What About Abstinence Pledges?
IN RECENT years, pledges of virginity or abstinence, such as “No sex until marriage,” have become popular among youths. These pledges reflect commendable goals and are in harmony with Bible commands. (1 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 5:5) However, their effectiveness is debatable. According to one survey, about 60 percent of teens broke their pledge within a year.
In addition, there is concern over just how some youths define “abstinence” and “virginity.” Charlene C. Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese wrote in their book Boy Crazy!: “The rise of oral sex, even anal sex, has been linked by experts to kids wanting to stay ‘technically’ virgins. They decide anything that’s not intercourse isn’t sex.”
Evidently, that view is widespread. After interviewing more than a thousand teenagers, one author said: “It seemed like maybe one or two in a hundred considered oral sex to be sex.” He added: “You should realize that’s probably how your teen—and probably even your preteen—thinks.”
Those who adhere to Bible standards realize that oral sex and anal sex are—as their very names make clear—sex. The Bible command to “abstain from fornication” (“be . . . completely free from sexual immorality,” Today’s English Version) includes all forms of illicit sexual relations.—1 Thessalonians 4:3.