Abstinence: The world’s oldest form of contraception

May 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm 3 comments

There’s a lot more buzz about abstinence than there was when I was a teenager. My high school generated a lot of buzz back in the 1995 when it was the first on Long Island to distribute condoms.  (Then again, a lot of the fashion in those days had an unintended contraceptive effect.)  But I think the pendulum has begun to swing the other way in a lot of communities.  So I think it may be time to take another look at abstinence.

Abstinence is the oldest and cheapest form of contraception.  Not having sex with a male partner is a sure way for a woman to avoid pregnancy. 100%.  Pretty simple math.

Historically, abstinence has the method of choice for a lot of people because of expectations set by religious faith and family roles.  You remember: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage.  Premarital sex and unintended pregnancy don’t rhyme well.  (Neither does Baby Bjorn, so I guess baby carriages are also a more moral option for infant transport).

The downside of abstinence is that it can be an unrealistic expectation, especially for younger people.  Teens in particular may struggle with their natural inclination and interest toward sex.  This is compounded by things like peer pressure and widening social acceptance of premarital sex and sex outside of monogamous relationships.  We won’t even go into what constitutes maintaining one’s “virginity.”  But oral sex doesn’t get you pregnant.

If you choose to abstain from sex, it’s not a bad idea to have a back-up plan (ie condoms, the pill, etc…).  This doesn’t mean you’re not committed to abstinence, it means you’re realistic.  You wouldn’t drive a car without a spare tire, would you?  Does that mean you’re planning on getting a flat?  No.  It means you’re responsible.  What?  You don’t know how to change a flat?  Well, that’s what boyfriends are for.

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Entry filed under: Gynecology. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul Bomba  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Kids are basically becoming adults much faster today than they were back in the days of Roslyn dropping bombs on the LI world with free handouts.

    I mean, didn’t you see those kids dancing to that beyonce song – <12 years old and dancing like a stripper?

    The kids on the subway are talking about doin' who knows what, it's crazy!

    at least there are skinny jeans.

    Reply
  • 2. 2010 in review « The Gynecologist  |  January 3, 2011 at 12:22 am

    […] Abstinence: The world’s oldest form of contraception May 2010 1 comment […]

    Reply
  • 3. aetna dental  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article post. I wanted
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Linda M. Nicoll, MD

Welcome to my blog! Here you will find information about minimally invasive gynecologic surgery as well as some more general information about common gynecologic disorders such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, infertility, and pelvic pain.

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