Waiting & Abstinence
Just because ‘everyone else is doing it’ doesn’t mean you have to. The reality is that many teens are waiting to have sex, and many of those that did wish that they had waited longer. Less than half of all teens in high school have had sex. That means you are in the majority if you haven’t!
The bottom line is, you don’t have to have sex if you’re not ready, and that’s ok! Birth control can do a very good job of protecting you from pregnancy and STDs, but the only 100% proven method for avoiding them is not having sex.
A majority of both girls and boys who are sexually active wish they had waited. Seven in ten sexually experience teens (71%) say they wish they had waited until they were older to have sex. Sixty-four percent of teens also said the advice they’d give a younger sibling or friend would be: “Don’t have sex until you’re at least out of high school, but, if you do, be sure to protect yourself against pregnancy and STDs.
A big reason that so many teens wish they had waited, even if they used protection, is that they weren’t emotionally ready. You can protect your body, but it’s not always as easy to protect your feelings. Being in a good, trusting, committed relationship means enjoying many things together, and not just sex.
There are lots of reasons not to have sex besides not wanting to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant (although that’s a pretty good reason, too). Here are some of the most common reasons teens give for waiting:
- I’m waiting for the right guy or girl.
- I’ve got better things to do with my time.
- It’s against my religious beliefs.
- I think sex is something special that should be saved until you are married.
- I’m worried about my reputation.
- I don’t want to catch an STID.
- I want to make sure I’m in a lasting relationship first.
- I just don’t feel like I’m ready yet.
All of these are perfectly good reasons to wait. What are yours? Email us your reasons to wait and we’ll add them to our list.
(from The National Campaign and StayTeen.org)