In recent years virginity has been under attack by feminists. They argue that it is sexist, unhealthy and anti-gay. Last week, Allison Danish wrote an article entitled “Virginity is a social construct,” where she compared sex to chewing gum, claiming that losing one’s virginity is nothing more than inserting genitals in another person’s body. If that is all sex is good for, she contradicts herself when she admits that, although losing your virginity doesn’t mean “a reduction in human value,” having sex for the first time is “is special and important.” No matter how much feminists, atheists and modern society may argue, having sex is a big deal. Although there are religious reasons behind the concept of virginity, there are also secular reasons why people might not want to be so cavalier about losing their V-card.
Usually, saving one’s body for marriage is most important to religious men and women. I cannot speak for every person or religion, but as a Christian, there is something beautiful about only having sex with one person. When God created the world, He intended men and women to marry; in Genesis, God declares that married couples become one flesh, and they should “[b]e fruitful and increase in numbers.” The closest someone can ever be to another, and the only way to create another human is when couples make love. That is something that should not be passed off as simply inserting genitals into another. In the Bible, God uses King Solomon to write the book “Song of Songs,” which describes the development of a beautiful relationship. The first three chapters describe the growth of their God-honoring love, which leads to marriage and eventually describes their sensual and romantic nights together. When a couple lies together in marriage, there is nothing to be ashamed of. God actually encourages couples to make love, which is why the act is so pleasurable. Sex is a gift to married couples and is meant to be emotional and loving. In verses six and seven Solomon says, “Love is as strong as death” and “[m]any waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.” This is the ideal form of love, as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and what so many people long for but cannot find because they are too obsessed with physical pleasure.
Some may argue that King Solomon is a hypocrite, and we should not listen to Song of Songs because later in life he slept with many wives. Yet this actually strengthens my point, because the more wives, sex and worldly pleasures Solomon sought after, the further away from God he became. He was never as fulfilled as he was with his first wife who he describes in Song of Songs. Too often the emotional aspects of a relationship are deemed unimportant; our generation glorifies casual sex, friends with benefits and one night stands. Laying together with the one you love who values your personality and relationship with God over your body, who sees only you in a room full of people, a person where if a child were conceived it would be a blessing not a curse. That is the kind of love virgins are waiting for.
Many people say that men and women ‘lose’ their virginity, which is completely missing the point. One is not ‘losing’ anything, rather they are giving themselves to another. By waiting for your spouse, you are saying “I want to give you everything that I am,” and you’re allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Viewing virginity as a gift rather than a loss is another reason why virginity is so much more than a social construct.
Although many people choose not to have sex for religious reasons, there are many other reasons to remain a virgin. Since the sexual revolution, society has passed off sex as something that is casual, healthy and purely physical. Magazines and blogs rave about different sex positions, seduction, and idolizations of sex. Though sex was created for pleasure, there are many negative side effects from casual hookups. In a study by Psychology Today, individuals participating in casual sex have low levels of self esteem, felt less satisfied with their life and were overall more lonely and less happy than individuals who did not have casual sex. Hookups also significantly increased men and women’s distress levels. Despite the popular belief that hookups relieve stress, men and women reported less satisfaction from hookups with a stranger rather than romantic partners. Additionally, after the sex liberation movement of the 70s, divorce rates doubled in 10 years, and now millennials are postponing marriage longer and longer. Additionally, Dr. Short reported in his journal “To Be or Not to Be A Virgin,” that premarital sex has many scientifically proven negative side effects. He reports that couples who had sex before marriage were more likely to have extramarital affairs, they are more likely to marry someone based on sex rather than personality, are less satisfied with their sex life during marriage, and overall are less satisfied with their partner.
Not only are there negative psychological impacts, but people engaging in casual sex are susceptible to disease. According to Dr. Ray Bohlin, the sexual revolution increased the amount of people infected and created new sexually transmitted diseases, and today there are 25 different kinds. One in five Americans between the ages of 15 and 55 have an STD, and 12 million Americans are newly infected each year. Virginity is not just something that society arbitrarily prescribes value to. Sex is important, and the more casual it becomes the more society crumbles.
Saying that sex is nothing more than a social construct and that “it’s human nature to create meaning from the seemingly meaningless” is clouding the impact that premarital and casual sex has on society. I am not saying that everyone should be virgins and that people who already lost their V-card are horrible people, but there is a reason why people abstain from having sex. It is not because women think men will like them more, or because they have waited so long that they are just too afraid to have sex. It is because giving yourself physically to another human for the first time is important, and even Danish admits to this. There are proven harmful effects from sleeping around which is why sex should not be treated so casually. Being a virgin is something to be proud of. Saving one’s body for their lifelong partner and sharing the most intimate human interaction with one person is healthy for the mind and body, which is why virginity is so much more than a ‘social construct.’