Teenage 'virginity pledges' are ineffective

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Syzygys, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I wonder why? It sounded so simple, just take the pledge and forget about birthcontrol or abortion...


    "Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.

    The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.

    "Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior," said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "
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  3. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    More than half of all teenagers, or half of those promising abstinence? Is this study showing that taking the pledge makes no difference to pre-marital sex habits?
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Damn, I wish I could find a few virgins to deflower!

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  7. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    I thought you knew draqon and darksidzz.

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  8. LadyMidnight Catherine J. Registered Senior Member

    When I was a teenager, I actually met a guy who didn't want to have premarital sex because he was a religious fanatic. I had to break up with him. Sorry, but I won't buy a car without taking it for a test drive first.

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  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Group sex-not-sex

    I'm of the opinion that virginity pledges are, in an obscure way, a manner of sexual expression.

    We can start with memories of our own youth: Long before young boys, for instance, either learned what homosexuality is, or to revile it, or whatever, they do, in fact, share certain sexual experiences. We don't usually consider them as such because these experiences do not involve intercourse. But there does come a point at which playing doctor stops being mere curiosity about the existence of genitals. And many young boys look at pornography together, or in more desperate cases scan sports and retail media for pictures of women in swimsuits, leotards, or underwear. Sometimes they compare penis sizes, or hair growth. I cannot say for certain, but I do have just about every reason to believe that girls and young women go through gender-specific equivalents.

    None of this, of course, means they're gay.

    That disclaimer accounted for, let us fast forward into sexually-active adolescence and adulthood.

    For many, the sexual experience does not stop when intercourse ends. They must communicate what they have done, share the facts and even some exaggerations in search of approval or solidarity. Young men boast to each other, and spin what seem intriguing lies about things they haven't done. I recall coming out of a football game once in high school and encountering a pack of my female classmates who were drunkenly celebrating Maia's "de-virginization" in the back seat of someone's car, in the parking lot, apparently starting around halftime. Parents, naturally, were mortified. This is part of the ritual. Male classmates were agog with envy, and this, too, is part of the ritual.

    And even a few years ago, my partner and I had a roommate for a while, a friend who enjoyed her sex loud and at least a little dirty. It was bad enough having to listen to it in the middle of a decaying relationship, but it became clear to me at some point that she also got off on telling us about certain encounters: the married man in the bathroom at a work party, the guys who hooted and hollered when she hitched up her skirt and pissed on the bumper of a band's tour van after a show, and so on. Whatever sexual connotations she perceived in any situation were not content to remain internalized. Part of the experience came in the sharing.

    Likewise, a public or communal virginity pledge does the same thing. It acknowledges sexuality, creates an experience, and shares it with others.

    In the early twentieth century, the Anti-Catholic League was known to circulate tracts describing the insatiable perversity of Catholics. It was propaganda, to be sure, but the superstitions persist to this day—Catholic school girls, after all ....

    Anyway, during the Zippergate scandal, a Columbia University Journalism School professor appearing on one or another NPR show described the ACL tracts as "puritan pornography". Ostensibly presented as vital information in the community interest, it presented concerned Protestants with outlets not only for their fear of Catholics but their repressed sexual urges. Even though they went through the motions of asserting disgust, many found the material titillating, and we should be surprised if some Protestants didn't pick up a few ideas from their scandalous Catholic figments—or, more appropriately, from their sexually-obsessed fellow Protestants.

    Perhaps it seems strange to consider a virginity pledge or presidential impeachment stemming from questions about fellatio in the context of a group sexual experience, but there also comes a point at which it seems strange to not. Sexual impulses are evolutionary, and significantly suppressed, they will find other routes to the surface.

    Frankly, I find these sorts of public sexual rituals somewhat dysfunctional. Consider the following proposition:

    Writing Exercise:

    Write a short character sketch describing a father who has brought his daughter across three states to a hotel in order to dance romantically and make a holy pledge to enforce her sexual purity.


    What? Does that sound strange? Yes, I would agree it does. But reality is stranger than fiction. When a young person's sex life becomes a family ritual ...?

