Reasons and misconceptions about waiting until marriage

Illustration by Myah Anglin | The Signal

With the freedom that comes with young adulthood and the popularity of hookup culture, sex and college seem intertwined.

But not everyone wants to participate in the sexual aspect of the “college experience.” Some instead choose to wait until marriage, which is quite rare in the U.S. 

According to the CDC, over half of U.S. teens have had sexual intercourse by 18, and another study stated that 95% of married couples had premarital sex. 

People choose to wait to have sex until marriage for various reasons. For many, it’s ingrained through culture, religion or life experience. 

Senior Kandice Abrams is a Christian and has always believed that she would wait to have sex until marriage. 

Abrams believes that there’s more to focus on in life, and one shouldn’t emphasize a singular aspect of a relationship. 

“In media, sex is overhyped. But in regards to my religion, it’s a special connection with [a] person,” she said. “If it’s something special, then I don’t want to give that special thing away to someone I barely know or don’t have a connection with.”

Abrams sees many perks in waiting until marriage, like protection from diseases spread through sex. 

Freshman Naiya Douglas lost her virginity at a young age but recently switched her perspective on sex. Back in high school, she saw sex as something that everyone was supposed to do with their significant others.

After entering college and embracing Christianity, Douglas began to reevaluate her beliefs and see sex as something deeper than desire.

“From a religious perspective, there are spiritual dangers, and from a cultural perspective, you risk heartbreak because you’ve given yourself to someone who had no true commitment to you,” Douglas said.

Dating while choosing to wait can be especially difficult in a sex-centered society, but students can have an abstinent relationship by setting boundaries and avoiding tempting situations. 

Currently, Douglas has a boyfriend who shares the same beliefs and is also waiting to have sex. 

“[It’s good] being on the same level where you guys both agree to wait, but I think it’s a struggle when being with someone who doesn’t have the same values,” Douglas said. “They’d rather get to know someone else than be with someone that’s going to make them wait.”

Senior Tish Chaney is another student that has experienced changing perspectives on waiting. 

“This was something I did want for a long time, but at the beginning of college, I found no reason to wait,” she said. “I was depressed, and drinking and I just gave it up.” 

Chaney became a Christian two years later and decided to wait until she gets married. Seven years have passed, and she continues to stick to this choice. 

While she’s received nothing but support from her immediate circle regarding her choice, Chaney has a message to any students who feel pressured to have sex. 

“You are going to [be] looked at strange that you chose to wait, but at the end of the day, you only get one shot at this,” she said. “I hated that I didn’t wait, and if I could take it back, I would. But what I learned was that it’s more than just waiting; it’s learning how much you’re truly worth.”