids. It's also probably true that the rules themselves make Christian kids want to break them and have sex. Reverse psychology is not the answer though. Telling kids it's okay to have sex and giving them condoms so they'll either not want to have sex, or have safer sex does not fix the real problem at hand. The real problem is that when these kids have sex, they're not just rebelling against their parents' wishes, or the Christian culture. They are rebelling against their Creator. In those moments that they are prone to rebel and have sex, they are not believing in the Gospel, that Jesus Christ died for those sins that they are about to commit - and probably know in their hearts that they shouldn't be doing. The change that solves the problem of sexual immorality in any culture has to be in the heart, not in the rule book. Rather than simply wanting the children to avoid the hassle of std's and unwanted pregnancies, we should aspire that children (and the Church as a whole) make these decisions to not have sex - and to not rebel like Romeo and Juliet - because living for God is more satisfying than living for ourselves.

This Girl said...

I like your article. I teach abstinence education (abstinence until marriage - we get to talk about condoms, birth control, STDs and all that stuff.) We just don't recommend all that stuff, but if asked, we give accurate information. While I agree that Abstinence Only education has it's downfalls (taught by Christians that try to convince kids who don't believe in God to follow what God says, taught by people who mean well, but don't have all the information, or taught by people who think they know it all and basically piss off the teens with their inability to commiserate with how hard it is to remain abstinent) but not all abstinence education is a failure. In abstinence education, if you can get a teen to delay sexual activity until 19, they are nearly 80% less likely to have multiple partners.

We don't believe in safe sex. Condoms may keep you from having a baby, and protect you from HIV more than not wearing them, but they are not safe. Statistically, if you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, that 32% chance of contracting HIV/AIDS rises significantly - kids with other stds are 5 times more likely to contract HIV, even with consistent condom use. It is a scary to consider what our children are facing.

As a Christian myself, I can't come at abstinence from the God standpoint for my classes. Individually, maybe, but as a whole, no. Not even in the south. I chose abstinence before I met God, and then after, I had to, but I was glad I'd made the choice or it would have chafed. I was lucky enough to be a virgin when I met my husband and lucky enough to find a guy who had waited. I don't worry about stds. Sex is as fun as I thought, but not exactly like it's portrayed. But I still think it is the best option, with or without God. We try to convince kids of this by helping them have plans for the future, goals they want to accomplish. We talk about stds and hope they fear them, but we don't want to scare them into virginity because that will not end well.

No matter what you believe or who you believe in, it is a hard choice to choose abstinence. While the study is 2 years old, the information in it is even older. I think the last information on abstinence education studied was 2000. In the past 7 years, abstinence education has changed drastically. It is believed that this new course of action could make that difference. And there number of teens choosing abstinence has risen and some stds have risen as well. While both sides are trying to claim the victory in this, the diseases that are dropping are the ones that condoms do not fully protect against. The CDC says that there is no way to tell which is working, so hopefully the studies that are being done now will show it in the next few years.

Reg Golb said...

You don't tell your child that desert is bad. You don't tell your child that desert is a sin. You tell your child that desert comes after supper. If you tell them sex before marriage is a sin you will be telling the truth, just not the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I read this, and it was really eye-opening. I believe in everything you've said here, and I wholeheartedly agree. I've been raised Christian, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have an amazing, beautiful fiance, and we're both waiting until we get married to even kiss, nonetheless have sex. I'm waiting for several reasons, but 2 of my main ones are that I don't trust my ability to control myself (and I don't want to do anything I'll regret), and the other main reason is I know, in my heart, that it will be that much more amazing, to have my first kiss, and my first EVERYTHING with her. It will be amazing, special, and perfect, just the way God wants it to be! Thank you for this, and God bless you!

dan said...

First thought. How foolish to think that giving your child a condom is the next best option. The message that sends is "if the abstinence training fails then we should all just give up and concede to the evil that is in this world". I am not idealistic. I know that the times we live in make it more difficult to remain sexually pure, but that does not mean we should give in and forget the higher calling that is required of us. Jesus said " Be perfect as I am perfect". I don't believe he expects perfection out of us, He knows our nature better than anyone, but He has given us that high standard as a goal and a model to form our lives after. We are to try to lead a sinless life not because it will keep us from harm, but rather because there is a glorious life to be lived if we are following the will of the Holy Spirit and not our own. If we live out our lives based on every whim and desire, we would would find ourselves in a miserable end. There is no LASTING satisfaction in the carnal desires our bodies tell us to indulge in day after day. They leave us empty and torn over and over. True fulfillment in this life can be found by basing your life on the higher principals that Jesus has called us to. People need to know that abstinence brings freedom, trust and wholeness to a marriage all things which are destroyed by premarital sex. Our motivation for remaining pure should come from a desire for something better not condemnation for breaking the rules. I would also add that it is not too late for people who have already had sex before marriage, God's hand of redemption is never removed, but that road is walked with many scars and bruises.

