Abstinence in Generation Y: Can Millennials Do Without Sex?
If there’s one thing many can agree on about millennials it is that we are indeed daring and open about a lot of things. There’s no doubt that we millenials are one sexy generation and are “turned up!” more times than not. But, can we turn down? In other words, can abstinence work in Generation Y?
CDC studies confirm that almost 50% of young people under age 25 have engaged in sexual intercourse. However, when it comes to sex, many young people are still either misinformed or not informed enough. For example, a sexual trend study reveals that about 70% of teenagers do not consider oral sex as “sex.” So, all things considered, abstinence becomes blurred when people do not agree on what they are abstaining from, but let’s assume that all types of sex – oral, anal, and vaginal – are included in this proposed question.
Then, I’d say no. Abstinence CANNOT work in Generation Y on a wide spectrum. (Of course, there will always be those bound by personal convictions, religion or some other form of principles that help them stay firm in their decision to be abstinent or celibate.) But given the dip in millenials with religious affiliations as proposed by current studies, most people rely on personal choice as opposed to religious obligation when it comes to sexual activity.
Our generation might be crowned the age of technology, but technology falls short when it comes to fulfilling the desire of human interaction and connection. Sex does that for many millenials, even those that are not ready to admit it. Sex fulfills a much-needed human connection.
Even if it’s for 10 minutes, an hour, or a lifetime, sex is powerful enough to fill the heart with hope, joy, attachment, peace, adventure, desire, love or just the plain joy and intense feel of being touched by another human being. Sex does that. So, will millenials or any other generation for that matter, give that up if they don’t have to? No, I don’t think so.
Sex is a part of life for many people. It’s just something to do for some, and even the height of existence for some others. The beauty of living in a generation where sex is not completely bound by religion or some other sort of political structure is that you get to choose.
A while back, sexual matters used to be kept private behind closed doors, even a taboo to speak of in public. Now, it seems that abstinence is the taboo subject that no one really talks about or wants to hear about. I hold our society and its overt sexuality responsible for this. Nowadays, sex seems to be promoted everywhere and we are exposed to it almost daily. So understandably, it is hard to conceive an ideal that goes against what we have come to believe and exist in as the norm – everyone has sex.
On the contrary, a recent abstinence study reveals that
- Since 1994, about 3% (1 in 30) of Americans wait successfully until marriage to have sex. (not everyone has sex)
- More women( 60%) wait more that men (40%) wait until marriage to have sex.
- More people (11%) in the 1950s waited until marriage to have sex.
Clearly, in contrast to what the majority believe, not that many people abstained from sex in pre-Millenial times either. If anything, we ought to be sort of proud and somewhat secure that the stats have remained stable for the last 50 plus years.
Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on generational differences in cultural attitudes towards sex and abstinence. Abstinence is a choice that very few consider in this day and age. Not because of a decrease in morality or self-discipline as some of the older generations might think, but primarily because we exist in a more liberal age where sexual activity is not swept under the rug like some forbidden fruit. We indulge in it as we please.
Some may contend that abstinence promotes well-being or that it reduces STDs and unwanted pregnancies. However, a recent journal study
has concluded that the premarital “abstinence pledges” so beloved by evangelical Christians are ineffective.
We have reached a time in history where people embrace their sexuality, rather than shy away from it to fit in with a mode of society. More and more people seem to be shying away from the rigid religious cultures that promotes or mandates abstinence.
Either because of the feeling that they are missing out on something because it’s so common, or that they are realizing that love is not guaranteed because you choose to wait to have sex. Young Christians aren’t waiting anymore. A national campaign study revealed that almost all (80%) of young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as the (88%) of their non-Christian peers.
Dr. Jenell Williams Paris, an anthropologist and the author of The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex Is Too Important to Deﬁne Who We Are, says the high rates of premarital sex are a call to the Church to live in reality.
“We need to talk to people as they really live in the world they really live in,” Paris says. “If rates of premarital sex are really that high, but we continue to talk as if the vast majority of people are virgins when they get married, weʼre out of touch. We need to address reality.”
Some will agree that sex is indeed an inevitable part of growth – when you are able to say “no” to sex and “yes” to abstinence without hesitancy, a new level of maturity and understanding has indeed taken over, just as a new level of understanding comes about when one has sex for the first time.
If every one had arranged marriages at age 13, abstinence would not even be a word to use because there’d be no need for it. If abstinence is to be successful, we have to reach a common understanding of why we are abstaining because Millenials know that not having sex does not guarantee you love, marriage or a purity acknowledgment. It’s a choice you make for you, not for a sort of sanction.
Powered by Facebook Comments