Senior Teanna Totten doesn’t agree with the freshmen health class’s “Abstinence Only” policy.
“[Health class is] just kinda impractical for life,” she said. “I mean all the weird pictures of STDs shown [in class] encouraged me to be safe, but all the abstinence talk didn’t really encourage me to be abstinent.”
Totten sees sophomore or junior year as an appropriate age range to begin having sex. She views sex as a natural part of life, and that it’s a normal thing for a teenager to do. However, she strongly discourages people from having sex if they feel pressured by peers or their significant other.
“ …[R]easons to have sex are [that] you really care about the person you’re with, and you just want to take it to the next level,” she said. “I think it’s an important life experience to have.”
Totten was not raised in a religious household, and her mom is supportive of her daughter’s belief that sex is a natural part of life.
“[My mom] said she just wants to make sure that I’m using protection…,” Totten said. “Her main concern is…that I’m being safe.”
Because some people do not believe in having sex before marriage, Totten thinks they may see her as promiscuous for having premarital sex. However, as long as these people don’t force their beliefs on her, she respects their opinion.
“ … I don’t think it’s wrong to wait until marriage,” she said. “I think that sex is such a personal thing, [and] that everyone has their own opinion, whether it’s the opposite of mine or kind of like mine … I think it’s something that you have to have your own opinion on because it is so personal.”
Once a week, senior Jenny Gottstein goes to CORE (Christians On A Revolutionary Edge) Club. As a leader, she aids in conducting discussions about Christian beliefs that focus on bringing the club members closer to God. One of these beliefs is that Christians should wait until marriage to have sex.
“I think that as a Christian… sex should wait till marriage, and I think that it’s a special thing,” Gottstein said.
Gottstein sees premarital sex as a way that people try to “reassure their love for eachother.” While she understands why people feel like they should do this, she upholds her belief that God gave sex as a gift to mankind to enjoy within the bonds of marriage.
“Religion pretty much dictates my views [on sex],” she said.
Gottstein’s parents share her views on relationships, and when they gave her the birds and the bees talk, they shared their own stories on sexual relations. While this was “thoroughly awkward,” Gottstein felt that she could relate to their ideas and adapted them as her own. She still finds it difficult stick with her ideals, however.
“You see people on TV, on commercials and in school, and they look so happy,” she said. “…[Y]ou want to be happy like them, and you…selfishly want that kind of immediate pleasure, so that’s a daily struggle.”
Gottstein understands that not many people share her conservative views. However, CORE welcomes all students to its meetings, and she encourages members of the club to try to relate to others whose views differ from their own.
“… I do sympathize and empathize with people who think other ways,” she said. “… It’s not like I’m like, ‘Oh, you’re horrible because you have sex.’ I’m not like that. I try to be understanding.”