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Teaching Abstinance Until Marriage - Page 2

post #21 of 280
I have a close friend who "waited" until she was married. She quit college (which her parents were paying for) and got married when she was 19. She had her first child when she was 22.

Her husband, however, was not a virgin.

I had sex with my spouse when I was 19, although we were not yet married. We were in college together. I was struggling to pay for college myself, working pretty damn hard to succeed, and very determined to do well. (I was crazy angry at my friend for taking her free ride through college and throwing it away like that.) I also had my first child when I was 22. I married my spouse that earlier that same year, and neither of us had ever had intercourse with anyone else. We do not regret anything about our sexual relationship.

But to this day, my friend makes awful cutting comments about how I screwed up so badly by having, "premarital sex." And she goes to great lengths trying to analyze what it was wrong in my life that lead me to make such a horrendous mistake. And she always throws in a comment about how happy she is that she "waited."

Its awful. I just keep quiet and try to change the subject. But she has never, never, never once recognized that she did NOT wait longer than I did to have sex. She just got married sooner than I did, and that she gave up an awful lot to do that too.

And I might add -- her marriage is not what I'd call remotely "happy." And mine is pretty much fine. Not to mention, we are more financially stable and have many more options open to us as a result of the fact that we finished school...

Of course, I would be as bad as she is if I ever questioned her past, so I don't. What could I say????
post #22 of 280
I also find the scenario PL finds so romantic to be completely horrifying.

I will teach our kids about abstinance (and birth control and safe sex) and advise and hope that they don't experiment with sex until they are old enough to deal with it. Ideally, I hope they don't have sexual relationships until they are college aged at the earliest. I'll make my views known, but it's not my body or my choice, when you get right down to it. I will make it clear that I will not raise grandchildren, which is my choice.

I think the abstinence only message does promote early marriage and to my way of thinking wanting to have sex is NOT a good reason to marry somebody.

My personal opinion is not in favor of young motherhood or early marriage (and I consider 21 very young to be getting married also.) I would hope my girls have some time to go to grad school and/or establish a career before they marry. Dh says he isn't in favor of dating until they turn at least 30, so early marriage may not be an issue.

I also don't see premarital sex as being a "regret or sorrow." I'd regret marrying the wrong guy at an early age much more than a consentual roll in the hay.
post #23 of 280
"I see 21 years old as very young for marriage."

Me too. I got married at 29 and now that I'm 39 (in a week) I see how much I've changed in the last 10 years let alone how much I had changed in my 20s. I know that if I had married my live in boy friend of 4 years ( that I met at the age of 20) that would have been a huge mistake. I am extremely happy that I had all the sexual experience ( I had alot) and the relationship experience I had before I got married. And let me tell you I wanted nothing more than to get married and have a baby when I was in my teens and early 20s. Now I look back and see what a disaster that would have been for me. I could not have made a good choice for a life partner at that age.
post #24 of 280
I'm finding it interesting to read how other peoples' experiences with marriage and sex are influencing their attitude towards sex ed for their kids.

perfectlove, your story of you and your DH is lovely. i don't think most teens are mature enough to make decisions about who to spend their life with, but obviously you and your dh were. i can see why you have no issues with teaching abstinance or early marriage.

i lean towards the other side though, lol. I think having sexual experience before marriage is fine, even positive. I wouldn't want to drive a car before practising. Similarly I feel I have learned SO much about myself and relationships by dating and even having sex with other men. Yes, I have had sex that I regretted, but not b/c it was premarital, but b/c it was for the wrong reasons. I think "the captain" said it best for me: I believe that a good sense of self-esteem and self-love can do wonders for preventing unhealthy relationships.

....and I want to add that I hope we can keep this discussion respectful of everybody's opinions, no matter how they differ from ours.
post #25 of 280
Originally posted by Arduinna
Excellent point Dar regarding same sex relationships. Since I'm not teaching abstinance before marriage, none of the questions really apply to me though :-)
So, for those of you that are not teaching abstinence, but are teaching safer sex, mutual respect, knowing theyself so you don't fold under pressure form an insistent prospective love/sex partner, where do you draw the line? Do you allow your x aged child to have sex with the boyfriend/girlfriend, whether same sex or opposite, under your roof, say, in the next room from your bedroom? Of course, most teens will "sneak" the sex. Do it while the parents are out of the house, in the woods, a car, etc.

But if your child is gay or lesbian, do you allow sleepovers with the same sex "friend" knowing your child has feelings for them? Would you make different allowances for sleepovers knowing your child is gay/lesbian? Perhaps not. Perhaps not.

