What is this whole idea of “free love” anyway? According to our society, there are no standards, no age limits and an “anything goes” attitude about sex. But is this a healthy perspective or a costly attitude?
Entering a relationship with the attitude that sex doesn’t have a price tag is a direct threat to your health. Casual sex and being sexually active at a young age poses some serious health risks. Young girls are more susceptible to STD’s than mature women. The cervical transformation zone (or T-Zone) is a ring of cells that is vulnerable to infection. The T-Zone is dramatically larger in a teenage girl, but it shrinks as she gets older. Many girls have been put at risk for STDs because they believe that sex is “safe” as long as they use condoms and feel ready. With 1 in 4 teenage girls being infected with an STD, it’s clear that this idea of “free love” is actually quite costly. Our bodies were not designed for a careless disregard towards sex.
Also, on a strictly neurological level, teens are not able to make a mature decision to have sex. In adolescents, the areas of the brain responsible for impulse control and accurate risk assessment are not fully developed – and won’t be until their 20s. This medical fact is widely accepted in other issues affecting teens. For example, the limited capacity for risk assessment in teens is often cited as the reason not to let them drive until age 16 or drink until age 21. If high school students lack the capacity and maturity to have alcohol, why do we think teens are ready for the responsibility that comes along with sexual intimacy (such as parenting a potential child) and the expectation that they will us condoms and birth control reliably?
Not only are there physical risks when it comes to teens who are sexually involved but there are emotional casualties as well. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 72 percent of girls and 55 percent of boys say they wish they had waited longer to have sex. The younger a girl is when she loses her virginity, the more likely she is to regret that decision later.
For all these reasons and more, we encourage young people to save sex for marriage. Sex is a wonderful gift that is best reserved for your husband or wife because only then can it be enjoyed to the fullest. Sex experienced as it was intended, within marriage, allows us to love freely. In your search for Authentic Love, it’s important to recognize that “Free Love” is an imposter…don’t fall for it’s empty promises.