Sex is the ultimate demonstration of intimacy and commitment between two people. Unfortunately, like many other beautiful things that God has created for his beloved humans to enjoy, sex has been tainted. You see, sex is perfect only within the context of marriage. God made it that way. But, the world has taken the value out of saving oneself for the marriage bed. We are told that “it’s ok” to have sex before marriage. In fact, it is often thought to be the norm, in this day in age. But, what no one really talks about are the negative effects of having premarital sex, or participating in other sexual actions with anyone other than one’s own spouse.
What you should know:
- Pre-marital sex is engaging in sexual activity before marriage. Unmarried individuals who have sex may experience problems related to sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. But, not only that, people participating in premarital sex often lose their sense of self-respect, and self-worth, and may also deal with feelings of guilt.
- Pornography (or porn) is the portrayal of sexually explicit behaviors. It is often presented in different forms of media such as videos, pictures, magazines, books, Internet porn and other forms of media. Teens who watch porn may engage in masturbatory practices while viewing the pornographic material. Porn has the potential to cause skewed views of sex, and can ignite problems with other sexual addictions. It also tends to cheapen one’s view of one’s own body as well as the bodies of others.
- Sexual addiction is the compulsive need to engage in sexual behaviors and activities at the expense of causing serious problems in your life. Sexual addicts engage in risky, problematic activities, which lead to issues in their family, work, school, and other areas of their life. Some addictions are as follows: voyeurism, masturbation, pedophilia, and exhibitionism, to name a few.
- “Friends with benefits” is a term used to describe two friends who have casual sex without any commitment. Sex without commitment can result in the habit of viewing and treating people as sexual objects to be acquired.
- The term, “hooking up,” refers to two people, who are not in any committed relationship, agreeing to engage in sexual activity. This can be any sexual activity from kissing, making out, sexual touching, oral sex, or actual intercourse.
- Sexting is when a person sends text messages to someone with explicit sexual content. Usually, people do sexting with the hope of engaging in sexual activity with that person. People may send text messages with graphic sexual language, sexual pictures, or sexual insinuations. In this age of social media, sexting can result in unwanted and/or unperceived publication of explicit and private images or texts.
Not being careful in the above areas could put you at a higher risk of being caught in one of the following situations:
- Sexual abuse and/or molestation is not only limited to teens, but is a serious problem that affects people of different ages and backgrounds. It is defined as experiencing unwanted or undesired sexual behavior from another person. The different types of abuse/molestation include non-consensual sexual acts, unwanted touching, kissing, exposure, or even undesired sexual comments.
- Statutory rape is when a person who is below the age required for consent is involved in sexual activity. It often refers to adults who engage in sex with minors. Sexual relations with a prepubescent child is called child molestation.
- Date rape is when there is a non-consensual sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, which is usually committed by a person you are not familiar with. Often, drugs are involved which may impair the memory or cognitive functioning of the victim. Such drugs are called Rohypnol or Rufies, also know as the date rape drug. This person could be someone you are dating or a complete stranger. You do not have to be dating the person in order for it to be called date rape.
What you can do:
As a Teen:
Stand firm. Temptations will constantly bombard you, but just know that waiting to engage in any type of sexual activity will be well worth it. If you are struggling with any type of sexual temptation find someone you can talk to, whether that be a parent, a teacher, or another mentor. Everyone has to combat sexual temptation, but it’s so much easier to do when you have someone you trust to confide in.
As a Parent/Mentor:
Our teens are in the middle of a war, fighting to preserve themselves in a world that wants take their innocence from them. The number one thing that you as a parent/mentor can do is acknowledge it. Sex needs to be talked about at home. Not talked about as a black and white issue (ie “don’t have sex”), but as a discussion. Your teen needs to know why its better to wait until marriage, and that sex is not bad but rather, that it is so great it deserves to wait.