Practicing abstinence helps couples to avoid the long-lasting negative consequences of premarital sex, including out-of-wedlock childbearing, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), emotional problems, promiscuity, and future marital break-up. Setting this important example also helps younger teens to see the victory of success in others in this journey; and embrace the walk of abstinence until marriage as the "norm."
The emotional consequences of premaritial sex can stifle the youth's growth socially. Along with being at risk for STDs, young people who engage in unwed sex are likely to experience negative emotional consequences. "A 2005 study of youth in grades 7-11 found that engaging in premarital sex often leads to depression. Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in premarital sex are two to three times more likely to be depressed one year later. Teens who engage in premarital sex are also likely to experience regret, guilt, lowered self-respect, fear of commitment and fears about pregnancy and STDs. In addition, they are more likely to commit suicide."
There are four actions which could help your youth remain on a solid course when it comes to walking in the faith of abstinence; and remaing chaste until marriage someday. These four actions are Parental Guidance, Parental Supervision, Emotional Connectedness Between Parents and Teens, and Remaining In Your Religion Of Faith.
Parental guidance also plays a major role in the teen's life. Many factors influence a teen's decision on whether or not to have premarital sex, and parents play a major role in this area. One way parents affect teens' sexual decision-making is by their marital status. "A 2002 study found that adolescents living with a divorced single parent or a remarried parent were more likely to engage in premarital sex than were those living in an intact family."
Parental supervision also plays a big role in whether or not teens engage in sexual activity. A study of over 2,000 public high school students found that the more time youths spent unsupervised, the more likely they were to have had sex. Also, the more time boys were left unsupervised, the higher number of lifetime sexual partners they were likely to have. Among those who had had sexual intercourse, "91 percent said that their last time had been in a home setting, including their own home (37 percent), their partner's home (43 percent), and a friend's home (12 percent), usually after school."
Emotional connectedness between parents and teens and parental attitudes toward sex also greatly affect teen sexual behavior. The social media is one of the greatest influences a parent can intervene in to guide the youth. In essence, the viewing of the media is in the "parent's control" and not the child's. Staying connected with the youth versus allowing the television, media, and video games to "babysit" the youth is a vital important action to exercise in committent to our youth daily.
Finally, stay in your religion of faith. Religion plays an important role in helping teens to delay premarital sex. In a 2004 report by the National Center for Health Statistics, teens stated that the main reason they had not had sex yet was that it was "against their religion or morals." A 2003 study found that teens, particularly girls, who pray, believe religion is important, attend church regularly, and participate in youth groups are less likely to have premarital sex than are less religious teens.
A solid beginning towards the education of youth pertaining to the awareness of abstinence and the practice of remaining chaste; can lead them down a much securer path emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Remain in faith, and in the investment of your youth's awareness on the subject of abstinence. it's worth your youth's future.
Tijuana L. Canders can be reached by email at canders.tijuana @yahoo.com