Again, it’s hard to determine what’s worse, here – the moral (as muddled as it is) or the acting (Keanu Reeves’s got nothing on these sticks). Though, at least they don’t get (creepily) married this time. Yet.
But that’s not all – we also get some dubious statistics to chew on at the end:
2/3 of girls wish they had waited longer.
Young men who are sexually active outside of marriage are 3x as likely to experience chronic depression.
Virgins who wait for marriage have a higher success rate.
Seems like a mouthful, don’t it?
I was able to trace the first claim to a 2004 interview with Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum, which appears to be a typical conservative think tank that denies the idea that gender issues even exist in the U.S., which already doesn’t bode well for their credibility. I also couldn’t find any real info on the actual study from which the claim arises, which only further hints to this research being about as reliable as your drunken uncle’s promises to behave at Christmas.
At any rate, even if it does contain some truth, it still isn’t exactly a big revelation that many (or even most) people – of both sexes – weren’t exactly Casanovas and Great Catherines when they first actually started having sex. Oddly enough, people who’ve never done something tend to suck at it the first time they try it out. But this is no good argument to make for abstinence; if anything, it’ll just cheat you out of years of practice you could otherwise be enjoying until the day comes when you meet that person you’re willing to spend (hopefully) the rest of your life with. If that’s what you want, then enjoy it (or, well, not), but at least don’t give yourself any delusions about what you’re doing.
The second claim, about the supposedly depressed young and unmarried studs, can be traced back to some equally suspicious-looking research from another regressive think tank, and even those numbers only reach 8.3% of sexually active teen boys as a whole (as opposed to 3.4% for non-active boys), which is well within estimated teenage depression rates. If anything, I’d hazard a guess that the numbers for non-sexually active teen boys were being artificially lowered one way or another, perhaps through prejudicial sampling methods (as we’ve come to expect).
But, again, even if this link exists, it still means virtually nothing. The only teens whose mental states are affected by being sexually active or not are people who are arguably already prone to depression for any number of various reasons, sexual activity being probably one of the least important among them. Youths tend to be fairly more concerned with their home lives, school grades, social circles and growing career concerns, among so many others, than simply whether or not they’re having their candlesticks waxed. If anything, teens who are getting some are arguably more likely to be enjoying themselves, not the contrary (although I fully recognize this to be an appeal to common sense and hereby welcome any credible evidence to either support or refute my opinion; I just haven’t found any either way).
And lastly, I was unable to find the slightest bit of info on that third claim. Actually, I’ll go out on a limb here and boldly proclaim that it is utter bullshit unsupported by any shred of credible evidence. For one thing, what does it even mean for virgins to have a “higher success rate”? Success in what, marriage duration? Given that about half of marital unions in the U.S. end in disunion within a couple of decades, and that the fates are even more pessimistic towards first marriages, this seems like such a stretch that it’s, well, no longer remotely true. Or maybe virgins who wait are less depressed? That certainly is a necessary correlation with the previous claim, but again, that analysis is hardly to be trusted, at least until some heavy corroborating research comes along. And I don’t think that’s very likely.
In short, the message is as simple as it is obvious: The decision to have sex or not before marriage is a personal one that shouldn’t be made because of stupid propagandist videos from preachy prudes, nor because of any illusions based on unreliable “research” from ideologues with a known disconnect from reality. It depends entirely and solely on whether it’s what feels right for you. No-one else gets to have any say in it. But just don’t have any misconceptions about how it will supposedly make your first experience any better because of it, especially if you wait for years and years until you become as pent-up as you are inexperienced.
(via Right Wing Watch)
Edit (02/15/12 7:05 PM) – Small edit.