What about these co-ed sleepover parties I hear about, would you allow one in your home? Would you go upstairs knowing that some of your child's friends or your child have "feelings" for another and may act upon them?
post #26 of 280
Originally posted by its_our_family
When she was telling me about her m/c she told me that her and her dh "got pregnant but never had sex...its one of those things you hear about in health class" I still don't know what that means?? [/B]
Megan, this happened to one of my mom's friends, too. It just means that two people are experimenting sexually but, for whatever reason, don't want to go "all the way, " (i.e penis in vagina) BUT the male goes ahead and has an orgasm, and his sperm spill out near the vagina, very near the vaginal opening, and one sperm somehow makes it all the way to the egg. At least that is how I understand it. The chances of getting pregnant this way seem quite remote, but I have heard that it happens. I think you might "hear about in health class" as the teacher warns students that getting pregnant this way is possible, so precaution needs to be taken.

Ok, my OT ramble is over!

And I wanted to add that, like many other posters have said- teaching abstinance is not a goal for me BUT I do want to teach about the seriousness of sex. My mother told me, when I was a teenager, that getting pregnant would change me forever- she said that would be true whether kept the baby, gave it up for adoption, had a miscarriage, or had an abortion...and that is true...
post #27 of 280
Dar, I think all those questions could probably take another thread, but I'll answer here since we don't have one.

We have done co ed sleepovers, but sex wasn't an issue since none of the kids were even teens yet (all under 10). Since dd has become a teen I think we did one co ed sleep over and the boy slept in our spare bedroom because the girls wanted their privacy.

I would allow sleepovers of boyfriends (or girlfriends if dd is a lesbian). * I can hear the gasps, lol * It isn't a big deal to me, assuming she is doing it because she wants to and not because she is pressured ect. Also, if I know boyfriends are sleeping iover you can bet that the issue of protection ect is thoroghly understood. I lost my virginity in my own bed at home while my parents were at work, so I know it happens.
post #28 of 280
Just to clarrify, the girl in my story *wanted* it that way. It's not like her and her fiance couldn't have done whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to do it. They were both over 18, and they both have nice, understanding parents. Actually, her dad is not even a Christain (just her mom and her).

The girl herself wanted it this way. I think as a way to signify her choice to remain pure until her and her DH were committed to each other before God. It is because of her deeply held religious beilefs (that I share).

It's not like it was forced on her, or that she didn't want to. It was more of symbolism. I'm sure it wasn't easy for them, but I know it was worth it.

As for the wedding night sex that was mentioned, I am sure it was beautiful no matter what! They had nothing at all to compare it to (unlike most people today), so it would have been good no matter what! Also, like any new sexual relationship, they will learn and grow together with time.

I also do not think there is anything wrong with getting married young. Honestly, I think a marrige lasting has to with your level of commitment, not what age you get married at all. My DH and I have had our share of hard times (a baby with health problems, financial troubles, and my parents doing all they could to make our lives hell on earth). These are things I have seen other, older couples divorce over. I think the secret to a marriage lasting is just hanging in there in the bad times, because that is what you promised each other. I also have not *personally* seen anyone get happier after a divorce. It just seems to lead to a whole new set of problems with them and their children and their new relationships. I know not everyone will find the right person at a young age, but there is nothing wrong with getting married young if they do.

I feel like I got flamed somewhat, but when I posted that story it never occured to me that it could be seen as offensive.
post #29 of 280

By "faith," I meant in our religion, which I am asuming you are not a part of.
post #30 of 280
I think that wedding-night sex should be really good.

Some people say the first time is good, but a lot say it wasn't that great. Painful or too short.
post #31 of 280
This is all very interesting to me. I don't have kids yet...so I have 10 years plus how ever long it takes me to get pregnant to really think about this.

But, I can say I want to be muchmore open about it all than my mom was with me. I didn't have sex until I was 17...and a senior in high school. And I didn't tell my mom....anything. My mom's idea of talking to me about sex was to say "don't have sex before your married...it's wrong", or "don't ever give oral sex to a man, it's degrading." My mom has some sex issues, which she managed to pass to me in a lot of cases. But anyway...
My first time was mostly just to get it over with...Everyone around me said it was awful the first time and I was just at the point of not wanting to have that hanging over my head. But I knew what I was doing, and we used protection and were always very safe about it.

I want my kids to know that there is nothing wrong with sex, and to trust themselves. They will know when they aren't comfortable with it, and when they are. I plan on making my girls memorize Taking Charge of Your Fertility...and the boys had better know most of it as well. In this day and age there is no excuse for unwanted pregnancy, IMO.