In response to Amy who said "people should have as much sex as they want, as long as they play it safe and don't hurt others". This statement is a contradiction of terms. Religious ideology aside. Sex outside of a committed, life-long relationship ALWAYS forms a bond and if that bond is broken by a relationship that is not lasting, then the result will ALWAYS hurt someone. There is not middle ground here.

Jeffrey said...

I think the real problem is that the parents aren't focused on building true agape (unconditional, biblical) love into their children. Demanding a child to follow a list of rules was not what God had in mind. It says in the Bible,

PHP 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,

PHP 2:2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Like minded, having the same love of Christ! Now ultimately, if the parents and their children would focus on building relationships with the love of Christ, then the child would trust the lord and would make the decision to focus on building true serving, sacrificing relationships with their friends and family. If the parents leave an example that follows God's love, then the child can truly appreciate God and their parents. It would be easier for the parents to lovingly explain to their children that sex is not a tool of pleasure, which comes to my next point.

Sex before marriage is a sin like some have said before me. God did not create make us sexual beings so that sex can be a tool for self-gratification! It says in the bible,

GE 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Sex was meant to give us an experience of UNITY with our spouse. This unity is characteristic of God! God made sex that we would be in his image. God is three persons in one essence! That is his unity! And marriage reflects this characteristic!!! Sex should be a result of marriage, proclaiming ur commitment and devotion to ur spouse!

If we were to give our children condoms and let them have sex before marriage, you would be hurting your child in the worst way possible! Condoms do not prevent the fact that you still become one with this person! If ur child is becoming one with many, that would utterly emotionally damaging because its not loving and very selfish... Alright I made my point, never should the focus of the Lord be swayed by political correctness!!

Anonymous said...

Ok I'm 24 and I have sort of given up on waiting til marriage. I havn't actually done anything yet but its been a battle and I feel that I've lost. I feel bad about losing this battle but I just don't feel that I can win it. However that is the reason there was a cross in the first place.

There is a huge problem with virginity pledges within the Christian church and I want to highlight why these don't work!

There is also a huge problem with the virginity pledges that they have. Its ridiculous, I just read an article about a 9 year old girl making a purity pledge. 9 YEARS OLD!! A 9 year old does not have the ability to even conceptualize what sex and is not likely to even want it at this stage. But we push her up there and convince her to take a purity pledge before she even knows what she is pledging to.

Now this doesn't happen all the time often they take these pledges at around 13 maybe 14 years old. Now I think most people would agree that a 13/14 y/o isn't old enough to choose sex for themselves. Even most secular people would tell you that. So why do we think they are old enough to choose NOT to have sex???

If you really want these pledges to stick you need to let people who are old enough take them. If they arn't old enough to choose sex they arn't old enough NOT to choose sex.

I never took a virginity pledge, I had one shot at sex when I was 17 and an atheist and I passed it up because I didn't think I was old enough to choose. I converted when I was 19 and now I'm 2 weeks shy of 25 and a virgin. I would not and could not take such a pledge because I really don't think I could maintain it as much as I'd like to. I've given up. But most people would say that I'm old enough to choose sex.

Another that I see with the church is they don't address young adults like myself. I went to college with a bunch of Christians and they helped me in my faith life a lot. But they all got married right out of college. There just seems to be this grand assumption in Christian churches that you will get married at 22 years old. And you know it doesn't happen as much as we might like it to. The church just simpily doesn't address it. I talked to one Christian woman who was a virgin til she was 40 because she never got married and she went out and did it with a male escort and has lost a lot of faith in God in the process. The reason that she lost faith is NOT because she can't belive that what she did was a sin but because of the Christians who all got married at 22 or the ones who arn't even married lining up to condemn her to hell for having sex for the first time in her 40's. The church has got to be more understanding then this. The problem is that the church sometimes just isn't understanding an a person who got married at 22 feels he has the right to condemn a 40 year old for trying to fulfill a basic human desire. Does that excuse her, no its still a sin, but does that give me or anyone else the right to condemn her? I don't endorse her doing it or ever doing it again. But sometimes people are too weak to be able to handle it and you have to admire her for making it as long as she did. Jesus said "He who is without sin may cast the first stone." In modern terms he's basically saying "Call me when you are perfect."

