Why Should a Woman Abstain From Sex Outside of Marriage?

Author: Sue Widemark


A recent issue of "SHAPE MAGAZINE" detailing unhealthy practices among college students, mentioned the case of a woman who had gotten AIDS as a 19 year old College Freshman. The magazine reported that she had done 'nothing wrong' - all she did was have a monogamous sexual relationship with a young man, later diagnosed with AIDS. She evidently had used condoms at the beginning of the relationship but since her greatest fear was becoming pregnant, she switched to the pill later on.

"Here I am, 19, and I'm going to die. And my boyfriend's going to die [he did die eight months later]. What did I do wrong to deserve this?" <1>

According to the article, she's 27 years old now and her white blood cell count which should be around 1000-1600 is 200. She dreams of living to her 30th birthday.

I disagree that she'd done 'nothing wrong'. She was ignorant of the consequences of sex outside of marriage and it's a well known fact that ignorance can kill us.

I also disagree with the magazine's conclusion that condoms would have been the answer. According to Molly Kelly, who speaks to thousands of High School students each year, there is a 10-17 percent failure rate in condoms. This figure agrees with the findings of the condom manufacturers themselves, some of which have found that the AIDS virus is actually small enough to slip through a flaw in the latex in a condom which has not broken. <2> As Molly puts it

"Can you only get 17 percent of AIDS?" <3>

Molly is not popular among some of the Christians because she stresses the practicality of remaining celibate outside of marriage rather than the religious aspects involved. However for an apostate generation of children, most of whom have parents who have long ago forsaken religion, it makes sense to teach them the practicality of abstinence to keep them healthy so they may LATER learn about God who first warned us of the dangers of sexual promiscuity.

When I was growing up, I was not from a Christian home but had no intentions of having sex outside of marriage (I did not even allow touching until after my husband and I got married - he was celibate before marriage also). I desired celibacy simply because I felt it was the best choice for me.

To begin with, a little known fact about the physiology of women (and you will never hear this from Planned Parenthood!) is that unlike men, women DO NOT have an acute NEED for sex until we have had it for the first time! So staying celibate is easy for us if we do not awaken our sexual needs (and this means NO touching, masturbation etc also).

Since a woman has to give so much to allow a man to have sex with her (he penetrates her very insides), the first thing one might mention about sex outside of marriage is that a woman totally loses her self respect and dignity. She becomes for a man who has not made a commitment to her, simply an object of sexual gratification.

It's interesting that many women who succumb to the desires of their boyfriends (who are often hormone driven in their youth and twenties) kid themselves about the seriousness of the relationship. Then when the fellow drops them, they feel dirty, used and humiliated. Well, gosh ladies, had there been no sex until you were SURE of a commitment (the man had married you), there would not be a problem if and when you broke up with him!

"I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college...For years I had been tempted to give in to sex but my parents wanted me to wait...It all happened so quickly, so impersonally, so tragically. I compromised, I gave in, I lost. My innocence was gone. No more nice, quiet girl from back home. Now I was exploited, I was opened up, I was empty. Everything I had fought so hard to preserve was lost. I felt guilty and cheap. The worst thing was that because I had already given up, it made it so much easier to do the next time. So we began a downward spiral of romantic interludes in our dorm rooms." <4>

Prostitutes and Streetwalkers have written that 80-85 percent of their business is in performing perverted acts of sex. Why? Because the average man can get himself a freebie with something as inexpensive as dinner and a movie. What IS the difference between a call girl and a woman who has sex on the first or second date? The call girl has more dignity because at least her clients pay for the privilege!

How does a man react to a woman who says "NO" to sex outside of marriage? If he drops her, then you know EXACTLY what he was after and ONLY that! In my opinion, such a man is not at all, interested in a relationship. There is, however, a chance that he will be delighted in her not allowing him sex. Not only does that tell him that she did not become intimate with other men but also, if they DO get married, he will have a much easier time trusting her implicitly because he knows she says "NO" to sex outside of marriage.

"At age 16 I began dating a boy; we dated for two years. We fought constantly about sex. He talked me into 'petting' which made me feel guilty and unsure of myself. He began to have control over me...One night he almost talked me into giving up my virginity. I asked him 'Will you marry me?'. He paused for several minutes. Then, hesitantly, he said 'Yes.' I knew at that moment that he didn't mean it. He finally broke up with me and I never heard from him again." <5>

A frequent complaint I've heard is that "Most men" expect sex outside of marriage and if you say "NO" to sex, you may ruin a potential relationship. Remember, you only need ONE man to marry you and besides, isn't retaining your health, safety and dignity more important than having dates every night? If you want that, be a prostitute or call girl and at least get paid for endangering your health!

Some of these issues come out on the talk shows which often feature feature sexual relationships as the subject. Men actually express that they do not trust their girlfriends -the fact remains that if the women were easy for them to seduce, the bottom line is that they might be just as easily seduced by other men. Over and over, the lack of trust is causing great havoc among both married and unmarried people and the answer seems so clear - sexual abstinence outside of marriage. One wonders why they don't see this since it appears to be so obvious!

Still another result of the sexual promiscuity abundant today is a woman having a difficult time getting her boyfriend to marry her. Abstinence would easily solve this one also. The old saw which states "why should a man pay for what he gets for free" certainly has a lot of truth. If he loves his woman, he should not expect intimacy until he's willing to make a firm commitment of marriage. Making such a commitment is not easy for a man - the woman not allowing sex before marriage helps him to make that commitment.

