As a psychologist specializing in character development, I am often asked to speak to young people about sex. I usually begin by saying:. Whichever group you belong to, I'd like to offer you a way of thinking about sex—a way I believe will help you make good sexual decisions, ones that will help you build a good character and lead a good and happy life. In fact, about half of high-school-age teens are virgins. Furthermore, the National Survey of Family Growth found a drop in adolescent sexual activity for both males and females, ages 15 to 19, for the first time since the survey began in According to a number of studies, students who get good grades, who have goals for the future, who abstain from drugs and alcohol, and who often attend religious services are all significantly less likely to have had sex than students who do not possess these qualities.
Currently I have been thinking about individual of the first things that I ever wrote for the Internet: a series of interviews with adult virgins , published by the Hairpin. I knew my first subject personally, after that, after I interviewed her, I deposit out an open call. To my surprise, messages came rolling in. A few of the people I talked en route for were virgins by choice. But he had worked hard, he told me, to start thinking of himself at the same time as a person who was capable of a relationship—a person who was admirable of, and could accept, love. It is a horrible thing to air unwanted—invisible, inadequate, ineligible for the things that any person might hope designed for.
Budding up in a Christian home, I was raised to view my virginity as almost as important as my salvation. It was my most beloved possession, to be guarded at altogether costs — and the loss of it before marital bliss was maybe the most shameful thing that could possibly have happened to me. I took those warnings to heart. It's difficult to understand if you didn't grow up in the church, although the focus on purity before marriage ceremony is so pervasive in many Christian circles that I didn't even ask it. Of course I would delay until marriage. How could I assume of doing anything else? It would be hard, but if I didn't, I'd regret it for the balance of my life or so I was told. When I was 15, I signed the pledge to delay to have sex until marriage.
By 16, I had my first boyfriend, and telling him I was a virgin was a no-brainer because he was also my first kiss. He was the bad-boy type—definitely more knowledgeable than I was—and I was attracted to him even though I knew I would never have sex along with him. It was just too adolescent for me; and anyway, I hunt to wait until I loved the guy I was with, and my first boyfriend was just a compress. So at 16, I thought I had it all figured out: achieve someone special and all the pieces will fit together pun intended.
This otherwise nice, normal, polite, and amusing guy was horrified anyone in their 20s wouldn't be getting laid. It was like he thought those virgins were somehow unnatural mutants with denial place in this world. But can you repeat that? this bro from Murray Hill didn't know and what I won't be the one to tell him, as I haven't spoken to him sinceis that being a virgin in your 20s is waaaaay more common than people may think. Millennials in all-purpose aren't having as much sex at the same time as everyone once thought. We -- males and females alike -- apparently allow fewer sexual partners than Gen-Xers after that baby boomers did at the alike age.