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The relaxation of the sexual taboos of a generation ago has affected today’s society. One of the effects of this relaxation is the increase of premarital sex in today’s society. Premarital sex can be defined as sexual relations outside the institution of marriage. Premarital sex may occur because of premature bondingthe merging of personalities before developing one’s own.
Premarital sex is a difficult issue to deal with in today’s society. The purpose, pressures, and consequences of sex have become the hot topics of many debates. The sex act has become more of a pleasurable pastime rather than the expression of love between a man and a woman. Pressures to have sex have increased due to the pressures of society. The consequences of sex have been increasingly ignored, as many forget that pregnancies and STDs occur, and many just turn to abortion for an answer.
Topics regarding sex have risen primarily because of the complex physical and emotional aspects of the sex act. The physical aspects include excitement, foreplay, intercourse, and possible pregnancy or STD transmission. The emotional aspects, however, are not so simple. These three aspects have led to the views held by the different sides to the issue.
The power that sex wields can be expressed by comparing it to fire. Fire is good because it heats our homes, cooks our food, and strengthens steel for building. Fire can also be bad because it burns down homes, destroys God’s creation, and is painful and scarring. Likewise, sex is also good and/or bad. It is exciting, cementing, and euphoric, but it can destroy lives and relationships via affairs, rape, and unwanted pregnancies. However, what determines the goodness or badness of sex or fire is the context.
The intended context of sex is in the institution of marriage. However, today’s society has seen an increase in the number of those who have sexual relations outside of the permanent pledge of marriage. One of the things that have attributed to this is the pressure and misunderstanding of one’s own emotions regarding the situation.
One’s feeling of falling in love is a beautiful and pleasurable thing. It can lead to a long-term relationship built upon love. However, it can also lead to premature bonding that can have negative effects on both parties.
Three effects of premature bonding are physical in nature, and may have an effect on each person’s life. One is pregnancy. God created sex so that the mutual love of two people may also lead to the creation of a new individual. The increase of premarital sex has led to a significant increase in unwanted pregnancies, especially among teenagers. This increase in the premarital pregnancy rate has positive correlation with the increase in the second effect, abortions, which destroys the life of the developing fetus as well as traumatizing the mother and/or the father. The third effect is possible transmission of an STD, which do effect the life and the future relationships of an individual.
Four other effects of premature bonding are emotional in nature. The feelings of being in love may be mistaken for feelings of total commitment, lead to premarital sex, then results in the formation of the other three emotional effects. Sexual intercourse clouds the individuals’ judgement about the relationship in that it creates the pressure to keep it going even though it may be unhealthy or unhappy. When the expectations for a long-term relationship are irrational, it sets persons up for later hurt. Engaging in sexual intercourse artificially speeds up the development of intimacy, and physical intimacy begins to substitute all others.
There are two views regarding premarital sex that are held by society. Both of these can be explained by a double standard. One view is that it is not taboo to have sex, which is in large part a result of the media. This can be seen through studies that show that today more people have admittedly had sex by the age of nineteen, than was the case 70 years ago. However, the second view is usually associated with girls. Girls dress in a way that attracts men, but don’t have sex because it makes them appear too easy, or do have sex to keep the relationship alive. Guys have sex to appear macho and to fill up some scorecard. Premarital sex leads to reputations that are difficult to either keep up or break.
A third view on the issue of premarital sex is the view of the Church. As expressed before, the Church believes that the sex act is sacred and special, and should be done in the context of marriage. The Church bases its view on premarital sex on Scripture: flee fornicationhe that commits fornication sins against his own bodyyour body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your owntherefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s. (I Corinthians 6:18-20). The Church, however, is accepting and forgiving of one’s decisions, even though that decision may not comply with the Church’s teachings.
Premarital sex is a difficult moral issue to discuss. Many people will say that they will just have sex because it is pleasurable and it is a chance to score. However, they don’t realize the deep emotional and spiritual aspects that accompany sex. There is not an age when it is right or when one is ready for it. Puberty just means that you can do it. However, it does take a great deal of maturity to be able to handle the consequences of one’s actions.
Having sex is about maturity. If one follows the teachings of the Church and one’s good morals, one may be able to make the right decision when the opportunity to have sex presents itself. However, it is difficult to say no when it is right in front you. Many people do believe that it is right to save oneself for marriage, but when a decision is made that may have negative consequences, one must have the maturity to deal with them.
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