Premarital Sex Essay, Research Paper
The controversy over premarital sex has never been more profound than it is today. The very mention of the word brings forth radically different reactions. At one time, the very subject of sex was taboo, and then the sexual revolution was introduced as a time when people were unrestrained and open to explore their sexuality. Today, many have become so inordinately apprehensive about sexually related diseases that they perceive premarital sex as totally foolhardy. I am of the opinion that the decision to engage in premarital sex should not be condemned by either faction. The ultimate determination is a totally personal decision that must be thoroughly contemplated with a clear rationale. However, I do believe that a return to the simpler morals of past generations would help alleviate many of the stresses which are added to young, unmarried people today.
People today are not as stiff and rigid as the Happy Days era. Old movies, television shows, and even discussion with the older generation tells us that sex was not a popular subject. The word sex, itself, was taboo.
In the sixties, there was an entire revolution dedicated to sexual freedom. It wasn t until then that sex became a word that could even be spoken aloud. Make love nor war was the slogan of the day. The practice of free love was commonplace.
Today, people are so concerned about sexually transmitted diseases that even bringing the word sex out into the open has to be accompanied with a sex education discussion. My generation has been bombarded with so many safe sex seminars that one would think we have that aspect totally under control. There are still people out there who do not listen to the warnings and find themselves running to doctors or clinics to be tested for many harmful diseases. Women are running to abortion clinics because neither they nor their partners took the proper precautions ahead of time. If these people had listened to the advice that was given, there would be no cause for alarm. The only absolute guarantee against unwanted pregnancies and diseases is abstinence.
I believe that there comes a point in almost every young adult s life when he feels he has fallen in love. Along with those feelings of love comes an almost overwhelming desire for physical closeness. However, he must be careful to not confuse feelings of lust with feelings of love. Although two people may feel they are ready and willing to accept the responsibilities this act entails, they must also consider the problems it can cause. A “no” to sexual activity can also be a “yes” to deeper communication and mutual appreciation. Human nature is such that sexual activity is intimately linked to one’s emotional and psychological state. The ability to control one’s sexual urges is part of human nature and also an important distinction between humans and animals. The practice of abstinence enables couples to exercise fidelity within a relationship. Many find that sexual activity is best when accompanied by the deep commitment of marriage and openness to the possibility of children.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the small numbers of cohabiting couples in America could be fairly described as “anti-marriage”. They were deliberately seeking an alternative to traditional marriage, an institution they viewed as “repressive”. Today, however, many cohabiting couples have a different outlook. Rather than “anti-marriage,” I feel it is more accurate to say that many of these couples are “anti-divorce”. Premarital sex is one of the many criteria by which to judge whether a couple is compatible enough to withstand the rigors of the total commitment of marriage. They believe it is more feasible to look upon premarital sex and cohabitation as a “trial marriage” that will protect individuals from entering into a marriage that will end up in divorce. They should realize, though, that the commitment to marriage cannot be substituted. American society is becoming increasingly individualistic and selfish, so that people are less willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be a part of a family.
A new ethic and morality have developed where people behave in fewer traditional ways. The notion that sex ought to be reserved only for marriages now seems antiquated. Some have called it the “defining of deviancy down” so that what was once considered deviant or abnormal now is treated as the norm. Rather than cohabitation being scandalous, as it was only several decades ago, it is now virginity that makes the news. This is a sad commentary on our society. We must keep in mind, however, that marriages formed after cohabitation are rated as less stable and result in more divorces than marriages not preceded by living together.
Among current concerns tied in part to sexual behavior are the familial problems of marital harmony and divorce; criminal problems of incest, child molestation, and prostitution; reproductive problems of infertility, sterility, unwanted and mistimed pregnancies, and abortion; and health problems related to sexually transmitted diseases.
The institution of marriage is no longer valued as highly. Our culture has become increasingly skeptical of marriage and other institutions that are thought to restrict or confine adult behavior. In their place, a much higher value is put on individualism, choice and unrestricted personal liberty. Marriage is also losing its social purpose. Instead of serving as our primary institutional expression of commitment and obligation to others (especially children), it has been reduced to a vehicle for the emotional fulfillment of adult partners. “Till death us do part” has been replaced by “as long as I am happy”. Reports have shown that the divorce rate is lower for couples who have never cohabited versus those who have engaged in premarital activity. If the family trends of recent decades are extended into the future, the result will not only be a growing uncertainty within marriage, but the gradual elimination of marriage in favor of casual liaisons.
If parents are open with their children from an early age, and speak to them about all aspects of sex, the temptation to rebel might be lessened. The children will grow up understanding that sex is not a taboo topic, but rather an act of physical commitment between two responsible adults. With this idea, the children will wait for the right time and right person, and think twice before making an irreversible decision. My parents were very open and honest with me about sex. They explained all the repercussions, both physically and emotionally. While although understandably curious, I realize that the gift of sex is not to be taken lightly.
There are three good and psychologically, if not spiritually, valid reasons for maintaining sexual purity before marriage.
First, intimacy suggests a merging of one plus another into a single union Thus sex without marriage and the lifetime promise of physical, spiritual, and emotional support violates this united relationship.
Second, intimacy suggests a level of personal, physical, spiritual, and psychological commitment that only a marriage can provide.
And third, intimacy suggests a type of love, the kind of good and self-giving love, not a type of love that wells up from our inner lusts and biological desires.
In the end, there is nothing wrong with the desires we feel — indeed, we couldn’t stop them if we wanted to. But sex wasn’t created to be a recreational outlet for the uninitiated, but the fruit of the promise of a lifetime’s commitment of one to another. And with all the baggage of shame society can load on us, it really is worth the wait.