Perceptions of Youth Towards Premarital Sex

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In-Partial Fulfillment
of Master’s Degree


Chapter 1

The Problem and its Background

Sexual feelings begin long before puberty. As noted by Ellis, Freud, and Kinsey (1996), very young children and even babies, two and three months old, have sexual experiences (both through self-stimulation and through handling, caring, and fondling by parents). Premarital sex is serious moral issue confronting high school students. This isn’t to say that sexual temptations only existed in youth. But these days, being youth, they are more cut off from familial restrictions and parish supports, confronted with peer pressure that alleges “everyone is doing it,” and perhaps exposed to an irreligious environment. Whether to engage in premarital sex is a question of critical importance. For better or worse, the effects of this decision (often made when powerful emotions are at work) last a lifetime.

Premarital sexual relationship is an important subject – especially today. Young people are bombarded with the world’s standards of morality, or immorality. The values and moral standards, which were endorsed by most Filipinos in years past, are now ridiculed and/or ignored by many. Teaching on sexual purity before and after marriage is no longer held before young people as a law of God, not even an ideal goal to strive for. So-called sexual freedom is flaunted as the norm among teenagers and adults, and are often ridiculed by who expect and encourage young people to remain virgins until marriage. According to the Bible: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (I Corinthians 6:18).

Some youth fall into promiscuous behavior without even, at first, recognizing just how far they have fallen. For these youths, sex is reduced to an easy source of pleasure and release, totally divorced from and marriage. Few sincere Christians would try to justify such a surrender to lust. Other youths, however, may find someone special, perhaps the person they plan to marry, and feel that their love legitimizes premarital sex within a monogamous relationship. Like never before, youth in this situation may begin to question and examine the sexual values they have been taught. What follows are some things these youth need to consider. Teen-agers’ minds are saturated with sexually charged messages from virtually all aspects of contemporary culture. Moreover, accessibility o numerous contraceptive options, including as a last resort abortion-on-demand, have enabled the most obvious adverse consequence of promiscuity—the birth of unwanted babies—to be eliminated at will. Youths have entered a downward spiral of depravity in which the very permissiveness of our society increases the pressure on individuals to engage in promiscuous activity. According to McDowell (2000), society’s false and distorted messages on love and sex are having a devastating effect on the basic moral convictions of our young people. Those basic moral convictions once held by a previous generation are apparently not being passed on to our present generation. And a generation without moral convictions is a generation crumbling under the pressures of a secular worldview.

For countless generations, right up until only about a hundred years ago, people of what is now the right age would already be married and rising children. The “progress” of modern world now demands long years of education and maturation before one is ready to marry wisely. Young people are sexually mature years before they are prepared for the responsibilities of marriage. This elongation of adolescence puts a tremendous strain on young people, making chastity especially difficult. On the other hand, nowadays marriage is sometimes put off too long. Couples wait for everything to be...
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