As teen pregnancies decrease, more students choose abstinence
Sex is more prominent in today’s society than ever before, but teen pregnancy in the United States has declined — surprisingly, teens are increasingly choosing to be abstinent.
A recent study found that 14 percent of the decline in U.S. teen pregnancy could be attributed to teens’ increased abstinence, according to Advocates for Youth. 53 percent of U.S. high school students reported they hadn’t had sex, up from 46 percent in 1991.
The benefits to remaining abstinent are numerous, as it prevents pregnancy as well as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Keeping sex out of the picture can also make young relationships less confusing.
For biochemistry and math major Stephanie Onyejekwe, the double standard applied to both sexually active people and those who are abstinent is frustrating.
“If you do have sex, they call you a slut, and if you don’t have sex, you’re called a loser or prude,” Onyejekwe said. “So either way, it doesn’t matter. You’ll still be judged.”
Electrical and computer engineering sophomore Christiana Chamon was raised in a Catholic family and said her religion is one reason why she practices abstinence.
“(Part) of me believes that sex is a strictly procreational act,” Chamon wrote in an email. “Man’s state of nature is to have sex with a woman for the purpose of impregnating her. I am not ready to be a mother, and therefore I abstain from the possibility of being impregnated.”
Chamon said she does not agree with the mass numbers of teens engaging in sex but also feels that she should respect their decision to be sexually active as they should respect hers not to.
“If people want to pursue their sexual desires, then who am I to tell them otherwise?” Chamon said.
With more young people practicing abstinence, it’s important to open a dialogue for students to share their thoughts on sex and abstinence and eradicate the stigma attached to abstinent people.
“Different people have different values,” Onyejekwe said. “Either way, their decisions do not affect me.”