The thing was when I was a teenager I was pretty well convinced I wasn't old enough to choose sex so i didn't have it. And at the time I didn't even belive in God. So I agree that having a reason other then an angry God is a bad reason and throwing an angry God is a total distortion of what Christ was all about, forgiving you for your weaknesses and faults. If we really want kids to wait then they need to be given REAL reasons why its not a good idea.

But see now and the reason I think I've given up on this was simpily because all I have is an angry God and that just isn't enough for me anymore. I know God is disappointed in my weakness and I'm disappointed in it too, but honestly I just don't think I could so no to any opprotunity.

Sex before marriage is a sin, but its no more of a sin then taking God's name in vain or pronouncing condemnation on people for their sins. But we give Christians a pass on condemning people almost as if its a good thing. But the second a 40 year old has pre-marital sex because she's tired of being a virgin, we have long lines of young people who are a whole 20 years old and virgins and people who where married at 22 or 23 years old lining up to tell her about how horrible of a person she is.

May God have mercy on my soul for giving up on purity. I'll let him condemn me to hell if he wants, I deserve it anyways. But I'll let a rightous God condemn me and no one else.

Anonymous said...

ok... I am about to turn 20 and i know about all the pressures in having sex...BUT i was in love. I'm in a 2 year relationship with someone who is also a Christian.I do whole heartedly understand that sex is a sin but none the less me and my boyfriend still lost our virginity to each other. I had a very close relationship with god b4 i had sex with my boyfriend and once i started having sex it was harder and harder for me to pray or go to church..i felt ashamed and lost. we were having sex for a couple of months and i began to b angry at my bf for losing my connection. even though i knew it wasn't his fault. Now we decided to rededicate our lives to being abstinent.Although it is very difficult at times and sometimes we fall short we defintley feel better about ourselves and out relationship with God. basically my point is someone told me why its soo bad rather than just saying its bad maybe i could've understood better.

Anonymous said...

To the 20 year old who had sex with her boyfriend of two years and feels guilty about it - why don't you get married. You're 20. That's an adult. You've been together for 2 years. Why take a renewed pledge of abstinence? Just get married. You can even go to a courthouse and have a simple wedding and then plan a more elaborate ceremony for your 1 year anniversary if you want.

Why is there an emphasis on not having sex but not an equal emphasis on getting married? Premarital sex is a sin - marriage is NOT.

RG said...

Would you have all the sex you wanted if there is no God?

No, I wouldn't have sex. I think that virginity represents good character, determination, discipline, and the abilty to control one's desires. Sex before marriage is definitely not desirable and I would recommend having sex only after you have gotten married to your true love. True love is worth the wait. I'll only offer my body to the woman whom I truly love and the woman who truly loves me. My body is not a cheap piece of meat that I offer to anyone for free.

Amber1234 said...

That figure of 88% of Christian's break their pledge of Virginity is just shocking. I am a Christian and will with all my will power remain a Virgin until marriage. I am more liberal as you are and couldn't have worded it better than you did with regards to what JC would rather us follow. You hit the nail on the head! At the end of the day, the idea of saving sex for marriage is for the sake of the 'fruit' our children.

That one Girl said...

