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Mainstream media and entertainment sources tend to imply that a majority of young adults -- especially college students -- are having sex. And while there is nothing wrong with having sex if you do it safely, when you are ready and on your own terms, the belief that “everybody is doing it” is not based on facts.
There are many young men and women who abstain from intercourse despite the supposed peer pressure to “go all the way.”
I was lucky enough to interview one of these amazing women, a 20-year old junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is majoring in Zoology. For the sake of privacy and convenience in this article, I will refer to her as Emma.
Emma was articulate, enthusiastic and very willing to share intimate details of her life with a relative stranger. Without blinking an eye, she answered a range of questions from her experience volunteering with the local zoo education program to her beliefs on anal sex.
She is in a committed relationship with a man who she feels physically and emotionally connected to. She is also a virgin.
I jumped right in with the money question:
Hannah: "Why are you abstinent?"
Emma: "I think it all started because my mom raised me to be that way. I grew up Catholic, but religion never really had anything to do with the decision -- it was more what my mom repeated to me, growing up. 'Don’t have sex until you are married, don’t have sex until you are married.'
"I guess it stuck with me, even though I didn’t really think about it much until high school. Boys started asking me out -- even when I knew they had girlfriends already -- and I realized they were mostly all jerks. I wasn’t going to have sex in high school when that was the quality of men. Later, I had a relationship with an older guy, that fell apart in sort of a dramatic way, and I was glad that I hadn’t had sex with him, that I waited.
"Being a virgin has become a special thing to me, a thing that is unique. It’s mine and I’m not going to 'give' it to anyone else. I just don’t want to lose my virginity in a fraternity house, you know?"