I want them to learn respect for the other person. I want them to have respect for themselves. I want them to know they can come to me whenever about whatever and I will help them.
But ultimately, they are people with their own privacy issues and their own feelings about the whole thing. And they are going to do what they feel necessary. And thatmay include never ever talking to me about it. My mom wanted things too, and if my kids are anywhere near as strong willed as I was....it won't matter what I want.

As for sleepover of girlfriends/boyfriends....still torn on that. I think ultimately it will depend on whether or not I approve of the relationship, or the bf/gf. Sounds petty, I know, but they are going to do it anyway, and if I don't like the partner, I don't have to allow it in my house while I am home. and the whole gay thing - not an issue for me...I am bi - my kids can sleep with whatever gender turns their crank.

As for the virgins when married scenario above...eeek. Lovely concept...bad in reality. The first time having sex for me was NOT romantic, it was akward, painful, confusing, messy...and not a whole heck of a lot of fun. I would never recommend that my kids be virgins until they are married. I think like everything, the relationships you have prior to your marraige greatly shape and influence who you are. I can't imagine never having a relationship with anyone other than my husband, i wouldn't be me. I wouldn't have learned nearly as much from others, about others...and frankly I might be married to a real schmuck because I had not learned to spot them a mile away like I can now.

Anyway.... enough from the chick without kids.
post #32 of 280
great discussion!

I only wanted to add that I think it can be very useful for teenagers to have serious boy/grilfriends even though they are not yet on the marriage market. I learned so damn much from the relationship with my serious h.s. boyfreind (it wasn't a sexual relationship as defined above as penetration, organism, or oral sex - though there was a lot of heavy petting). It was wonderful to be so close to someone at such an akward, insecure age. I weatehred teenage angst very well because of it. I had close girlfriends, but the level of total acceptance just wasn't the same.

And seriously girlfriends can be GREAT for teenage boys since they don't tend to form close relationships with other boys (at least the boys I knew weren't more than hang-out buddies to each other). Now my brother did fine with close girls-as friends as opposed to a close girlfriend - and aparently that is very common now (whereas when I was in HS it wasn't so much).

Yes always the danger that lives could derail from a pregnancy that comes with the sex that typically comes with a serious relationship (in h.s. and otherwise). Though that is more rare than not, I think. All of my 4 close girlfriends had serious boyfriends in h.s., all except me had sex, one had an abortion senior year, all married in thier late twenties, early thirties to different people and are happy and not regretful of thier early experiences.
post #33 of 280
I would not allow participation in the co-ed sleep overs.

The co-ed sleepover thing hit my teenaged niece's crowd. My sister, who is somewhat more conservative about these things than I, would not allow her to accept an invitation to one. She was allowed to go to the party in the evening, but not sleep over. This party was at a big estate, and the parents had rented two big tents (one for each gender ) which were pitched on the grounds quite a way from the house.

My niece whined for a solid week about what a loser she would be, how she would be the only kid in town whose parents don't trust her, how my sister is the meanest mother in the universe, etc. So, at 11pm on the night of the party, my sister drove up to pick up the niece and take her home, fully expecting the girl to be angry at her. Instead, my niece was standing there with four or five of her friends who also wanted a ride home!

Turns out that many of the kids felt uncomfortable about these parties, but felt like they'd look like a dork for not going. Sometimes kids do want some boundaries, and I think this one is not unreasonable.
post #34 of 280
PL... no one has flamed you, we've simply responded to your post.
It isn't flaming to say we don't find the story romantic.. or that we personally find something in it objectionable.

And regarding getting married young.. that's an individual choice.. but all the studies I've seen would stack up as evidence against your opinion. Marriages between older people are more likely to last than marriages between people in their early teens and twenties.

Maybe that is less true in a religious community where there is stigma against divorce. I dunno, and I digress.

Back to the regularly scheduled thread on teaching abstinance.
post #35 of 280
I plan to do like what Asherah described... I want to be as open and honest about sex as possible so that my children understand what they are getting into and can make an informed choice about when to have sex and with whom.

I don't think that having sex before marriage is inherently bad (I did it, with no regrets) but it's a personal decision. I have friends who were virgins when they married, and I respect their decision and their conviction, even though I made different choices.