    To be honest, I don't know how to finish that sentence. I mean, it really does seem kind of obvious to me, but I'm quite sure I'm not making the point adequately.
  10. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

    that pledge isn't going to stop teens from getting drunk.
    and when teens aren't sober they have sex.

    except for me off course :thankyou:

    I was a good girl until I met the guy I'm going to marry.
  11. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    aren't you a teenager?
    I was good as well, until I was 18 and going to get married.
  12. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

    Sadly, but I'm a little different than some.
  13. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    And how many of those pledges are actually meant vs just said to keep their parent's content and off their backs?


    And why didn't you get married? Heh, heh..

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    - N
  14. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    A promise can only influence one's decision if that promise meant something to them. Since, surprisingly many people don't mind going back on their word, going back on virginity pledges are no different. If I had promised myself or my parents that I would remain a virgin until marriage then I would still be a virgin, but I didn't so I'm not.

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  15. Gustav Banned Banned

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  16. Bells Staff Member

    There is something decidedly creepy for me when I think about the whole event of the purity ball or virginity pledge. The whole notion of the exchange of rings, the vows, flowers, gowns.. with one's father.. I don't know why, but it seems creepy to me. Oppressive and fraught with danger for the girl if she ultimately does have sex before marriage or is raped or assaulted. It will leave the child feeling as though she has somehow failed.

    And the age range of the girls who take the pledges these days. It is not just teenage girls.

    4 years old? Four? What will a child that young understand as to what she is 'pledging' to?

    I had a chat to my mother about the whole concept of a purity ball, and I will admit, her response to the whole thing astounded me somewhat. To understand my astonishment of her response, one would have to understand my mother. My mother is a devout Catholic, who attends Church every week. She is one of those women from a generation where girls did not have sex before marriage. When I spoke to her about it while helping her prepare dinner, she laughed and asked me if I was serious. Upon my affirmative, she was surprised that 'in this day and age', parents could have such expectations from their children and most importantly, place such a burden on young girls who would probably not understand what it was they were promising. She then went on to say that she thought it was a bit sick in a way, the whole concept of the vows and exchange of rings to be akin to a marriage ceremony to one's father.. 'almost incestuous' were the words she used. And she found the whole thing to be placing even more emphasis on sex and a girl's sexuality and to her, to vow to one's father to not have sex in such a form of ceremony was obscene in a way.. the whole notion of giving one's virginity to one's father to hold until marriage was a bit sick to her. I was surprised in that I had assumed my mother would find some agreement with the virginity pledge. She just thought that it would end up placing undue pressure on teenage girls who might be confused about sex and their body, and most importantly, girls might end up feeling uncomfortable or ashamed to discuss sex with their parents, which could lead to a lack of sex education and safe sex education. As I said, her response surprised me and made me smile to realise that the feminist in my mother was alive and well and her very Catholic beliefs did not impede in her reasoning.

    To add to the 'weird' factor of it all..

    I can understand the desire to forge stronger bonds between fathers and their daughters. But this is just creepy to me, personally. Date night dinner's with dad (where the girl gets dressed up), exchanging vows with dad in a ball or wedding like setting.. Creepy to me. Why not just spend time with dad going to the movies, talking at the dinner table, normal stuff. My dad used to take me fishing.. principally crab fishing where we'd get up at the crack of dawn and head off to the beach and stop and have a burger on the way home for lunch.
  17. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    Why is having sex considered synonymous with losing one's innocence? Surely someone's sexual naivety and 'purity' is marked when they start finding boys sexually attractive in the first place. A virgin can find many ways to titillate herself without a boy even touching her suggestively.
    I think true innocence can only ever be found in children - teenagers explore and think too much.
  18. John99 Banned Banned

    i blame all this on the males of the species
  19. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    I totally agree with you. I always thought of "virginity" being more of a psychological concept than a physical one. There are many girls/women (whatever you'd consider them) who are virgins, but are so far from innocent it's pathetic. You can't be holistically pure if your thoughts are not always pure.
  20. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

    BWAHAHAHA!!! Boy if I had a dollar for every time I heard a girl say that.
    Whew! Thanks for the chuckle, lala.
  21. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

    BAHAHAHAH! and your never going to get laid.
    BAHAHAHA i love assuming things about people it makes me feel so smart inside!!!!
  22. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    yeah, you'd have a dollar.
  23. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

    lol, silly face mikey boy

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