Teens who abstain from sexual relations are much less likely to engage in risky or unhealthy behavior (e.g. smoke, binge drink, inject illegal drugs, be depressed or suicidal, etc.) than their sexually active peers, a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on teen health and sexuality found. Over the years, similar studies have consistently pointed to the many physical, psychological and economic benefits of delaying sexual activity until adulthood. Despite this, the vast majority of sexual education methods implemented in public schools today focus on “safe sex.” But this narrow understanding of “sexual health” ignores the manifold consequences of adolescent sexual activity— “protected” or not—that help explain why teens who abstain from sex altogether tend to fare better in the long run. “When a young person waits for sex, they’re learning skills of self-regulation,” says Valerie Huber, CEO of Ascend, a Washington, D.C.-based sexual education policy association. “And those are habits that can be implemented not just for waiting for sex, but for a lot of other things.”
SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 6:18-20.
PRAY: Parents stop schools from sexualizing youth.
ACTION: Go to the Salt & Light table. Write a postcard to Tom Frieden, CDC Director: “Dear Mr. Frieden, I urge the CDC to promote statistics showing that teens who delay sexual activity are less likely to engage in risky behavior.” Tom Frieden, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027.