More and more teens are choosing abstinence. The following is a look at what that means, and how it affects their life, socially, romantically, and emotionally.

What is abstinence?

Abstinence is a nutshell means that you abstain from sex. In simpler and clearer terms it means you are not having sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse means that you are having “sex” with a partner. This can be sex that is vaginal, oral or anal. In other words, if you are practicing abstinence, you are not having sex with anyone, or in anyway. It does not exclude masturbation, however.

Why are teens choosing to be abstinent?

Even though it may seem like everyone you know is sexually active, statistics show that more and more teens are practicing abstinence. The reason many of them choose this is because it is simply the best way to protect against the dangers of STDs and pregnancy. It is the only method that is 100% effective. However, in addition to the health values of abstaining from sex during the teen years, abstinence is also practiced because of personal moral values and beliefs, or religious values and beliefs. No matter the reason, you are not alone if you should choose as a teen to abstain from sex.

However, despite everything else discussed, probably the most compelling reason to practice abstinence is regret. National statistics about teenage sex show that 3 out of 4 girls who had sex as a teen wish they have waited longer. Most girls feel they were pressured, and that it was not as special or as meaningful as they wanted it to be. Even those that do not feel pressure often wish they had waited simply to add more significance to it.

During the teenage years your hormones are raging. Your body undergoes changes physically and hormonally during the puberty years and can kick your sexual urges into overdrive, which often leads to making the decision of sex in the heat of a passionate moment, leading to regrets later. In addition to the hormonal rollercoaster your body seems to be on, there is the emotional aspect to consider. Most teens have a life full of drama and changing emotions. So and so is mad at so and so, etc. Often times you really do not know your own mind. There are a lot of influences pulling you in a million directions. You have the urges of your hormones and your body. You have your personal values and beliefs. You have the views of your friends. You have the need for acceptance; you have all sorts of things telling you to do this or don’t do that. Throw parents, teachers, and popular culture into the mix, and no wonder you are often confused on what you should do. So, rather than make a big decision, like sex, during this state, choose abstinence until you can choose just for you.

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