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Centers for Disease Control Report: Positive Choices Are Virgin Territory

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The key to healthy high schoolers might be where no one was looking: the bedroom! In a revealing report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), officials make it clear that teaching kids to save sex for marriage might just spare them from a long list of other health risks. Students in grades 9-12 who made positive decisions about sex were just as likely (or more!) to avoid other dangerous behaviors.

That’s great news for parents, who were thrilled with the government’s report earlier this year showing that more kids were postponing intimacy than ever before. Of course, as former FRCer Dr. Pat Fagan pointed out, an intact family plays a starring role in a child’s decision to wait. “Virginity among teenagers of all ages correlates closely with the presence of married parents.Each change in family structure during adolescence (from married to divorced, from single to married, or from divorced to stepfamily) increases the risk of initiation of sexual intercourse for many of the teenage children in these unions.” Not to mention that the best thing you can bring on your honeymoon is your virginity! According to research, it just might save your marriage. Anthony Paik, who surveyed thousands of women as part of an Iowa study a few years ago, found that early sex leads to early divorce.

But what makes this newest study so interesting, explains The Federalist’s Glenn Stanton, is that “… it examines widely varied safety and health behaviors from bike helmet and seat belt use to substance abuse, diet, doctor’s visits, exercise, and even tanning bed use.

“With regard to smoking,” he goes on, “teenage virgins are 3,300 percent less likely to smoke daily than their peers who are sexually involved with someone of the opposite sex, Stanton computed from the report’s data. Teen virgins are 9,500 percent less likely to smoke daily than their peers who are sexually involved with someone of the same sex or in a bisexual relationship. Chaste young people are also extremely less likely to use indoor tanning beds, binge drink, smoke marijuana, ride in cars as passengers with a drunk driver, and get into physical fights than their sexually active peers. Abstinent youth are also more likely to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night and eat breakfast daily.”

How much correlation there is between sexual risk avoidance and these other choices is unclear. But what is clear is that the values our teenagers hold have a much bigger impact on the rest of their lives than most people realized. If there’s a moral to this story, it’s this: one good decision leads to another.

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