Abstinence is the practice of not engaging in sexual intercourse. It is the only method of birth control that is 100% effective. Abstinence is also 100% effective against the spread of most sexually transmitted diseases (be aware that Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDs are not only spread through sexual contact though) and it’s fairly uncomplicated to practice – all you need to exercise is self-control.
Reasons for Choosing Abstinence
There are several reasons that a woman might have for choosing to abstain from sexual intercourse:
- Religious: In many religions, it’s common for devotees to remain abstinent until they have married.
- Wanting to simplify your life: Sexual activity can lead to pregnancy, STDs and complication of personal relationships. Many people choose to abstain from sex when they’re in a busy period or feel that sexual activity would needlessly complicate their life.
- Morals: A person may choose to remain abstinent for personal issues of morality. For instance, one might not believe in using contraception, such as birth control pills, or condoms, but may also not want to get pregnant right now. Therefore abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy.
- Suffering from an STD: If someone has contracted a sexually transmitted disease, they should enter into a period of abstinence until it has been cleared up or is under control.
- Cost: Abstinence is the least expensive form of birth control.
The issues surrounding abstinence include:
- Teens who choose abstinence may feel pressure to have sex.
- Adults who remain abstinent may feel like prudes or "freaks", especially as our culture becomes more sex-obsessed.
Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Considering Having Sex:
If you are thinking about having sex but aren’t sure if it is the right choice for you, then take a moment to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I ready to be a single parent if I do get pregnant?
- If I’m not, am I willing to go through an abortion or adoption?
- Does having pre-marital sex align with my person beliefs?
- How will I feel about having had sex with this person if we break up?
- How well do I know this person?
- Is one of us applying too much pressure to have sex?
- Am I sure that neither of us has an STD?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, you’re probably not ready to have sex. Whether to be abstinent or not is a very personal decision. No one should ever feel pressured into having sex, or not having sex. Whatever you decide, just make sure you think it through and make the decision that’s right for you.