"I chose chastity because I witnessed negative repercussions from premarital sex in the lives of friends, relatives and co workers. For example 'Sharon', an employee at an insurance company where I worked, lived with her boyfriend. When I left the company to accept another job, she was still single. She couldn't understand why her boyfriend wouldn't marry her ... Her boyfriend felt content with the way things were and he was in control. Sharon felt trapped. Later on, I learned, they parted ways. Living together and having premarital sex had not benefited Sharon. She was not only left alone but she had given up valuable years of her life and ended up being hurt"<6>

Those who advocate 'free sex' (which of course, is FAR FROM FREE) say that 'you should try on the shoe before you buy it'. Let's take that exact analogy. Do you REALLY find out if the shoe will work for you by trying it on? I know I've bought countless pairs of shoes which seemed to fit well at the store but turned out to fit poorly when worn in every day wear. That's because trying shoes on at the store is not at all, like wearing the shoes for hours during the day.

In the same vein, sex with no commitment is not anything similar to a marriage which asks of both parties to stay faithful to each other 'for better or worse until death do you part'. So, people may not even BE ABLE to 'try on the shoe' by having sex before marriage!

Additionally, once a relationship goes to sex, the friendship aspects of it become less important. Sex is very seductive and tends to distract a young couple who should be learning about compatibility issues. Thus, in our society, it's common to see couples who hate each other but they are great in bed!

"Once an unmarried couple has intercourse, sex tends to become the focus of the relationship. Sexual pleasure can mask problems between the couple and cause them to continue seeing each other. Unwed Parents Anonymous members become pregnant as a result of these liaisons and then, with a child on the way, they have to face the fact that they can't get along.... Their lives have truly become unmanageable. <7>"

Finally, not even talking about STD which is a grave danger to those having sex outside of marriage and virtually NO DANGER to those who restrict themselves to sex IN marriage - we will not talk about that here since much has already been written on that subject - there is the problem that sex causes children.

It's interesting to note that there is no really effective method of birth control. Even the pill (and Natural Family Planning) which are 96-98 percent effective when used properly, do not GUARANTEE that pregnancy will not occur. Additionally, there is NO method outside of Natural Family Planning which is totally safe. Chemical methods of birth control not only endanger the woman's later life and health (* see my article on birth control methods, NORPLANT.TXT available for download on my BBS *) but also often work by aborting a new life rather than preventing conception in the first place. Physical methods such as condoms or shields cause irritation and discomfort and thus are often discarded.

If a woman is in a situation outside of marriage where she CAN NOT become pregnant, she's in deep doo doo if she has sex! Because if she does find a new life inside of her, she has the choice of bringing a child into the world in less than ideal circumstances or worse yet, murdering the child in the womb. The latter will scar her for life not withstanding possibly perforate her uterus, render her sterile or even be life threatening. (Keep in mind that most deaths from abortions are not reported as such so the statistics on this are very flawed. Abortion remains a dangerous surgical procedure especially when performed in a mass production type clinic.)

"Abortion was the wrong choice. I have paid for that decision with depression every Fall. It seems to last from the month I learned I was pregnant to the month I allowed my baby to be sucked from my womb. Of all the wrong decisions I have made in my life, that is the decision I regret most. Nobody told me that abortion is NOT something you do and forget about. It stays and haunts you the rest of your life in ways I am only beginning to see now at the age of 30. Ten years later!" <8>

"I had an abortion at the age of 17. I know I murdered my baby." <9>

If a woman has sex AFTER she's married and conceives a child, this isn't really a terrible problem. She isn't in a situation where she feels she HAS to say "NO" to life. She can accept this Gift from God and happily prepare for the new arrival.

So the bottom line is that a woman has EVERYTHING TO LOSE and NOTHING to gain by allowing a man to penetrate her body before marriage. She loses her dignity and respect, she puts herself in danger of conceiving a child before she is ready, and she has a good chance of contracting some of the nasty diseases abundant today. As Susan Powter, the exercise guru is fond of saying, "There IS NO fairy godmother". There is no safe sex. There is no cure for the pain of abortion. There is no stopping the side effects of the birth control pill.

Saying "NO" to sex outside of marriage is not only what God tells us in the Bible. It just makes plain good sense.

References: <1> Urbanska, Wanda: "Design Your Own Life". Shape Magazine, July 1995 (Weider Publications)

<2> See my file, 'CONDAID.TXT' available online for download on Cheese Whiz BBS, 602-279-0793

<3> Sand, Dee: "Molly Kelly, a Passion for Young People". Celebrate Life, July-August 1995 (American Life League)

<4> Kirchner, Jacqueline V: "A Struggle for Maturity". Celebrate Life, July-August 1995 (American Life League)

<5> Tartanian, Lea C: "Why I chose chastity". Celebrate Life, July-August 1995 (American Life League)

<6> ibid.

<7> Excerpted from the newsletter of Unwed Parents Anonymous, a 12 step organization which helps unwed parents re-gain control of their lives. For more information, contact UPA, POB 15466, Phoenix AZ 85060.

<8> Bemboom, Amy: "A Time to Learn - A Teenage Mom Remembers". Celebrate Life July-August 1995 (American Life League)

<9> Mentioned in casual conversation by a co worker of the author's acquaintance, twelve years after she had the abortion.