I also wanted to add my own two cents in regards to young marriages. I got married when I was 20 and a good friend of mine got married when she was 21. We both have wonderful happy marriages and I believe that we both made decisions that were right for us. Not all 20 year olds are prepared for marriage, I would say that most are not. But that said, I know 30+ year olds who are not prepared for marriage. I know many couples who married young that have had long lasting happy marriages and I know many couples who married later in life whose marriages failed. Age is a *very* relative thing...
post #36 of 280
PerfectLove--I'm sorry you felt flamed, although I can see how you would. I think people reacted honestly to that story but weren't overly harsh about it. I have to be honest that I had the same reaction. My jaw dropped and I shuddered. I also found the story really ironic coming from an attachment parent!!!! What is the moral, that touch is bad?? That touch needs to wait until marriage? That a woman is owned by her father and then her husband, and the "right" to touch her is passed from one to the other, but never owned by herself?

I also found someone else's line "I waited to have sex till marriage and I expect ds and dd to do the same" kind of shudder-inducing. I personally don't expect anything from my dd except to treat others with kindness, to be true to herself, and to do her best to be truthful and loving and strong. Other than that, she'll make her own choices (heck, she'll make her own choices about everything!) As far as sex goes: I'll answer her questions. I'll tell her all the biological facts. If she asks my personal opinion, I'll tell her that I hope she has some healthy, passionate sexual relationships before she settles down with a partner. If she chooses to remain abstinent until marriage, I'll probably worry, but I'll respect it.

Abstinence-only education is a miserable failure. Added to that, it's totally immoral--encouraging teens to forsake sex and also failing to give them the information and resources that they need should they choose to have sex. Studies have shown that teens who've received abstinence-only sex education tend to wait a little bit longer to become sexually active, but then when they do, they tend to NOT use birth control at much higher rates than those who've received REAL sex education. Abstinence-only education promotes ignorance.
post #37 of 280
Wow, so many issues and topics goig on in one thread. Let's see:

I believe in no hold bared sex education and information. I think it would be naive of me to think that my kids will wait for marriage to have intercourse. I certainly didn't, but then I came from a place of disfunction (both physically and personally). It seemed that everyone I knew was sexually active in junior high and early high school (probably not true, but it seemed that way). I wanted to know what it was all about and lost my virginity at 15 WAY too early in my opinion now, but certainly was not "cohersed" into it...I entered into the situation with my eyes open and condem in hand. I soon left that relationship and entered into a long term (for hs) relationship that also became sexual. We were together for 2.5 years, until I was a senior and we split up to go our seperate ways for college and life. I dated and had a few sexual partners in my first two years of college, but met my DH and that has been it (there were a few on again off again periods where i had other partners, but once we decided we were really serious and ready for a committment the relationship has been monogomous). We married when I was 7 months pregnant with ds#1. I was 22 and he was 25. We have been married for going on 9 years.

I don't regret any of the choices I made (well, maybe the first one...he was a loser ). They are what have shaped me into the person I am and allowed to seek out the people now in my life. I truelly cherish most of the men I have been with and think of them all fondly.

So where does that leave me with my kids? My oldest is reaching pre-puberty and is starting to learn about relationships and how people intreact. He currently has no intrest in girls and thinks sex is "weird". LOL I hope that he waits for a/the "right" person, but really how do we know unless we investigate and invest in a relationship...that includes emotionally, spiritually and physically. I will teach him to respect himself and his partners, and that sex is serious business, both from the emotional standpoint and the physical consequences standpoint. It is not a choice to be taken lightly and is the ultimate expression of love and committment to another person. It is also fun and exciting and worth waiting for a good match to experience.

I don't know where DH stands on this issue. I was his first serious relationship (i.e. included sexual intercourse...he fooled around with other women before me) and he insisted that he be sure that I was "the one" before we could consimate the relationship. I finally told him that I needed a committment from him and that I needed to know that the relationship WAS going to go in that direction pretty soon or that I needed to move on because I would not marry a man, or invest further energy into a relationship where there was no sexual chemistry or compatibility. He thought about it and took the next step and share himself with me. He was 22. Do I exspect my sons to do that? No, but that is THEIR choice.

post #38 of 280
your son is right - sex IS weird

(like two babies on a desert island would ever grow up and figure out that "that" goes in "there")
post #39 of 280
My daughter is 20 and a virgin. She is a fabulous woman, a loyal friend to others and herself. I love her and am awed by her.

When she was about 13 or so, DH and I taught a pagan spiritual philosophy class in town for teens, in which DD chose to participate. I was thrilled by the fact that the older girls and boys (they were 16+) too, really took her under their wings and embraced her, hung out with her, protected her. The girls invited her to have tea parties, play dress up and stuff like that too; it was a precious time for her and them. Can't tell you how much I look back with amazement and appreciation on those older girls who gave my DD so much.

