We spent the last few postings looking at the difficult subject of teen sexuality and the dangers it presents to them. If you have a teenager, I cannot stress enough how important it is that you do not hide your head in the sand and assume that the teens you know are not sexually active. Even Christian teens are tempted to have sex, and many are succumbing to the temptation.
Many if not most of our churched kids understand that normal sexual intercourse is off limits, and they are willing to abide by this rule. It does not mean however, that they are abstaining from every form of immorality (1 Thess. 5:22). There is a disturbing trend that has developed among Christian kids in the area of sexuality; it is the idea of “technical virginity.”
What you may not know is that our nice churched kids were listening carefully when a certain prominent politician asked for clarification on the definition of the word “is.” They do not always see “sex” as sex in the traditional understanding of the word. They consider alternatives to intercourse to be something other than sex and they are much more comfortable with those alternatives to intercourse than you may be too. So what this means is they are engaging in all the other forms of sex – and the statistics confirm that.
In 2003 the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 25% of sexually active teens report that oral sex is a strategy to avoid intercourse and more than 2 in 5 do not consider it to be a big deal.[i]
Pardon me for speaking truth here, but the really scary truth is that today’s teens are not repulsed by anal sex or mutual masturbation. In fact, both of these are considered legitimate and acceptable alternatives to intercourse, and today’s teens believe that they technically remain virgins even when engaging in such behavior. Their goal is to get to the marriage bed technically a virgin. When that happens, they are considered a success story.
In reality, the Bible refers to all sexual contact outside of marriage as immoral. There are no technical passes in God’s plan for human sexuality; any sex outside of marriage is pornea
(the Greek word from which we get our word pornography), immoral, and ungodly. None of this is acceptable for God’s people.
Consequences abound for violating God’s commands regarding sex. There are significant emotional dangers for children and teens that become sexually active or are pressured to be. Remember that despite their bravado these are just kids and don’t be fooled, boys are no more equipped for the emotional rollercoaster of sexuality than their female counterparts are; they just disguise it better.
Teenage sexuality leads to emotional distress. In a majority of these sexual encounters, there are no “relationships” behind the sexual acts. You might be astonished at the reality behind movies such as “Friends, with Benefits.” Teens get drunk or high at a party and “hook up”. They attend a prom or school dance and the expectation is they will have sex afterward. They are glammed up to look like movie stars, society expects them to have sex, and they are taught that everyone does it. And they are not
emotionally ready for it.
A teenage girl may withdraw and become depressed or angry when she becomes sexually active. If she has been brought up in a home where morality is valued, or where she has been taught to cherish her virginity giving it away while young and unmarried can bring tremendous feelings of guilt and shame and loss. Sexually active teens will often describe themselves as having feelings of self-contempt and worthlessness.
Teens are already experiencing a confusing array of emotions from the hormonal bomb that is going off in their bodies and when sexual activity is added to these emotions it only makes those feelings more intense and confusing.
Has anyone stopped to consider that the exploding rate of teenage depression is related to teenage sexuality? The connection of sex and depression in teens is circular. Some teens have sex because they are depressed; others are depressed because they have had sex. Some use it as an escape from other unpleasant aspects of life, and others want to escape the sexual cycle they are in.
Some teens have described their use of sex as a sort of drug, numbing their minds, filling a void or hurt in their lives even if it is only for a short time. Many teen girls describe a desire to be “loved” and think they are meeting that emotional desire through sexual activity.
Teen girls who have sex are usually very disappointed at the experience. When teens have sex outside of marriage they are experiencing the physical aspects of oneness. They do not experience the spiritual side of oneness because fornication is a sin, and what they are doing is not biblical.
Sex becomes a pass time, a social event and loses its sacred specialness that God intends for it to have. The truth is that teens that become involved in immoral behavior are wounded beyond words.
[i] Sexual Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Experiences
(Menlo Park, CA: The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003)