Benefits of Abstinence to Young People: Are we dealing with only the fruit, OR the ROOT?
Abstinence vs other forms of sex education, such as promoting condom use: this is a vital topic for today's youth. Abstinence is NOT an impossible goal for our youth to attain to, nor is it unrealistic. This is no small problem for our community to help resolve, for its whole future. “Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence education realizes that “having sex” can potentially affect not only the physical aspect of a teen's life but also, as research shows, can have emotional, psychological, social, economic, and educational consequences as well.[i]
What benefits can be gained by a teenager, for instance, who remains abstinent until marriage? Some of the most major ones are:
Not Having a Baby Outside of Marriage. Abstinence remains the only 100% effective way to do so. Having a baby before you are more prepared for it, and maybe planned it, can lead to all kinds of burdens, for mother AND newborn. For one, so many times the father will not stay around to be a part of the child's life going forward.
Going along with point # 1, abstinence leads, more often than other methods of birth control, to not needing to make a decision about raising the child, adoption, etc. If a young girl gets pregnant way too early, she can often face some tough choices, such as dropping out of school to work and support her new family; maybe also not being able to go to college, or fulfill other bigs plans. She may face pressure to have an abortion (with its resultant guilt feelings), or giving the child up for adoption. So many complications can happen so suddenly. Respect and Trust in Marriage: So many married men and women tell you how much they WISHED they had been abstinent before getting married. It leads to such a deeper trust and commitment within the marriage. Plus, there's far fewer issues of guilt or shame over past relationships to overcome.
No Fear of an STD. Just like the previous 3 points made, a teen or young adult who practices abstinence can TOTALLY avoid all STDs. Even though STD facts or issues are not often talked about in the news, STDs are still very much a problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “STDs continue to affect young people—particularly women--most severely, but increasing rates among men contributed to the overall increases in 2014 across all three diseases.” “Additionally, previous estimates suggest that young people in this age group (15-24) acquire half of the estimated 20 million new STDs diagnosed each year.”[ii] And as many are all too aware, they so often bring with them a difficult assortment of pain and real, lasting health problems.
In line with these important facts, come join in this weekend, in support of our youth, including your own children! We are holding a special (and FREE) 5k run/walk for Abstinence and positive youth development. Please find out more about this big event, and register online. We look forward to you and your family joining us. CLICK HERE for 5k Run/Walk details and registration.
[i]NAEA. (2007-2013). Frequently Asked Questions - Correcting Misinformation in the Sex Ed Debate. National Abstinence Education Association
Retrieved from http://thenaea.org/faqs/index.html.
[ii]The CDC. (2015, November 17). Reported Cases of STDs on the Rise in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2015/std-surveillance-report-press-release.html.