After all the teaching and preaching teens hear adults spout about the reasons why they shouldn't have sex, how often do we ask ourselves, if we're leading by example? We tell teens, they should wait until their married. They need to wait for real love to come about before they make such a serious move. But as adults, are we doing the same thing...waiting until real love comes about? And what do the experts say about those adults who don't practice abstinence? Why isn't there more literature and information about abstinence geared toward adults?
Well, the perception among some teens in Memphis, is that adults are not practicing abstinence, as they ask teens to do. Some report having first hand knowledge that a parent, friend, or sibling has participated in non-marital sex with one or more partners. As a result, many of them try sex for that reason. Studies also show that casual sex has not declined much in the last decade, though the practice of safe sex has improved. In fact, 77% of young adults surveyed in a demographic research study reported having casual sex in the last 12 months.
The Journal of Family Psychology also completed a study which showed that couples who sustained from having sexual intercourse had longer lasting relationships than those that did not. The same study also found that couples who had sex early on in relationships tended to confuse feelings of lust with love, and when the relationship began to become more comfortable, one or both parties realize that they don't feel as strongly about the other as they thought.
With this information in mind, doesn't the question beg to be asked, what would it take to make more adults practice abstinence in order to be good examples for the younger generations? Would it not be great to have teens see that relationships can be healthy and long lasting when they are not complicated by sex? My thought is just as being sexually active grew in popularity, the same thing can happen with abstinence. And if the example is set properly, and the relational benefits of abstinence are thrust into plain sight, we could make teens stop wondering what's so great about it, and start asking, "Why have sex anyway?"