By Leilani Corpus
The Sexual Revolution of the 1960s is coming to an abrupt halt and virginity is making a comeback on high school campuses. That's the report from the Princeton Religion Research Center, which recently announced that an increasing proportion of Americans consider premarital sex wrong. The statistics they discovered demonstrate the reversal of an 18-year trend: two years ago, 39 percent said premarital sex was wrong; today 46 percent say it is wrong.
"A key factor in this trend reversal may be growing concern over the risk of disease," such as herpes and AIDS, the Center said in its report, although most respondents (83 percent) cited moral and religious reasons for their opinions. Among those from age 18 to 29, the proportion considering premarital sex wrong had climbed from 18 percent to 27 percent.
The war cry against the establishment in the 1960s was for sexual freedom, but the definition of this rallying cry has now been rewritten after two decades of suffering the disastrous consequences of increasing venereal diseases and the recent AIDS epidemic. Health professionals and educators are proclaiming a new solution: responsible "safe sex" with its virtues of contraceptive usage and sex education.
Safe sex adherents are diligent about carrying their contraceptives and checking their partners' sexual history. Contraceptive manufacturers have painted routine usage as a virtue, like taking your vitamins. In all their advertising, however, they fail to share the startling statistics of increasing teen pregnancies that have resulted from the use of their products.
Although using contraceptives and policing your partner's sexual activity is a laudable attempt at stopping the spread of a disease, one very important element missing from the safe sex solution is values. The real issue is not the clinical advantages of having a clean partner, or whether or not you are using contraceptives. At the bottom of the safe sex promotion is the idea that self-gratification is still OK, as long as it is performed within the confines of medical safety. And that idea, more and more social commentators are saying, is dangerous.
Sociologist George Gilder, in his book Men and Marraige, said that men who respond to short term sexual desires are apt to have significantly higher rates of suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, mental disease, accidental death, and arrest. There is a vital difference between"responding to a short term sexual desire" even with the endorsement of health professionals, and being willing to wait until marriage to gratify that desire in its proper context.
The danger of "safe sex theology" is that it is a fearful knee-jerk reaction to the terror of AIDS and other diseases, but not a warning about the dangers of sexual permissiveness. Safe sex, in essence, is the same permissive sex of the '60s with the 1980s' Good Housekeeping seal of medical approval.
A Revolt Against Permissiveness
Thousands of high-school students in Northern California have discovered a solution which goes a step ahead of safe sex and effectively solves the problem: virginity. "Clean Teens," based in Modesto, California, and directed by 18-year-old Kirk McCall, is the nation's only teen-led group that seeks to advocate sexual abstinence before marriage.
Clean Teens organized a rally which drew 1,000 people last October. "There is a real desire for abstinence among youth," said McCall. "When they hear positive reasons for abstinence, they say, 'Now I know why to say no.'
"Chastity is important because of the physical repercussions of promiscuity: AIDs, other sexually transmitted diseases, and the rising rate of teen pregnancies. Those who go along with sex before marriage for emotional reasons find emotional problems later in life - guilt, frustration, jealousy," McCall explained.
Virginity, once considered a stigma for unpopular homely girls, is becoming the new anthem for those raised in a decade of routine divorce, relationships built on convenience, and widespread availability of contraceptives.
Virginity has proven to be a sound answer throughout the ages because it builds mutual respect and trust in a relationship. Virginity is a very viable solution, despite the messages from contraceptive manufacturers and health professionals that young people must be involved in permissive sex.
Have you considered the fact that you don't have to be involved in permissive sex? It takes more self-control, of course, to direct and harness the sexual appetite through virginity. But it seems that more and more voices in society are advocating it as the most sensible answer to our current sexual dilemma.
"Sexual freedom includes choosing to say no," says Marie Lee, in the September issue of Young Miss magazine. "I have many friends who admit they wish they had not started having sexual relations in their teens."
Courts in this nation have not had such a favorable response to the new abstinence movement. Plaintiffs in Bowen vs. Kendrick are currently seeking to overturn a U.S. district court ruling that struck down the federal Adolescent Family Life Act - which permits government funding of religious organizations that promote teen-age chastity.
In April of 1987, the district court declared the act unconstitutional, claiming it advances religion and fosters an "excessive entanglement between government and religion," in violation of the First Amendment establishment clause. While pregnant teen-agers are being counseled to have abortions without parental consent, U.S. courts are declaring it unconstitutional to fund organizations that promote chastity.
But despite such resistence, it does appear that the days of the campus stud are drawing to an end in the wake of the 27,000 who have died from AIDS and the quarter million expected to be infected by 1991. He is probably the most dangerous man on campus.
Safe Sex Guidelines
The author and designer of safe sex is God Himself. His laws will not be broken or invalidated by a vogue or chic sexual philosophy. The Bible declares, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7). Those who attempt to break God's laws will find themselves broken instead.
According to the Bible, sexuality is a gift from God which requires certain responsibilities. Because we are a steward of our sexuality, it can either be properly used or gravely abused. We will reap what we sow in either abusing it or using it properly within the safe confines of marriage.
The marraige relationship was instituted by God for the purpose of expressing His gift of sexuality. It's not meant to be an excuse to have sex, but it certainly is worth waiting for in the light of the mounting statistics which demonstrate the side effects of today's "safe sex." When you wait for the right person, and they in turn wait for you, your patience adds the necessary degree of faithfulness and trust that cements a marriage together for a lifetime.
Commitment to a marriage partner doesn't begin when the certificate is signed, or even with the ceremony. Instead, it begins today with your decision to keep yourself sexually pure. Are you really committed to having a lasting marriage? Don't wait until you receive a positive pregnancy test or AIDS test results, but instead make a decision now by saying 'no.'
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