Abstinence Isn’t a Dirty Word

It’s no surprise to read or hear abstinence often being ridiculed by segments of society. Usually by those promoting sexual promiscuity and related services like abortion. But I’ve noticed lately, that abstinence is taking an increased beating.

Once in the national spotlight, Governor Sarah Palin’s pro-abstinence stand was immediately scorned by the media and her political opponents. Recently, at the MTV video music awards, British host, Russell Brand, made condescending remarks about the Jonas Brothers. These young men are immensely popular singers who wear promise rings promoting abstinence and have spoken about them. Brand’s comments were clearly inappropriate. He said this about the Jonas Brothers’ rings. “I’d take it a little more seriously if they’d wear it on their genitals.” Then, referring to their decision on abstinence, he called it “a little bit ungrateful because they could have sex with any woman they want. That is like Superman deciding not to fly and go everywhere on a bus.” So much for the liberal philosophy of tolerance and inclusion.

Well, Russell Brand didn’t get the last word on the subject. Minutes later, last year’s American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, responded from the podium. “I just have one thing to say about promise rings. It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody — guy or girl — wants to be a slut.” Ms. Sparks could have worded it a little better. Later, she even said so herself, but she didn’t back down from her statement.

In a related sad and possibly tragic story, a graduate of Sacramento State is trying to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder. She wants help paying off college loans, which will allow her to pursue a Master’s degree. Ironically, it’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Imagine her bringing this personal baggage to the counseling room. If she proceeds with her plan, she’ll be making a mistake she’ll regret for the rest of her life.

Virginity is a precious possession that once given, can never be taken back again. There’s immense pressure on today’s young people to cave into peer pressure on premarital sex. Just this week I spoke to a highly regarded Rutgers University professor while at a conference in Chicago. He considers virgins freaks in society. He actually told me it was impossible to remain abstinent until marriage, because the average person married in their late twenties.

As I asked this misguided and ill-informed university professor, why is it okay to tell our youth to abstain from drinking alcohol, taking drugs or smoking? We don’t tell teens to only drink low alcohol beer because we know they’ll drink anyway. We don’t say to future generations that they should only smoke filtered, low-tar cigarettes to practice “safer smoking”. We don’t encourage them to only buy drugs from reputable dealers. No, society universally tells America’s youth to abstain from these potentially harmful practices.

So, why, when it comes to premarital sex, do many in society take a different approach to sex outside of marriage? Promiscuous sex has many health and psychological risks for our children. Why is it that when it comes to sex, abstinence becomes a dirty word?

They tell us, “Because, you social moron (they don’t say this out loud, but we know they’re thinking it), abstinence won’t work because kids will have sex anyway.” Well here’s a newsflash. Even though we tell kids to abstain from smoking, drinking and drugs, some kids smoke, drink and do drugs anyway. Even though some kids — in significant numbers — don’t listen and do it anyway, we still don’t give up on them. Our concern for their health and well-being moves us to continually promote abstinence regarding these dangerous behaviors.

We put our kids’ health and well-being at considerable risk when we abandon the message of sexual abstinence. It’s time to be consistent. Stop sending conflicting messages to teens and urge abstinence on sexual activity outside of marriage.

Bradley Mattes
President, Life Issues Institute

Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education. For 31 years, organizations and individuals around the world have depended upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.

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