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Virginity Pledges Don't Mean Much

Virginity Pledges Don't Mean Much

For years, there has been an ongoing battle between two opposing ways of schooling: sex education and abstinence only education. A new study may help sex education win this war once and for all since research shows that encouraging teens to be abstinent until marriage is ineffective. For teens who are taught to wait, some are also encouraged to publicly declare their decision to remain a virgin. But as it turns out, those who made this virginity pledge were just as likely to get it on as those who didn't promise abstinence. What's worse is that teens who took the pledge were less likely to use condoms once they did have sex. That's because those young adults only learned to "save themselves for marriage," and never learned how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STIs.

To hear more about virginity pledges, check out this video from The Today Show.

There is no right answer here, but which kind of education do you think is most effective?

Join The Conversation
Lyv Lyv 8 years
No shxt, Sigmund Freud! :OY: Yeah, schools could definitely use some better sex ed programs... SPECIALLY America.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Oh, and to Foofie, I somewhat agree with you. At one point I went on believing the whole "Save myself because it's what God wants." But when I sat down and really thought about it, it had nothing really to do about God, it was about what I wanted. I wanted to save it for someone I truly love and not just go around and sleep with anyone I didn't care for. When it comes to religion, despite what era, people manipulate scriptures to read how they want. It comes down to basic humanistics (made up word I know, I just coined it 2 seconds ago). It's the same with all. Interacial marriage, sex outside of marriage, marrying of different religions. All this was dictated by society. Seriously? A lot of God's "chose ones" had many wives and even slept around. And later in the New Testament, concerning Paul...which Christians tends to base their marriage and sex ideals on these days, marriage was a concept when concerning sex, because well, we all have our primal instincts which tells use to have sex, make babies and keep living, just as every other animal. If you can't keep your instincts in check you should marry and stay with one person. It was more for decency, especially concerning the times. I don't know if they had STDs back then or what, but seriously? It's just irritating when people make everything so contradictory. One minute it's what God wants, and they next minute it's not, yet somehow the idea becomes conflicting. People need to look at the deeper truth here. Abstinence now-a-days is for these reasons and these reasons alone: 1. Limit Spread of STDs, 2. Prevent Pregnancy, 3. Prevent heartbreak (if sex is that important to you of course), 4. If you're religious and believe God wants you to save sex for that one person and one person only period. In truth, those are the reasons, and the entire concept is dictated by society and society alone. The only way to really escape that really is to become a horse or a monkey or dog. People make this crap too complicated and need to just be blunt and stop bsing each other about it. Look, sex itself isn't bad, it's just how you use it, and it should never ever be used in a way that it would hurt another.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
LoL, regardless of all this, people are people in the end, and they'll do and believe what they want. Religion: Parents teach their kids, maybe it sticks with the children, but many times, it's still their choice what they want to follow and believe. Sex: Pledge? Stuff happens, and people have it anyway. Drugs: DARE program anyone? Most of my classmates did did drugs anyway. This list can just keep going on and on. In the end, it's better to provide full education both for all medical (physical, sociological, psychological, and whatever other science) reasons, then let people decide for themselves. It better they know ALL of the facts and details surrounding everything rather than forcing one view and one side of the tale and then hoping they'll conform to your thinking only. It will never work well that way.
Anniina Anniina 8 years
"virginity pledges is that in my opinion NO ONE should make a choice like that based on what someone else thinks, or "god". These pledges should be because they want to, because they feel that abstaining is the best thing for them. Knowing all the facts." I Agree
Lala2000 Lala2000 8 years
I really wish parents would stop forcing this abstinence only stuff on their kids. They were kids once, and chances are, they didn't abstain from having sex. Teach kids the facts and let them know about pregnancy and std's. My parents told me the facts and I didn't have sex until I was 22 years old. All of my friends were around 21, 22 and 23 when they lost their virginity. There's nothing wrong with telling them the truth. In fact, it makes them more prepared.
Foofie Foofie 8 years
