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By Michael F. Haverluck
Promiscuity never was romantic; now it’s becoming unsupportable.
While tens of thousands of schools across America are promoting romance between their students this Valentine’s Day, Liberty Counsel is encouraging youth to celebrate abstinence with its 10th Annual Day of Purity – for students’ mental, physical and spiritual health.
More and more research reveals the physically and economically devastating burden that promiscuity holds, with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention reporting 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. Also, STDs cost Americans $15.5 billion annually, mostly through taxes, and Amber Haskew, director of Liberty Counsel’s Day of Purity, shares why youth are becoming more receptive to the message of abstinence.
“The youth in our culture see the heartbreak that promiscuity and broken promises have caused,” Haskew told WND in an exclusive interview. “We have friends with STDs, crisis pregnancies, and tear-stained pillows from listening to the lies of Hollywood and pop-culture.”
Shockingly, 25 percent of sexually active teens have an STD, and even though 15-24-year-olds represented one-quarter of sexually active Americans in 2009, this group comprised more than half of new STD infections, the CDC reports. Just three years earlier, nearly one-third of 750,000 pregnant teenage girls aborted their preborn children.
Psychology Today has recognized the extreme emotional toll of this devastating trend.
“We would like to think of history as progress, but if progress is measured in the mental health and happiness of young people, then we have been going backward at least since the early 1950s,” the magazine stated, indicating that severe depression has become epidemic as a result of America’s sexual revolution. In fact, antidepressants are the most frequently prescribed drug in the U.S. today, according to the CDC.
Academic performance also declines among sexually active teens, who are nearly three times more likely to be expelled or drop out of high school, 50 percent less likely to attend or graduate from college and less likely to graduate from college by the age of 30.
Haskew notes that as students start to become more future-minded and realize the harmful effects of living for instant gratification, they begin to make better decisions that work toward their own best interests.
“With any new generation, there is a desire to define yourself and your future, and [The Day of Purity] is one of the best ways for students to do so,” Haskew contends. “Studies show that two-thirds of those who lose their virginity wished they’d have waited. The Day of Purity gives young people a reason to stand on their principles and to build a better future for themselves.”
When broken down, 77 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys regret not waiting longer before they had sex, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
And the broken dreams don’t stop there.
Women married as virgins experience a divorce rate more than three-quarters lower than those who are wed as non-virgins. The statistic is just slightly less for men married as virgins, whose divorce rate is 63 percent lower, reports The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States.
Has more understanding about the consequences of teen promiscuity reflected in the reception of the Day of Purity?
“We have grown from 8 to 38 countries in just the last few years,” says Haskew, who notes that the program offers millions the opportunity to stand for purity.
“Since we encourage student-led activities and provide free information on the website, it’s difficult to tell just how widespread the interest is, though we’ve been contacted by people and/or organizations across 48 states and had our video PSAs seen in more than 180 countries.”
With its growing acceptance, the message of abstinence has also met stiff opposition.
“There is a part of our society that hates this perspective of sexuality,” Haskew asserts. “Tolerance of others is discarded and people even openly mock those of us who have made these life choices.”
One of the direct forms of opposition can most likely be found on a public school campus near you.
“We started the DOP in response to the Day of Silence, which is a homosexual day in April that seeks to expose and indoctrinate school children towards homosexuality by encouraging students to ignore their teachers and disrupt class to focus attention on homosexuality,” Haskew pointed out. “We encourage parents to see if their school is participating in the Day of Silence and, if so, to pull their children out of school that day.”
And another challenge to youths’ purity can be flipped on by a switch or purchased at the box office.
“Many students don’t think about the finances of how Hollywood only cares about selling music, movies, magazines and more,” Haskew asserts. “Our youth are filled with lies and false perspectives as many admit that they get their perspectives on sex from the media.”
With today’s culture flamboyantly flaunting and promoting irresponsible and immoral sexuality, Haskew notes that today’s youth have the cards stacked against them.
“The truth can be difficult to hear and hard to find, but we are seeking to educate young people and equip them to make a good decision,” the DOP director continued. “It is important to know the dangers of sexual activity and the rewards of waiting for marriage.”
What other perils can premature sexual activity produce for teens?
On their first sexual relationship, teenage girls have almost a 50/50 chance (46 percent) of contracting HPV, reports BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Socioeconomically, early sexual behavior hurts teens down the road, as well, as teen virgins can look forward to earning an income that averages 16 percent higher than those who have been sexually active (coming from households with similar incomes). The Heritage Foundation reports that this interprets into an income $370,000 higher than their counterparts over their lifetime.
With more public schools handing out contraceptives and promoting “responsible” sex, Haskew acknowledges that being a champion for abstinence can be a lonely place on campus.
“The purpose of the Day of Purity is to encourage these students that they are not alone,” emphasized Haskew. “I waited for marriage and I want young people to hear that it is definitely worth the wait! They can make that choice and experience the benefits of their decision for the rest of their life.”