The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Abstinence’s silver lining

Virginity is all too often categorized among the likes of headgear and acne as one of the awkward and unseemly features of adolescence, inconveniences to be endured and discarded as quickly as possible. However, in spite of such films as “American Pie” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” there remains a strong following – yes, even at SMU – that both prizes and cherishes the principles of abstinence.

While it is often misconstrued that abstinence is a chauvinist byproduct of male-dominated society, I can think of no better example of male chauvinism than the call for “freedom of sexual expression,” espousing that not only is it our right to express ourselves sexually when we please and with whom we please, it is our duty. It is true that our bodies are structured both to desire and to enjoy sex, but that is by no means a justification for a free for all. As my mother in all her Southern wisdom so bluntly put it, “Any dog can hump any other dog, and they’re gonna enjoy it.” Sex was created to be a pleasurable experience, but it is best practiced within certain confines. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would like to think there is a difference between my sexual behavior and that of my dog.

In my 22 years of abstinence, I have never once felt that I am a victim to “mental torture.” On the contrary, I have peace of mind. I will never have to worry about comparing my husband to my former partners; he will be the worst and the best I’ve ever had. In addition, regardless of the ever-growing array of contraceptives and preventative measures, abstinence is inarguably the only 100 percent effective way to avoid unwanted pregnancy and a myriad of STDs, not to mention psychological and emotional scars. Successive partners exponentially increase the risk of contracting an STD indicating that, more than adhering to any religious or political ideology, abstinence is common sense.

The recent onslaught of abstinence-only programs in schools has been received with mixed reviews. Realistically, teen pregnancy is and will be an ever-present issue in society, and more accurate and widely available education programs regarding safe sex practices would undeniably be beneficial. This does not mean, however, that teaching abstinence has nothing to offer today’s and future generations. The validity of a message is not dependent upon the reaction of its audience. A student’s moral foundation is established long before he or she ever attends “Aim for Success” or any other sex education program; it is not a stretch of logic to assume that not only have they already thought about and discussed the subject, but many have already made up their minds.

I personally was one of those students. I decided long ago to save myself for marriage because, as the saying goes, “Modest is the hottest,” and true love does wait.

Carly Laywell is a junior public policy major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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