Hayley DiMarco: The New Promiscuous

What is happening with our teens? According to researchers at Yale and Columbia University teens pledging virginity until marriage are just as likely to have STDs as their peers. The reason for this is “technical virginity,” a loophole found by an increasing number of teen girls which allows them to do “everything but” intercourse and still claim virginity. This reasoning is insidiously attacking the bodies and minds of our young people, and is re-enforced through today’s popular celebrities. In a recent news story, one movie star advises teen girls to have oral sex, saying it was safer than other types. This is not true. Studies have shown that just as many deadly STDs including HIV, are transmitted through oral sex as intercourse. Two to four million teens will be infected with a new sexually transmitted disease this year alone. Cases of Herpes simplex 2 have risen 500 percent in the past 20 years among white American teenagers. “When we lie or stay silent to our teens about the emotional, spiritual, and physical ramifications of sex, we are actively or passively destroying lives,” Hayley says. “Technical virginity and the oral sex craze are teaching our teens a dangerous lesson about sexuality. And this ‘almost-sex-is-better-than-no-sex’ approach is aiding in the rise of depression and suicide among teens.”

The Heritage Foundation Statistics:

  • Everyday 8,000 teenagers in the United States become infected with an STD
  • This year more than 3 million teenagers will become infected with an STD
  • More than ¼ of the nation's sexually active teenagers have been infected with an STD
  • When compared to teenagers who are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly less likely to be happy and more likely to feel depressed
  • When compared to teenagers who are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly more likely to attempt suicide

A recent poll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy shows:

  • 73% of teen girls wish they had waited longer before beginning sexual activity
  • 55% of teen boys wish they had waited longer before beginning sexual activity

In September 2005, CBSNews.com reported the following in an article titled 'Teens: Sex, Drugs and Depression':

  • A new study published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine that surveyed 13,000 teenagers in grades 7-11 shows otherwise. 'Findings from the study show depression came after substance abuse and sexual activity, not the other way around." Researchers say the results challenge the notion that teens become sexually active or engage in drug use to 'self-medicate' their own depression.
  • Girls who experiment with drugs and sex are two to three times more likely to become depressed than those who abstain.

What does God think about the “technical virgin?” Is He excited that you found a loophole? In 1 Cor. 6:18 (Flee immorality...), God forbids sexual immorality, or sexual intercourse, as most call it. But where do we draw the line? Girls need to decide what sex is, and what sex isn’t, and what God allows and what He doesn’t. Satan is the master of subtlety and loves to emphasize the subtle differences between things so we get confused and start to sin but think we are doing nothing wrong. He has convinced many that sexual intercourse is penetration only, but when it comes to purity, God detests penetration, oral sex, petting parties, hooking up, etc. God detests sexual immorality, but also any hint of it.

Hayley came to write The Technical Virgin while researching her previous book, Sexy Girl. She discovered that young girls just didn't understand what effects their bodies have on men. They wanted to dress to attract that cute teenage boy in class. But men are visual beings, she says, and unknowingly these girls were dressing for guys “from 8 to 80.” For the boys, girls’ immodest dressing urges them on. Hayley’s found that the Church and parents are not going into depth about what modesty truly is. They tell them that sexual activity is wrong, but they don’t give a lot of clear guidance about what is right. Parents don't necessarily want to know what their kids are doing sexually, because it can be intimidating. Many pastors don't want to know either. They are not teaching sexual purity because they are afraid to go into it. It is a tough subject to discuss. Many parents would blanch to learn of the sexual activities girls are participating in today – recreationally and casually. Abstinence pledges don’t go far enough. The shocking truth is that those who make the pledges are more likely to have oral and anal sex than other teens who haven’t made the pledge. Kids find the loophole.

Girls are the gatekeepers – they are the ones who must say no. Boys typically are not the ones charged with keeping themselves pure. Girls have a responsibility to cover up not to incite the guys, Hayley says. Sin starts in our minds. Don’t participate in activities that lead to trouble, i.e., no tickle fights, back rubs, never take a nap together, etc. It’s really foreplay. Stay away from the slippery slope. Girls differ emotionally from boys, and can’t have emotionless sex like boys do. Hayley tells girls that they can’t have “Friends with benefits” – a male friend or buddy who they have sex with but no emotional commitment.

Hayley says when she shares about how dressing affects boys, the biggest response she gets from girls is:

1) "I didn't know that!" Their target market is the cute teenage boy, and no one else. The Church is not teaching these truths about men to girls. But once girls hear this message, they get it.

2) Once they understand, many say they are going home to throw out all their clothes. Hollywood and the culture have sent mixed messages to them. Hayley also says once she explains to girls what their immodest dressing does for guys; she leaves it up to them to do what is right. They have a mental picture of how they want to look, and, “Their decisions are usually very good ones,” she says. They must decide where to draw the line, and do what is comfortable for them.

Hayley also tells young girls that, “You don't protect your heart by allowing guys to use you sexually – the real kicker is it ages you. Each encounter you have gives you one more sign of wear and tear. When you cut back on the bad habit of sexual immorality, it will not only save your soul but save your appearance as well.”

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