I am a christian and I grew up as one. I started out thinking it was wrong to date anyone you didn't want to marry and that it was a huge commitment to date someone and that staying faithful and pure was of utmost importance. I had my my first boyfriend in high school. I had brought him to a relationship with Christ and I thought there was real potential for long run. And as far as most high school relationships go, we did pretty well. We dated for over a year before we kissed even, and we were very happy and healthy for at least that long. I thought for sure we would last and get married and so forth. But his family had never treated him well, and very gradually, so gradually I hardly noticed until I was in over my head, he became more and more controlling. I eventually found myself being sexually and verbally abused by him. I didn't gather the strength to dump him until I had physical distance from him when I moved to college. He phone stalked me. Calling as often as every five minutes, starting at 7 am to midnight, for about three months after the break. Campus security did nothing about it.
While I was trying to process all that had happened to me in the previous year, how many things I felt had been taken from me sexually, and how I felt that I had not been strong enough to stand up for my faith, I met an older guy who was a christian ministries major. He felt so safe and understanding, and I somehow had the idea that it was the epitome of christian womanhood to be a pastor's wife. I was able to talk to him about my experiences, and he was the only one I had ever confided to about them thus far, and he still accepted me, which I thought no one would after I'd been 'used' by someone else. But he knew my weaknesses, and took advantage of them and began abusing me within a few months. I was made to feel guilty for spending too much time on anything that did not involve him, including homework, sleep, eating, etc. But thanks to the re-emergence of an old friend, I was able to see it sooner and left after only seven months, whereas the previous relationship had been three or four times that long. My old friend was in physics and philosophy, and had a very different view of the world than I had ever encountered. I think my long conversations with him taught me to think for myself for the first time, rather than blindly accept what he or my parents or the church or anyone else might tell me. For a year or so I swung the pendulum a bit toward man hating feminism, more because I needed the release than because I actually believed in the ideology, and ironically enough, this is when I met Jon. Abandoning previous ideas of morality and propriety in relationships with the opposite sex in favor of a view that was essentially that my actions should only reflect my level of comfort and commitment in terms of possible consequences on myself, I definitely initiated a pretty massive make-out session. It was very freeing to not feel guilty about every blessed thing, and to not feel angry about anything because it was MY choice. I controlled it. It was fantastic. The next day Jon in his awkwardness, said he couldn't read subtle very well, but he had gotten the idea that I liked him, I said I wasn't looking for commitment yet. We started 'dating' about a week and several make-out sessions later. I've since toned down quite a bit, and Jon is pretty domestic these days too. We've been engaged about two years and dated for almost a year before that. Things are still fantastic. He makes me feel like a princess and we still make-out as often as conceivably possible. We didn't want to have a two year engagement though. In spite of everything he and I were still virgins and were both looking forward to letting loose on our wedding night. But circumstances, namely financial, fell that prohibited us from marrying because I was still in school full time and he could not support both of us on the relatively low income that he was earning in spite of his college education. Eventually we got to the point of "we should've been married a long time ago" and stopped worrying so much, because we essentially saw ourselves as husband and wife, just no legal documents to support it. I am in a stable monogamous loving relationship with my fiance, and we are FINALLY getting married in the traditional sense this May. In general I would agree that sex before marriage is detrimental to most people's goals and self esteem. But it's not a formula to happiness either. I remained a virgin and gained many regrets; I also lost my virginity under better circumstances, but still outside of "marriage" and have absolutely no regrets.
And by the way I still consider myself a Christian. I don't talk about this aspect of my life with people I know would condemn me for it (my sister was one of the don't kiss until the alter types), and since a lot of the people I grew up around still hold to more dogmatic traditional views of sex, there are very few people with whom I can discuss things.
Just recently I received a tearful call from a very dear friend, a Christian who did not know of this particular aspect of my relationship with Jon, who had just lost her virginity along with the man who received it. I could tell she was so scared of what I would think of her. She thought I might not love her anymore, or that I would think of her as a bad, or stupid and compulsive person. I gave her this in response to her sense of guilt:

Hebrews 10:1-18
My personal comments:
1-2 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-- not the realities themselves...

This is a Biblical admition that people, good people who desire to worship, still can never fulfill the law as it should be. It is not expected of us because it is impossible. Under the new covenant we are told that we are saved by grace, where as the law was nothing but a reminder of our death.


3-5 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins...

We as Christians are frequently reminded that “not everything is beneficial” and this is very true. But when was the last time you heard someone tell you that “everything is permissible” as a prelude to that? We are made to think that each sin causes Christ to die again, and therefor we feel the weight of the sins of the world on our shoulders, and Christ died in vain. But in truth Christ died once for all. The day you became a believer God threw his arms around you because the sins you had yet to commit had already been erased from his eyes, or rather your identity as a sinner was changed.
We are continually trying to be good and appease God, making sacrifices to him, perhaps not of the animal sort, but sacrifices none-the-less. We think if we give up this or that, that we can appease God, make up for a little of what he did for us, or make him love us more somehow. But all these do is to serve as a reminder to ourselves of our own shortcomings.


8 First he said, “sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them “.

God doesn’t want anything to do with you carrying your guilt around with you. He died while you were a sinner, because he loved you. YOU, the sinner that you are. Not because or in spite of anything that you have ever done, would do, will do or will not do; but because of who you are and especially because of who he is. And that is Love.


9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets the first [the sacrifice] aside to establish the second [the will].

We must set aside our guilt and constant reminders of our own sin, not because they are necessarily wrong and therefore another thing to feel guilty about, but because there is so much more that is worthwhile and beneficial to do in this world than beat ourselves up about the past.
We function better, and are generally healthier, if we look forward to the next task rather than constanly criticising the last one. We must set aside our reminders of sin (our sacrifices to appease an angry God that doesn’t exist) to establish that we are ready for the next task that the lover of our souls would have us seek out.


14 ...by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

We are not holy because we are not God. We are sinners. But we are being made holy outside our own efforts. God is perfect and therefore determines perfection, and he has made (PAST TENSE) perfect all who are being made (PRESENT PROGRESSIVE TENSE) holy. In His eyes there is nothing to forgive, because he already did that long before you were born. You are perfect because you are being made holy through his one sacrifice.