My parents have always ALWAYS been extremely open about sex. Any question I had, they answered. That's the way it should be. My sex ed was comprehensive as well.. Which I think is the way to go. Kids need knowledge and understanding, because if the adults with all the answers don't tell them they're just going to get second hand knowledge from friends etc and that may not even be the right information. My problem with these virginity pledges is that in my opinion NO ONE should make a choice like that based on what someone else thinks, or "god". These pledges should be because they want to, because they feel that abstaining is the best thing for them. Knowing all the facts. Not because some religious fundie group tells them that's how it should be. It makes me sick, "I am saving myself for marriage because that's what God wants" Fuck that.. You do things because it's what YOU want.. Not because you feel some ficticious being says it's the right thing to do.. Urgh.. this topic makes me nutz
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Do you know what makes me laugh? The Catholic schools in my region are the only ones with in-school day cares. Is this virginity pledge thing common in the United States? I've never heard of that happening in Canada. I would just like to know what right the education system has to create a situation in which a student signs this kind of pledge. BTW I went to a private Christian school and received the full enchilada when it comes to sex-ed.
DesignDebutante DesignDebutante 8 years
May I recommend that "Kosher Sex" by Rabbi Boteach be on everyone's reading list? Number one, great title. Number two, regardless of religion, he says a lot of very realistic, very practical things. I don't agree with everything (he's a conservative Rabbi, after all) but much of it was exactly what I was feeling while I thought everyone was having sex except me. I am all for comprehensive sex ed. I'm also for telling teens that sex is important. It's important enough not to randomly mess up, and instead be with the person who matters the most. When they get to that point, feel free (with a condom, and a second back up birth control).
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Doesn't really mean much. I thought I'd wait. Turns out I didn't. If you're going to teach about waiting, at least teach about being safe too. It's an individual's choice so just cause you scare them into not doing it, doesn't mean they won't at all, they just won't be safe about it because "oops, I'm not prepared properly, and it just happened."
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
I am so over abstinence only education. I went to public schooling and my parents also taught me about how to respect and protect myself, unlike one of my exes who asked me if a woman was pregnant for 11 months!! that right there, is why i'm anti-abstinence only sex education. I think it's dangerous. I don't see anything wrong with 'virginity pledges' really, but IMO they seem to be accompanied by a judgmental, 'sex is dirty' type attitude. Sex is a beautiful, special thing to be shared once you are ready - whatever that age is - as long as you are properly educated and sufficiently protected. IMO, it's all about the respect between both partners. I was pretty young when I lost my virginity, but I was in a loving, long term relationship, and I have never, ever regretted losing it the way I did, or at the age I did, since I knew what I was doing and protected myself accordingly.
It bothers me to no end that parents don't teach their children about safe sex. Not only is teen pregnancy a problem, but also STD's can be deadly and seriously compromise a person's quality of life. Abstinence is best, but sending your children out into the world ignorant of the dangers that face them is deadly and cruel.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
Growing up, I was taught to wait until marriage. My mom had me at a reasonable age, but she wasn't married and it was a definite struggle for her. I went to a private Christian school almost my entire school career. We were taught sex education - not abstinence only (although it was advised, of course). Even my science teacher in 8th grade (I was 13) told us we should wait at least until we were 18, and we all had to write a letter to our "future self at 18" to promise that we would. At the time, I definitely thought I would wait, but I never was sure I would save it until marriage. I always thought it was somewhat unrealistic. I didn't wait, but neither did a lot of people who wrote those same letters I'm sure. However, a lot of my friends and people I know are still virgins and waiting for the right person and/or marriage.
Alithyra Alithyra 8 years
I have lost track of how many people I graduated high school with have had children before they could legally drink. One guy, a good guy with some smarts, ended up with twins. The most common cause? Failure to use condoms. And I went to a public school that gave us sex ed. We got it three times, twice in middle school and once in high school. I was lucky; mum figured I was going to do it anyway so she never cared if a guy slept over. She still always reminds about condoms. Abstinence should be taught as an option, not as a be-all-end-all, and taught from both the schools and the parents. Schools should give the facts and the options of birth control, including abstinence, and parents should pick up the moral/religious side. Unfortunately schools can't teach this topic without fear of offending the parents, who don't care enough to teach their children yet care enough to take offense. My ex's family is Catholic, and he and his sister went to Catholic high schools. Go figure, his sister had sex at 16 with some jerk. He at least waited to a serious relationship.
