Tierra Shanise Glymph, 9th Grade

March 4, 2007

Ultra Teen Choice Essay

“Abstinence Better for Unmarried Persons”

In today’s climate where HIV is rampant, values are distorted and respect is lacking, abstinence until marriage is better for unmarried persons.  I believe abstinence is better for unmarried persons because intimate relationships have consequences.  People who are considering sex and intimacy must remember that every action has a reaction and a consequence.  Males and females that remain abstinent until marriage are sending a clear message that they want to be respected and that they have respect for themselves and others.  They are also showing that they choose “life”.
I believe in Ultra Teen Choice and abstinence because statistics have shown that young people who indulge in sexual activities too early and before marriage are often more predisposed or receptive to other problems and negative behaviors.  These teens, for example, often become involved with drugs and alcohol.  As they indulge in these negative behaviors, they end up having poor self-esteem and very little respect for themselves and others.  Their negative behaviors often lead to poor school attendance, inability to concentrate, declining grades and depression.  In some cases, many become high school dropouts.  In addition to declining academically, their social skills also decline as they lack respect for themselves and others – including parents and friends.   
Teens that indulge in sexual activities too early are also more at risk to acquiring sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and even HIV.  They are often more at risk because they are not aware of protections that are available.  HIV affects millions of men, women and children worldwide.  HIV has no respect for gender, color, income, or even sexual preference, meaning that the disease that was once considered “the gay disease” is now rampant and affecting everyone.  
Teens who are sexually active too early often become victims of circumstances because they are unprepared to cope with serious relationships and their consequences.  One of these consequences is teen pregnancy.  Yearly, hundreds of babies are born to unmarried teens that either do not want children or are unprepared to become parents.  
Surveys have shown that in the same manner that adults are affected by drug and alcohol abuse, teens are also affected.  Many of these negative behaviors often accompany people that are sexually active too early.  According to a CDC and Prevention Survey, 25% of 9th graders reported binge drinking (defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion); 40% of ninth grade students reported having consumed alcohol before they were age 13; 26.2% of 9th graders reported having smoked cigarettes and 11.6% reported having used marijuana before age 13.  The key is that many of these behaviors tend to follow teens that are sexually active too early and not abstinent until marriage.
Serious relationships require a level of maturity and commitment, and marriage    is an expression of this commitment.  Between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age, are we really prepared for these types of relationships?  Shouldn’t we instead be more focused on finishing high school and college?  Some people think that this type of thinking is only for geeks.  But, I assure you that college in one of the pathways to success.
Teens who are sexually active too early often become victims of depression because they are once again unprepared to cope with serious relationships.  According the American Counseling Association, 30% of teens suffer from depression.  This depression often leads to low self esteem, low school attendance, and poor grades and suicide.
As young women, we are often degraded verbally and not taken seriously by our male counterparts, many of whom view their girlfriends like trophies that they place on shelves to gather dusk.  As young women, we must insist on being taken seriously.
By being abstinent until marriage, we are sending a clear message that we
(1) have a choice; (2) we choose “life”; (3) we want to be respected; (4) we want to be taken seriously; (5) we care enough about our bodies not t not to share it with any and everybody that comes along; and (6) we want to follow God’s plan.
            As my mother would try to talk with me about sexuality issues, I would often say “TMI” or “Too much information.”   But, then I realized that this is reality and that we need to be aware of ourselves and our environment.    By learning about my environment, I am able to make the choice of abstinence.
By being abstinent, we are telling our male counterparts and the world that we want to be respected and not be referred to by the “h” word (hoe) or “b”***** word.  Each and every one of us is important!  By waiting until marriage, we are committing ourselves to the special person that we care about and who cares about us. By waiting until marriage, we are choosing “life”, a life in which exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are minimized.  Abstinence until marriage is important!