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Teen Boys and Abstinence

It may seem like everyone at school is doing it -- or talking about doing it. Add to it the increasing talk of sex on TV and in movies and you probably feel like the only person waiting to have sex. You are not alone.

More than one half of high school teens have not had sex, according to recent surveys. In fact, many teens are choosing abstinence (not having sexual intercourse) until they are older and in long-term, committed relationships.

Deciding to have sex is a very personal decision. It is one that should be made by you and you alone. Do not let your friends pressure you into having sex.

WebMD takes a look at the benefits of choosing abstinence and provides tips to help you avoid being pressured into doing something you may regret.

Why Choose Abstinence

There are many good reasons to choose abstinence, including:

Morals and religious beliefs. Most religions say sex is only to be shared between a husband and wife. If this is your view, it is reason enough not to have sex.

Pregnancy prevention. Abstinence is the only 100% surefire way to prevent pregnancy.

Reduced risk of STDs. Choosing abstinence may reduce your risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). But you can still get many STDs without having sexual intercourse. 

Many STDs can be spread if you have unprotected oral sex. Examples of these STDs include, herpes, hepatitis, gonorrhea, human papilloma virus (HPV, the virus that causes genital warts), and even HIV/AIDs. 

Also, even if you don't actually have sex, but instead rub your genitals against each other, you are at risk of getting an STD. So always wear a condom for any of this kind of activity.

Sex is a big deal. Sex may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it really is a big deal. With sex comes a lot of emotions that are easier to deal with when you are older.

Sex does not equal love. Sex and love are not always the same thing. You can have sex without love and love without sex. Hopefully, when you are married, you will have both. Having sex with your girlfriend is not the only way to show your love. Good relationships are built on trust, communication, commitment, and enjoying time together.

Being free from regret. In a survey, more than half (55%) of teen boys who have had sex said they wish they had waited.

Why Guys Are Waiting to Have Sex

Guys can sometimes talk a big game, mostly to be cool and fit in. But, when it comes to sex, what guys say and what they really think may be two different things. In fact, a national survey conducted between 2006 and 2010 found that among boys ages 15 to 19, 42% said they had had sexual intercourse - a decline from 45.7% in 2002 and 55.2% in 1995. Others abstained for these reasons:

  • 31% said they didn't have sex for moral or religious reasons.
  • 12.6% said they didn't have sex because of pregnancy worries.
  • 6.3% said they did not want to get a sexually transmitted disease.
  • 29.4% said they hadn't yet met the right partner.
  • 10.8% said they were in a relationship but were waiting for the right time. In 2002, only 4.4% of the same population cited this as a reason to abstain from sex.


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