The Storm of Pre-Marital Sex
written by | Dr. Melody Kipp, PhD, LMHC & Nancy Jimenez, MA
1 Corinthians 7 :1-2 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
Some of you say, “It is good for a man not to have sex with a woman.” But since there is so much sexual sin, each man should have his own wife. And each woman should have her own husband.
“Everybody is doing it” is a common belief about pre-marital sex in society today, but that is a partial truth. Though society deems the behavior as a social norm and the message is being bombarded and promoted to the public through advertisements in media; the reality is that NOT “everyone is doing it”. There are teenagers and adults that still choose to abstain from “having” sex until they are married.
Decades ago pre-marital sex was considered immoral in America. Though our society’s moral beliefs has seen a major shift in the past few decades in regards to this matter and the mindset is much more accepting of it, research shows “the likelihood that Americans will have sex before marriage hasn’t changed significantly since the 1950s, people are now waiting longer to get married. So they are sexually active and unmarried for longer than in the past.” (Pre-Marital Sex in America)
The changes in culture and moral belief system have encouraged public acceptance of pre-marital sex, therefore, it is more open and it seems as if there are a significantly higher number of people doing though it has not changed that much. Nonetheless, there is always a group of people that choose to abstain from having pre-marital sex for different reasons; deeply imbedded religious convictions, personal moral and value system, to prevent being infected with a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), etc.
Whether or not to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage is a highly personal decision and choice. No one should do it because they are feeling pressured to do it. There are many factors to consider, such as, the personal impact it will have physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Have you ever felt pressured to have pre-marital sex with a partner even though you did not want to? What kind of after effect did it have on you physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
Teenagers usually have to deal with the peer pressure of society, friends, and boyfriend/girlfriend to have sex, after all, “everybody is doing it – right?” Adults may feel pressured because they need to satisfy the sexual needs of their partner in order not to lose him/her. Whatever the case, the fact is that sexual intimacy has a profound impact on individuals as a whole. This is why when someone is sexually abused it has such devastating effects on the person. Not only has their right to choose been robbed but their physical bodies and mind have been violently and abruptly intruded changing their lives permanently.
Following are some interesting statistics about pre-marital sexual activity in America:
- Although only 13% of teens have had sex by age 15, most initiate sex in their later teen years. By their 19th birthday, seven in 10 female and male teens have had intercourse.
- On average, young people have sex for the first time at about age 17 but they do not marry until their mid-20s. This means that young adults may be at increased risk for unintended pregnancy and STIs for nearly a decade or longer.
- Teens are waiting longer to have sex than they did in the recent past. In 2006–2008, some 11% of never-married females aged 15–19 and 14% of never-married males that age had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995.
- However, after declining substantially between 1995 and 2002, the proportion of teens who had ever had sex did not change significantly from 2002 to 2006–2008.
- In 2006–2010, the most common reason that sexually inexperienced teens gave for not having had sex was that it was “against religion or morals” (38% among females and 31% among males). The second and third most common reasons for females were “don’t want to get pregnant” and “haven’t found the right person yet.”
- Among sexually experienced teens, 70% of females and 56% of males report that their first sexual experience was with a steady partner, while 16% of females and 28% of males report first having sex with someone they had just met or who was just a friend.
- Seven percent of young women aged 18–24 who had had sex before age 20 report that their first sexual experience was nonvoluntary. Those whose first partner was three or more years their senior were more likely to report this than were other women in the same age-group.
- Teens in the United States and Europe have similar levels of sexual activity. However, European teens are more likely than U.S. teens to use contraceptives generally and to use the most effective methods; they therefore have substantially lower pregnancy rates.
- Three percent of males and 8% of females aged 18–19 in 2002 reported their sexual orientation as homosexual or bisexual; the proportions reporting same-sex behaviors were similar.
- The use of contraceptives during first premarital sex has been increasing, rising from 56% among women whose first premarital sex occurred before 1985, to 76% among those who first had sex in 2000–2004, to 84% among those whose first sex occurred in 2005–2008.source for statistics
Even though pre-marital sex is considered normal in our society, it is important to understand the major impact the act itself can have on a person. On a physical level, for women it can lead to an unwanted pregnancy and for both genders STD’s can be a most unwelcome and devastating consequence. Many STD’s can be cured with prompt medical treatment but there is still no cure for HIV and Herpes.
There are people that engage in pre-marital sex with a stable partner, others, engage in sexual activity casually. Sexual intercourse has a direct effect in the brain’s chemistry which affects thought processes and emotions. Additionally, the spiritual interconnection cannot be undermined or ignored. When a person goes through an unexpected break-up or has a negative sexual experience it can lead to great emotional and spiritual distress.
What is normal to encounter if one chooses celibacy?
If a teenager or adult decides to wait until marriage it will be normal to …………..
What is not normal?
It is not normal to engage or continue having sex with a partner due to guilt or fear to loosing him/her. Have you ever felt fear of rejection or being left alone? It is a strong emotion and it can paralyze a person. No one should be in a relationship out of fear or guilt. If your partner is unwilling or “incapable” of accepting and/or respecting your decision of abstinence, then, your relationship needs to be evaluated.
Following are some helpful steps to take if you choose to abstain from pre-marital sex :
Steps to Take
- Seek God
- Pray for God to help you stay pure
- Seek and surround yourself with trusted friends and family for support and encouragement
- Seek professional counseling and resources if you have a past with maladaptive sexual behaviors
- Date individuals that agree to respect your personal decision to remain abstinent until marriage
Steps not to take
- Avoid turning away from God
- Avoid dating individuals that do not agree or respect your decision to remain abstinent until marriage
- Avoid placing yourself in situations that will trigger sexual behavior and/or maladaptive addictions
- Avoid having sex without considering the long term impact it will have on yourself and family (if applicable)
The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 oriented the church regarding this subject. He exhorted the people that were virgins and/or abstaining from pre-marital sex to focus on the matters of the Lord and on pleasing Him. To those that were in a relationship and had strong sexual feelings towards their partner, he encouraged them to get marry.
Sex was created by God to be the ultimate expression of love between a married couple; they become one – Gen. 2:24. It is meant to enhance the intimacy between a man and a woman. It is normal to have sexual urges at times, but you can choose whether or not to act upon them. God has given us the capacity and assistance through His Holy Spirit to control ourselves and abstain when needed.
It is our hope and desire that if you are dealing with the pressure of engaging in sex out of marriage you are able to make the best choice for yourself. In 1 Thessalonian 4:4 it says, “God wants each of you to use his body in the right way by keeping it holy and by respecting it.” (NLV) We pray for God’s love to pour over you and give you clarity of mind to make sound choices and decisions through this season.
|About the Author
Melody Kipp, PhD, LMHC is the President and CEO of Life & Work Soulutions, Inc. She holds an earned Doctorate degree in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Applied Psychology with a Clinical-Counseling emphasis. Dr. Kipp has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MH5137) in the State of Florida since 1999 and is a State of Florida Qualified Clinical Supervisor for Mental Health Counselor Interns and Marriage & Family Therapy Interns. [...]
|About the Author
Nancy Jimenez, MA, LHMC, holds a Master Degree in Counseling with a Mental Health and Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis from Webster University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Nancy is certified as an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist with Early Steps Children’s Medical Services and is a provider with the State of Florida for Premarital Counseling. [...]