17-18 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

‘I will remember no more’ is a pretty powerful thing. We point at ourselves or eachother and shout “Can’t you remember that nasty sin that I/____ did???”
And God says in reply, “I don’t remember any sin. All I see before me is my beautiful and perfect bride whom I love.”


Anyway, I know it's long and my statements on the Bible are far from exigetical, but I hope someone may find my experiences and thoughts helpful, sympathetic, or thought provoking in some way or another.

bishopkslim said...

I fully agree with you! That is right!

Anonymous said...

thanks dude i believe this article was written out of love. god bless

Anonymous said...

I'm a 21 year old...The last individual(that one girl) to put down that practical life lesson almost felt to be there just for me. Thank you author for putting this article up,and thank you that one girl putting your life story down. I lost my virginity(hymen) by accident as a child,to my own curious hands. I often wondered if that immediately made me unclean.

My boyfriend of many years was unfortunately unable to hold on to his virginity as well(talking about masturbation here). The bible also says not to masturbate at all. As a result of this I went and had sex(with him),believing I had already sullied myself before "the one" had a chance to come to me.

I'm wondering why there are so many rules in the old testament,and why so often we go to before christ came to us, instead of when he came. He teaches love for fellow man,not pointing the finger and that He has forgiven us! I am not good at reciting verses,but I know that God's intent was to let us know that the rules apply,but hell is not for those who love and ask forgiveness(because it is already there.)

I cried when I read the verses and checked them. Indeed. I am beautiful to God(though evangelists would say otherwise). I gave him my life,and though I am now tempted to enjoy sex once again...I think I will resist this temptation. I figured I was beyond saving,beyond anything that could redeem me. Now that I have seen a Christian struggle with the same thing I can say my heart is refreshed.

And there God was the entire time screaming "It's okay. I love you regardless of the fact that you did this. No preacher or pastor or head church figure can change this love. I am here for you even if your friends betray you."

I need to tell my boyfriend the same. He needs to hear this most of all.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Christian University student and have been dealing with this time and time again. I just broke up with my bf whom thought I would cave and was waiting out for it, so that once we had sex he could "love" me. It's frusterating but I would never want to give myself to, and become one flesh with that person knowing this. I'm fortunate to have been with someone who was willing to wait and still is. In a way my waiting has inadvertently provided a mechanism for knowing the depth of my significant other's love and commitment. Being an attractvie young female there always seem to be more options than I can handle.

Anonymous said...

sigh. I waited until I was 24 and even 6 months into my first real relationship, after we got engaged...and it was not sexual sin that drove me from God, or from Christianity as it is currently practiced by many. I had not had sex yet. I just moved away and got out of the constant supervision, instruction, nagging, guidance, etc of my family and my church(almost cultish in its insularity) and realized I didn't "buy" the brand of religiosity I had been schooled in anymore. It was not real to me and I didn't see any reason to keep worshipping virginity, or prayer, or church attendance, etc. Which was what we were all doing all the time at church and in our social circles, anyway. Power pray-ers, abstainers, attenders--we were all so great at "doing Christianity" that we forgot to wonder at the the mystery of God. I realized that all of that doing and not-doing had zero relationship with the desire to know or love God. It all dissolved, like a house of cards, into nothing but a bunch of rules for herding people into a state of controlled, moderated, safe "happiness." I didn't see any reason to keep it up, honestly.

I called it the virginity cult--it exalts sex by denying it, restricting it, vilifying it even. I realized that I had an overwhelming and very powerful sense of religious pride that I had remained a virgin (pure) so long. So many people had fallen but I could confess that I had waited. My father praised me, my pastor and friends praised me. It was a heady thing to know I had done something so many others could not.

The main reason I decided to do it, besides the fact that I realized what a sham the religious rules were, was that it became clear to me for the first time, that I had made sex (and along with it, not having sex) an idol of the highest order.

After I lost my ability to believe in the system of rules that had governed my Christian life, and after I realized how important sex had become to me, so much that I ordered my whole life around not having it, so I could feel "pure" and "good", I finally just said..."why not just do it?"

So i did. And it was the best decision I could have made. It seems silly now, all the wrong-headed Ideas I had about sex that I had been taught. I feared it. I was so anxious that my body froze up on me even after I decided to do it because I had repressed the desire so long. I don't think that was healthy and while I won't enjoy the idea of my children having sex while they are teenagers, I will teach them about contraception and safe-sex practices because I get that its going to happen whether I like it or not--and that if they are anything like their mother, they will learn best by experience which actions harm or benefit them.