Meike Meike 8 years
Duh. While I'm aware there are people who value their pledges and will follow through, the majority will not. A frew of my cousins who encountered abstinence only programs in their Catholic schools were pregnant or got someone pregnant by ages 17-19. I who had all the works of a comprehensive sex education abstained from sex until I was 25 years old. I shared my virginity with my husband. Go figure!
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I remember my sex-education in school, we watched a video that was full of lies! It said that even though you wear a condom you will still get pregnant and get STDs because latex has holes in it where the sperm cells and the STDs can go through. I was like WTF?! Are they seriously thinking we are this naive? Some are I know, I'm just glad that I went down to a women's health clinic and they made me sit down and know the facts about sex before I was given birth control.
aluminum-origami aluminum-origami 8 years
I attended Catholic school my entire life and they waited until the 12th grade (!) to teach sex ed! It was a little too late I'd say because so many people in my class had babies and contracted STD's by that point. Luckily, I grew up in an open liberal family who taught me that if I was going to have sex, I should wait until I'm comfortable and I should ALWAYS use a condom. When we final had our "sex ed" in 12th grade, it was taught by our religion teachers and the information we had been given came from the Catholic Medical Association. We were taught that nearly all forms of birth control were less than 50% effective and the only way to protect ourselves from STD's and pregnancy was to practice abstinence. A lot of my classmates thought "well what's the point in using protection then?" and the pregnancy/STD epidemic got worse. That said, I believe schools should teach factual sex education courses to students. Even with sex ed, they still give abstinence as an option.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
It should also be said that the parents of teenagers have the biggest part of the responsibility in teaching sex education. It shouldn't be completely left up to the schools. But you are going to have parents who won't talk to their kids and then have schools that won't teach sex ed. I was fortunate enough to have both. My school taught sex ed in 8th grade (with a signed consent from my parents) and I immediately was able to talk to my parents about what we were learning in school. Because of that, I waited until I was in a secure and healthy relationship before I lost my virginity... and I knew how to protect myself from pregnancy and STDs.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I think a comprehensive sex education should include the fact that abstinence is the only 100% fullproof method to avoid pregnancy, STD's and STI's. Abstinence only works when the parents are fully involved, and most parents now are too busy trying to be the child's friend to be effective as a parent.
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
I think schools should teach children how to have safe sex. They should present the facts. Virginity pledges and abstinence only is unrealistic and doesn't apply to everyone. Teens are going to have sex. Condoms, and birthcontrol goes a long way. The emotional consequences of sex should also be taught.
Myst Myst 8 years
Parent's need to be honest with the children and let them know what's going on, give the fact, and let them know how to protect themselves. These virginity pledge don't mean anything. Kids are going to get horny and have sex. At least it's better that they know of the risks involved instead of them going blindly into it.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
I always lmao at these pledges. Knowledge is a very powerful thing, i don't think i'd even bother to b.s. my child with some nonsense about a pledge. You can't control everything, especially someone else's actions. You can influence their decisions but that's about it. I hate this thought that some how sex is dirty because you're not married to the person. Bite me!
Anniina Anniina 8 years
I don't know what to say.. I think sex should not be a dirty thing but not a mindless hobby either. Sex is private thing, people are different, don't make one just because they do. In my high school, health teacher handed (in class) info brochures and flyers with condoms in it. And also everyone got a lesson on how to roll it correctly, in to banana. Haha, death by chocolat, *high five*.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
*I saw*
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I say this on HuffPo. Some of those comments are freakin hilarious. But anyways, fuckin' duh!!!! I mean parents really need a study to figure that out.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
*my self respect... lol
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