There Is Nothing Old-Fashioned About Teaching Kids Abstinence

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teen couple in loveIf you’re a liberal minded person who had sex or perhaps even lived with your partner before getting married, reading an essay by a teenager who wants to save her virginity for her soul mate might cause you to cluck your tongue over such a seemingly old-fashioned way of thinking. But before you forgo the abstinence conversation in lieu of teaching your kids about STIs and condoms, maybe we should stop to consider that teaching teens abstinence isn’t bad parenting.

A anonymous nineteen year-old known simply as “Camille” recently wrote a post for as part of the Huffington Post Teen series “Teen Sex: It’s Complicated.” In her piece, Camille talks about the status of her current relationship and why she plans to wait to have sex:

We’ve never even had “real” sex, but we’ve done lots of oral. It’s the thing that makes him keep coming back to me and it’s the thing that makes him disrespect me. I feel like I’m disrespecting myself by doing it, too. Not that oral sex is bad, but I think it should be reserved for a committed relationship.

She talks about how she feels like her relationships with this boy and other boys her age are based around boys only wanting to do sexual things and not because they share an actual connection as friends. When talking about her hopes for her first time, Camille says:

I hope to officially lose my virginity to a man who loves me for me and doesn’t just use me like a coin. I want to lose my virginity in nature, on a beautiful beach just me and my man making love as it should be.

If only all teenagers, myself included, were as insightful as Camille. So often when we hear about a teen wanting to hang on to their virginity, it’s tied to a conservative upbringing or the notion that a woman’s hymen is a “gift” to be bestowed. It’s refreshing to see a teen who wants to wait to have sex on her own terms, not because it’s what others expect from her.

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