So many talk about the hurt associated with pre-marital sex as if the entire point of our lives is to avoid hurt. Come on! Life hurts whether you have sex or not...falling in love with someone and losing them hurts whether you have sex or not.

As C.S. Lewis said: "Pain is God's megaphone."

If you protect your kids from all hurts, even sexual ones, admit to yourself that you may be denying them the opportunity to fully appreciate saving grace. My story isn't finished yet, God is still speaking. (Even though I know some of you would consider me a lost cause. How little then do we know the depth of God's love.)

Wow, sorry that was way all over the place--but that is my current state of mind about this issue. Something broke in my ability to be religious and it happened long before I realized that sex wouldn't kill me like they all implied it would. (Hyperbole, obviously)

and as for the chemical reaction someone mentioned and someone else questioned: I believe she might have been talking about the bonding hormone oxytocin. I find it hard to swallow that, as a gynecologist, you aren't aware that this hormone is released after sex (after orgasm?) and during nursing. But whatever.

SavvyD said...

So then the constant pressure of everyone telling me that I have to have sex is making it less attractive as opposed to if everyone around me were telling me not to. Great. Guys have been really pushy with me and it gets them nowhere because I keep worrying baout things like love and if he might have real feelings for me and not just want to have sex--but then, that's why I blog about it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I was raised a christian and believed in the waiting until marriage deal. Then when I was almost 22 I lost my virginity. Having believed in the bibilical portion and wanting more out of life; I just didn't get it. Once I married, I realized what a fool I had been not to be normal. I went to Christian route growing up and now all I have is regrets; while everyone else was enjoying life (including my spouse) I believed in this farse ideal that saving it until marriage was going to be beneficial. My advice to anyone is don't bog yourself down with the unreality of Abrahamic principles; you will regret it later in life. Just make sure you stay protected; I wish now that I had experienced more of life, but I went the biblical way, which in the end didn't pay off!

Anonymous said...

don't forget the stay away from sinners factor... whoever you hang out with you become like...

LeviDixie said...

I'm not sure if I even consider myself a christian or not. I'm an analytical thinker and when it comes to sex I think it's a sin against the person and not to God. I don't firmly believe that the Bible is all of God's words i.e. Paul's letters to the church. He may have got inspiration from God but God didn't really write it.

In regards to sex, it's something that shouldn't be played around with and it's something that should never be done just to do it. As long as there is no hurt to one another when it comes to sex then I think it's a personal choice. After all, that's why there are condoms. Indeed, sex leads to having babies and the woman's life is changed forever but that's where responsibility comes in at.

Anonymous said...

From one liberal Christian to another, I just want to say that I couldn't possible agree more with you!

I don't see the Bible as a book of rules - it's just supposed to be the book which guides us, teaches us morals. I think as long as you love the person you're having sex with, that's ok. God just wants us to be happy.

jennie said...

I just wanted to post my opinon, as an 18 year old christian who has had sex before marriage, on this subject.

I have not completly read the whole article nor studied it in deep deatil so im sorry if my points are lame :]..i acctually just happen to run apon it and this has been a major part of my life latly.

I was saved at the age of ten and i made a promise (signed the card had the ring and everything) to save sex for marriage..i dated a guy for 5 years who pressured me for sex constantly however i never gave in...i am now in college and have been dating a guy for four months..we have only had sex once and this was after sleeping togehter for several months...he never once disscused or asked me for sex and it was completly my decision (i am also on birth control and protection was used)

now for my reason i decided to break my promise with God:
first of all i am not a typical christian..beliving that religion is having a relationship with god not following certain rules people have set for that religon. I believe it is about feeling what is right and wrong and to be honest i did not feel like what i was doing was wrong. I beleive god has us do certain things to learn and grow..and i also think people have turned many things in the bible around to fit their own views..sorry if you think otherwise..

now this is where i disagree with the theory with romeo and juliet..i did not have sex because i was told not too..that never ran through my mind..i was not being reblious and deffinatly not doing it because my parents taught me not too. I did it on my own terms and it was based on my relationship with God and how i felt on the subject. (however i have never been one of those "my parents are dumb they know nothing" kids, i know my parents are right and have alot more knowledge then i do) I have also talked to several friends about the subject (including my teen sister who has a son) and they all have said that parents,religion and all of that had no influnece in their sex. Also hormones do not affect us as much as you think. I think this is an excuse often used when nothing else explains premarital sex. Obviously i was with a guy for 5 years and i was able to stop before having sex. I think parents need to realize it is completly childrens decision, hormones, religon, nothing like that affects when and if they choose to have sex. All parents can really do..is teach them what they want, but still give them knowledge of protection.

Anonymous said...