It was very good for DD to have those older girls...who also exposed her to thinking about sex and so on too, truly a gift because at an earlier age, we had those conversations in a context relevent to her. She set her own boundaries about how she values her body, self, and her virginity. And she watched the older girls set about to their paths regarding sex, as well as watching her own peers. She has learned alot. She has also avoided a great deal of the unnecessary and destructive pit falls...STD's, skewed sense of self, skewed ideas about love...etc. She is a smart cookie.

And when the right man comes along, who really does love and value her the way she values herself, she will share herself on all levels in love and trust- JOYFULLY. She has come close on a couple occasions so far, but the guys who are her age or even older always reveal that they just want to get laid, as if it is an entitlement. They reveal their lack of inner development and she rejects it.

She feels that a real man will come along as she walks her path, who thinks along the lines of love and respect...she will take nothing less. And I really admire her for that. She wants to marry, and have children, and that desire comes from a very deep place within her heart and mind.

Her best friend is currently pregnant, unwed, the father is a total jerk and a cokehead...though in all fairness, he is changing pretty quickly as the baby grows and the pregnancy progresses. DD sees how bad and how good the situation is and pregnancy can be.

She is such an observer....and appreciates having watched the realities that she has been witness to.

(interesting aside: I had a dream that I was holding the aforementioned baby, that it is a boy...and very, very cute. Friend's mom was really hoping it is a girl....sonagram says: BOY! I keep wondering WHY this baby came to me in a dream- y'know, one of those very clear, very real dreams...no clue here and that is another topic altogether.)

I think that as a mother I am most grateful for resisting the natural tendency to pass on all that I had to overcome to be able to raise a thinking, self-valuing, self-loving woman who is healthy, and truly ready for sex when the right partner emerges. This was a very hard-fought awareness and conscious choice. I had been incested at 16, by my own father, which caused alot of harm. I also had to just appreciate and learn a lesson from the ways my own mother demonstrated her own issues based also on sexual abuse in her family, relating to sex, relating to self-respect and self-esteem.

I support my DD's choice as to her virginity and I think she will have a wonderfully rich sex life with a worthy partner of choice. By the way religion plays no role in her choice.

Dads play a role in how girls see themselves and value themselves also. Never downplay that. I feel sure that my DH has greatly contributed to our DD's self-awareness and self-esteem and very positively. DH is a great person, a fab dad and so many of our kids' peers really love him. I was there when DD commented to a friend that she loves her dad...the friend, a guy said:"Well jeez...*I* love your dad TOO!!!". I felt very proud.

She is not beset by guilt about sex, and she is not compelled by it either. She like her brothers, has more depth than alot of kids her age.

She is her own best friend, I think. Her peers actually seem to look up to her and respect her and those are the sexually active ones. They wish they had waited to become active. At one point we sat and mapped out the "web" created by the STD's that many, many kids were suffering with, a few years back...it was really crazy. DD is very much aware of the resources about birth control and she has our complete support and assistance if needed.

So that is how it is for us.

Our boys are the same: one is 23 and the other is 18. Neither like the social choices and STD odds hereabouts, and will move on to other locations when their individual times are appropriate to do so. And further they are waiting for women who truly value themselves. I never had to preach. I only ever told about value of self and valuing others. Their peers' situations all through the years taught about reality better than I ever could. Perhaps behavior modeled by adults present in their lives also, had some positive influence as well.

My oldest son was in love with a girl who played with his emotions. He has not really felt inclined to bother too much since except for being friends with girls. He has winter work and summer work, likes to hang with friends, lives in his own cabin on our property, which he built with DH. He contributes to the family, plays guitar, studies computer stuff and has a social life on his own. He is a gentle man, who does love our dogs and animals in general and appreciates little children and would make a good dad one day should he choose that.

Youngest son...well, he is graduating from High School exactly 2 weeks from now. He chose not to go out with girls around here because of the serious STD problem and the lack of understanding about what it is to have an actual relationship beyond possessiveness and sex. He wants NOTHING to do with it till he finds someone with a brain, who wants to share minds, not just bodies. I don't blame him at all.

So like I said, that is how it is for us. I don't say it is the best way but it seems to be fine for our kids.

Well that's all I know...Joyce in the mts.
post #40 of 280
Oh.. adding that I have PLENTY of regrets about some of my choices.. sexual and otherwise.

Regrets are part of life and learning. You acknowlege them and move on.. that's how wisdom is gained.

I have no illusions.. that I can somehow keep my ds from making mistakes.
I can only pray he will learn from them.
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