You may have heard the word abstinence before, but may not know what it means. The word abstinence is used when a person voluntarily stops doing something. There are a number of things that a person can abstain from; someone can practice abstinence when it comes to drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, smoking, or eating unhealthy foods. An individual can make the choice to stop doing each of those things. Today, the word abstinence is commonly related to the subject of sexual activity. If a person is practicing abstinence, it means that he or she does not participate in sexual activity. There are several reasons why some teenagers decide to practice abstinence.
First, the religious beliefs held by some teenagers teach that sexual activity should take place only after marriage. Teenagers with these firm religious beliefs don’t have to make the decision of whether to have sex before they are married. These teens go out on dates, establish relationships, and fall in love while remaining abstinent. Anyone who enters into a relationship with a teen who holds these religious beliefs should respect the person’s choice to abstain from sexual activity.
Some teenagers choose abstinence because they are concerned about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). HIV and herpes are two examples of STDs. Some teenagers don’t feel it’s worth it to take the risk of getting an STD that they may have to live with for years to come. In addition, some STDs have painful symptoms. A teenager who practices abstinence doesn’t have to worry about the risks of STDs, because he or she doesn’t participate in sexual activity.
Another reason that some teenagers practice abstinence is that they don’t feel ready to participate in sexual activity. They may be going out with groups of friends to the movies, the mall, and other places, but they don’t go on traditional dates. The decision to have sex is a very significant one. A teenager who doesn’t feel ready should never have sex because of pressure from others. Some teenagers are content to pal around with friends and simply aren’t ready to begin one on one dating. Furthermore, a teenager who isn’t interested in dating or having a relationship shouldn’t feel weird about it. There is no rule that says all teenagers need to begin dating at a particular time or enter into a relationship with someone.
Regardless of the reasons why a teenager is practicing complete abstinence, it’s the only way to avoid pregnancy and STDs 100% of the time. Abstinence is also a way for a teenager to avoid the emotional stress of getting into a relationship before he or she feels ready.
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