"I called it the virginity cult--it exalts sex by denying it, restricting it, vilifying it even. I realized that I had an overwhelming and very powerful sense of religious pride that I had remained a virgin (pure) so long. So many people had fallen but I could confess that I had waited. My father praised me, my pastor and friends praised me. It was a heady thing to know I had done something so many others could not."

I was raped at 16. I didn't tell anyone the truth. I didn't even let myself think about the truth. Instead I took the blame. I had seen what happened to girls who cried rape. They were cornered, analyzed, questioned and in the end told it was their fault for looking too provocative, not keeping their guard up, putting themselves in a "bad situation". It was easier for me to be a slut in the eyes of my friends in the church and seek their "forgiveness and understanding" (though that really wasn't offered)than it was to be a victim and then be blamed for being victimized. I didn't acknowledge the truth until I was 20 and getting married. My sister was raped that summer and she had the guts to stand up and say it. And what did my friends in the church say? It was her fault for being in a bad position. Not "that guy did something wrong" but "your sister asked for it". I don't fault them. They did not know what they were doing.

I don't say this out of bitterness. I say this as a person who has come full circle and now hopes that healing for the whole church, the body of believers in Christ, can come from understanding. So often we hold ourselves up as pillars of righteousness only to mask our fear that the grace of God cannot do it's full work in ourselves. In the deep dark places of our heart where we hold OUR OWN SIN and we fear it and yet we hold it as if our lives depend on it. We stack it up in front of us like bricks in a wall, and this wall is what keeps us apart from each other, what keeps us biting and scratching and tearing at each other to make ourselves seem that much more shiny. That wall of sin is our enemy, not our brothers and sisters. And still we keep fighting and hurting each other instead of offering the hand of healing that Christ has given us the grace to use. We try to point out others mistakes while hoping to hide our own. We fear that we are not, will never be worthy. WE NEVER WERE AND THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO TO CHANGE THAT.
As if God doesn't know already the sins we have commited, as if God isn't strong enough to take the wrong we have done and reduce it to ash. As if He hasn't already.
This issue of sex or no sex before marriage, as with any sin, is only a symptom of a much larger disease. We have no faith in true grace through Christ because we do not understand what we have been given. We have been given a clean bill of health. But we still hold on to that prognosis of incurable sin-cancer in our souls. We are free and rid of it. There isn't more to do to not die from this sin-cancer. No treatments to undergo, no penance to pay and no way that we could have earned it, changed the grace given or done anything to make ourselves look better or worse in the eyes of God. Christ came knowing that we would be born, sin, rebel, and that we would need him to save us. He washed our slates clean before we even asked him to. Now he's just waiting for us to notice. He's calling and pulling and poking and prodding us in his direction and when that doesn't work he's sprinting to us, to catch us, to help us, to heal us, to save us. We are naked as babies in his sight,completely helpless, and totally without control over our own righteousness. Scary huh? Humbling isn't it? But, oh so freeing!
There is so much more to do in living life and understanding the One who created us. So much more of a relationship possible. So much more to grow in and so much more trust to learn. "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" If Christ says He can do something, He Can. Don't feel shame at past sins that are forgiven. Let him teach you. Seek Him. He is the redeemer and as He said, "it is finished". Go and live that out without fear of condemnation or inadequacy. Christ is with you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that third update about how Jesus spent most of his time... that was worded beautifully. I'm going to have to memorize that or something, because that's exactly how I've always felt and it drives me crazy that people obsess over the wrong things. I always say how the Bible makes a WAY bigger deal about not getting a divorce than it even begins to make about homosexuality. Yet, the fuss people make about divorce is hardly even a fraction of what they make about homosexuality.
I also agree with the fact that people definitely rebel when they are told not to do something.

Anonymous said...

Firstly there is no specific verse that directly condemns pre-marital sex. I believe adultery to mean that for one to sin OUTSIDE of marriage you have to be INSIDE a marriage first. And how come the people who are so adamant about the 'purity' of marriage never talk about the famous bible figures such as David and Solomon who were into MASSIVE polygamy (apparently Solomon had over 700 wives). Are you suggesting that just because King David 'legally' married any woman he lusted after, that it was right and spiritual for him to use them all sexually? NOTICE too that GOD didn't seem to have a problem with it, and yet the churches tell us that if ONE couple who are deeply in love and committed to each other engage in the act before signing a document, that they are immoral and perverse. I believe that it is OK for a couple who firmly BELIEVE that they will get married, (that is engaged) to have sex first; after all if they are likely to make a LIFE long vow to God, they should know what to (sexually) expect from each other. No point abstaining until the 'marriage vow' if you end up breaking the vow itself with a divorce hey? By the way I am a 17 year old virgin Christian girl. Funnily enough Jesus said if you just THINK about sex when looking at a person then you have already 'sinned in the heart'. So I do wonder if I am any 'less' of a virgin than my Christian friends who are sexually active. My decision to remain 'pure' is not based on fear and terror; in fact because I don't believe pre-marital sex is a big deal, I'm less curious about casually sleeping around.

