Sexual Purity: To Wait or Not to Wait…

Hardly anyone on TV or in the movies pays a price for illicit sex. But in real life, people often pay dearly … Sex without marriage so often leads to self-doubts, diseases, unwanted pregnancies, shattered emotions, manipulation and exploitation.”(1)

We live in a culture where maturity, character and especially virginity are not highly valued. Popular sitcoms and entertainment news applaud casual sexual hook-ups. Relationships aren’t expected to last and in most situations there is a count down to see which celebrity couple is going to break up or divorce next. Despite the media’s focus on sex, these statistics may come as a surprise…

In a recent survey of guys ages 15-17, two out of three (66%) said they could be happy in a serious relationship that DOESN’T include sex.”(2)

Six in ten teens recently surveyed say they wish they would have waited to have sex.”(3)

Here are some reasons why saving sexual activity until the commitment of marriage has advantages for both physical and emotional health.

Physical Health Reasons

  • Avoid unplanned pregnancy
    • 1 in 2 pregnancies in America are unplanned*. The numbers reveal over 3 million of the 6.4 million pregnancies in the United States each year are unplanned (4).
    • 1 in 3 pregnancies are unwanted**; of the unplanned pregnancies reported, close to two thirds (2 million) are unwanted (4).
    • 76% of all unplanned pregnancies occur to women in their teens and twenties (4).
  • Steer clear of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
    • In the 1970s, only two STDs were common, and both were curable. Now more than 25 STDs have been identified, and several are incurable.
    • According to the CDC, more than 65 million Americans live with an incurable STD, such as herpes or human papilloma virus (HPV) (5).
    • More than one million people are living with HIV in the United States. One in five (21%) of those people living with HIV is unaware of their infection (6).
    • Genital herpes, HPV and syphilis can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Condoms DO NOT fully protect (7).
    • Each year, approximately 19 million new STD infections occur, and almost half of them occur among youth ages 15-24, although this age group represents only one-fourth of the sexually active population (5).
    • More than 750,000 women each year in the United States develop pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to infertility or increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy, a life threatening condition (8).
    • In a survey by the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 80% of those who had herpes said that they felt “less confident” and “less desirable sexually” (9).
    • Click HERE to read our blog about the most common STD myths.
  • Avoid death caused by fatal STD
    • AIDS causes more than 18,000 deaths in the United States each year(6).
    • The American Cancer Society’s 2011 estimates for cervical cancer in the United States are:
      • Approximately 12,200 cases of invasive cervical cancer
      • Approximately 4,200 women will die from cervical cancer (10)
  • No birth control method can guarantee health safety…
    • No birth control method – not even condoms – will guarantee safety from pregnancy or disease. The Mayo Clinic points out the risks involved with condom use:
      • Condoms can trigger a latex allergy
      • Condoms aren’t foolproof; there is still a possibility of pregnancy or contracting a STD (11)

Emotional Reasons

  • Increase your chance of a happy, lasting marriage
    • Couples that live together break up at a far higher rate than married couples. In the United States, the rate is 5 times higher (12).
    • Even when a couple living together have children together, they are still 12 times more likely to break up than married parents (13).
  • Avoid the heartbreak, regret, and anger that sex outside of marriage brings
    • Many people regret it. They feel used and worthless, because they gave away something precious.
  • Maintain healthier relationships
    • Many couples have reported that having sex ruined their relationship. They stopped getting to know each other and focused on sex instead.
  • Make better decisions
    • It is harder to break up with someone who is not right for you or treats you poorly if you have had sex. With oral sex becoming more common among young adults than sexual intercourse, consider where you are going to draw your boundaries in order to protect you emotional and physical health.
  • Grow in emotional maturity
    • Some people use sex as an escape from the disappointments and pain in life.

If you are at a point in your life where you are interested in making a commitment or a re-commitment to stay sexually pure until marriage, Collage Center is here to be a support to you. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more information about what it looks like to be sexually pure!

*Unplanned pregnancies include those reported by women to be unwanted or unintended as of 2001 which is the most recent year data was available.

**This figure includes pregnancies that end in abortion, births resulting from pregnancies that women themselves say they did not want and a smaller number of miscarriages were also from unwanted pregnancies.

1. Josh McDowell, Why True Love Waits (Tyndale, 2002), 129, 133.

2. “That’s What He Said”


4. “Unplanned Pregnancy: Key Facts”

5. “Child Trends Research Brief – May 2010”

6. “HIV CDC Fact Sheet”

7. “Genital Herpes CDC Fact Sheet”, “Genital HPV Infection CDC Fact Sheet”, “Syphilis CDC Fact Sheet”

8. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease CDC Fact Sheet”

9. “The Effectiveness of Abstinence Education Progrmas in Reducing Sexual Activity Among Youth,” by Robert Retor ( The Heritage Roundation, April 8, 2002).

10. “American Cancer Society: Cervical Cancer”


12. Gerogina Binstock and A. Thornton, “Separations, Reconciliations and Living Apart in Cohabiting and Marital Unions,” Journal of Marriage and Family 65 (2003): 432-443.

13. The State of the Nation Report: Fractured Families (UK: The Social Policy Justice Group, 2006), 9-13, cited in “Cohabitation, Marriage and Child Wellbeing” by David Popence (National Marriage Project; Rutgers State University, 2008).

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