Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: abstinence

High School Condoms: Stepping Back for a Moment

by Dustin Schwanger

Contraception has, again, been a hot topic in the media over the past week, leading to a particularly feisty debate on Fox News. No, this isn’t over the Catholic Church’s suing the federal government over the contraception mandate (that has been conspicuously ignored by most of the media); it is about a small high school in Brooklyn handing out condoms at prom.

The debate on whether this high school should be distributing condoms on prom night quickly becomes eclipsed when looked at in the less-reported context in which this is happening. Tucked away in a couple of articles about this controversy was a report that not only will this school be giving out condoms on prom night but that the school will be holding an assembly discussing safe sex and that the English Department is even sponsoring an essay contest about safe sex.

As a social conservative I am repulsed by the implicit, and even explicit, encouragement of teen sex. My first thought is that the schools should not even be involved in this matter—that is the responsibility of parents. But then I remember that responsible parenthood is a waning art. My next thought is that if the school must teach students about sex, because of the neglect of parents to do so, the teaching should be abstinence only. But then I remember that we are currently losing the abstinence battle: the trend of society is moving toward complete acceptance of teen sex.

This is where the school in Brooklyn enters. The principal of the school might be a crusader for teen sex, but it’s more likely that he and his policy are products of the societal trend of normalization of teen sex. While still strongly opposing such moves by school districts, it would bode well for us normal, everyday supporters of traditional families and marriages to step back from this debate and focus more on how we can affect the small part of society continually surrounding us.

Affecting our part of society for good generally will not happen from aspirations to lobby local or national government to protect the morals of the country; it comes through the personal effect we have on those with whom we interact, especially teenagers. Aspiring to change a teenager’s life, to help him or her to make wise decisions, is one of best services we can perform for society. Mentoring teenagers is something that everyone can do. Everyone knows teenagers whether they be their children’s school friends, extended family, or youth from a local church. There are many ways to be a mentor to these teenagers: we can simply talk to them, invite them over to family dinner, or invite them to family activities. These expressions of love and encouragement will help them to make better decisions, such as not having sex in high school, than anything a school can teach. However, not giving this encouragement to the teenagers in our sphere of influence will do more to damage them, and therefore society, than whether a school in Brooklyn hands out condoms on prom night.

What about Abstinence? It is Free and Freeing

by Christy Hinkson

Christy is an author and a mother of ten. She recently released her new book Home Remedies for a Nation at Risk: What American Leaders could learn from American Families. Also, click here to view Christy’s blog Stand for the Truth.

With the contraception debate brewing and boiling over, I have to ask: What about Abstinence? Why does anyone have to pay for birth control at all? Why do people laugh and think it is impossible to keep sexual relations within the bonds of marriage. What about all the people in the world who manage to control themselves and refrain from sex until they are married. There are millions of people all over the world who do this and have lived to tell about it. I also believe that those who abstain before marriage are in a better position to speak about “women’s health” than those who are having sex with multiple partners and using birth control, which has historically caused several women’s health issues.

I practiced abstinence and so did my husband. Our children and their spouses have also abstained until they married. I attended a prestigious private University where people were expected to live by an honor code and if they had sex outside of marriage while they were students they faced being dismissed as students from the university. What a great opportunity to go to school where the focus was actually on academics.

Choosing to be “morally clean” was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Here are some of the stresses in life that I now do not have to worry about now because I was not prematurely sexually active:

1. I don’t have to worry that I will get a sexually transmitted disease.

2. I don’t have to worry that I will be as tempted to succumb to breaking this law as an adult. If I can survive the raging hormone time of youth, I am well on my way to living a pure life.

3. I don’t have to worry that I will have an unwanted pregnancy outside the bonds of marriage.

4. I don’t have to worry that anyone will ask me to consider having an abortion or giving a child up for adoption.

5. I don’t have to worry that there will be a child somewhere that I gave birth to and have not been able to raise.

6. I don’t have to worry that I have near as high of a chance of developing cervical cancer that is significantly linked to having multiple sex partners.

7. I don’t have to worry that my husband married me because he “had to.”

8. I don’t have to worry that I will run into old partners and be embarrassed.

9. I don’t have to worry that I will ever think about other partners that I was immoral with.

10. I don’t have to worry that God will be disappointed with my choices.

Practicing abstinence is not only free, but it is freeing. It may cause some people a little stress to practice abstinence but look at all the stress you are able to live without later.