Anonymous said...

Safe Sex??? Are you serious? How archaic are you all? This is 2009??? Right??? Biology anyone? OBVIOUSLY NOT..(might hinder our sex life) Sex always always always always has the potential to create life, and or to pass along diseases and infections! Just do it and have a condom and don't hurt anybody - WHAT?...so condoms don't break? REALLY? and people don't get hurt??? WOW...Does anyone read the news or talk to devastated teens & young adults???? Hmmmm.....how about the pill then....Oh wait you still can get pregnant and get or pass along STDs.."But have safe sex and don't hurt anyone". Ok...sounds great..I'll REMEMBER TO TELL MY KIDS THAT (Oh by the way - I used birth control when I conceived two of them)!!!OOPS my safe sex didn't work.....Abortion anyone...Why don't we all just have as much SAFE SEX as possible...I'm sure there would be no surprise babies, no abortions and no diseases and no one would get hurt...right?....Really this childish way of reasoning is so stupid and to think some of you actually believe this...WHY...Oh yeah...I know...Sex..is fun, addictive and exciting... YOU are the type that prefers to eat dessert first and maybe if it tastes good, you might want to try dinner - but NAH.. why have dinner - when there’s more dessert to be tried...OH JUST HAVE SAFE SEX AND DON'T HURT ANYONE CHILDREN..here's your condom..have fun...let me know how it goes...you'll be so much happier...
What he broke up with you?..Don't worry here's another condom...go have fun..let me know how it goes...What he broke up with you...Don't worry..here's another condom...have fun...What your condom broke?...Don't worry...heres an abortion honey...He gave you what?..don't worry you can have sex when the sores heal...Here's a condom..have fun..be safe…don't hurt anyone...What will you name the baby?...here's a condom... have fun..be safe don't hurt anyone...THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SO WISE SAFE SEX MODEL WOW..IT REALLY WORKS…..

Anonymous said...

I found this article very interesting and I agree wholeheartedly with what you have to say on this matter. I belong to a generation that seems to be very open-minded about sex in general. However, I was brought up as a Christian (and happily remain a Christian to this day) and the subject of sex was a taboo in my parent's household. I ended up having sex at a young age, with my first boyfriend and ever since I have hidden this fact from my family as I am ashamed. I believe that if I had been encouraged to make sensible decisions for myself and if I had been well informed I may have thought twice about having sex before marriage.

Anonymous said...

Hi, everybody. Pardon me for being straight forward but all this "sex before marriage is a sin..." is way too general and way too simple of an answer to a variety of situations that could be rather different and complicated. I am a very beautiful widow with four children. Yes, I was a virgin when I got married (did not result in happy marriage, by the way). However, now when I am single again I do not think that I want to get married again. First of all, after not so happy marriage I will never settle down for just anyone and lead a miserable life just for the sake of pleasing God with a fact that I am actually 'married'. Secondly, the plain truth is that it is hard and even impossible to find a compatable, equal,loving and carnig husband when you already have four children. A second father for the kids? I do not think so!!! I do not want any more children with any man and have a right to say what I want and do not want. All I want is to be loved and be free of servitude to a man who would think he is "it" because he paid attention to the mother of four. I have an MFA degree, I am a very good artist ...and I am Christian as well. So what is my situation?...I, just as ANY woman who is in her prime NEED to have sex in order to be happy...but since I do not want to end up in Hell, I cannot have sex at all until I am married? Right? Finding someone of my intellectual level and education who will marry an artist with four children is impossible (speaking from experience). I do not want to sattle just for anyone for it would be a mistake. People who interest me, people who are from my social circle do not marry single moms with four children. So am I forced by "God" not to have sex at all although I am thirty one? Stupidity. God must be sadistic to think so. Bible does not tell us about emotional trauma for the children who see another man in a house as a new "dad". God never helped me when I pleaded for help but yet I still need to mortify my natural desires to please him after I have been through so much already? If Jesus was a single mother of four kids, and would of been fully human instead of being half god half human, if he would of known what it is to bring up children without a financial support from the other half...he would preach differently. Let all these who say: "single moms should wait to have sex until they remarry..for pre-marital sex is a way to Hell"...lt thes people sut teir mouth. When such 'holy' judges become single moms I shall love to see how they change their opinion :-)