Why Stay A Virgin?

Cross posted from Amplify

 I read an article today in the Daily Tar Heel (The University of North Carolina’s college newspaper) titled Virgins not alone at UNC.  The article talked about hook-up culture on college campuses, and how it is often exaggerated and overblown. 

The survey, started in fall of 2008 and concluded in February 2009, also found that approximately 38 percent of students at UNC have never had sex.


So, 38 percent of UNC students are virgins.  I have no problem with that fact, but it sounded pretty high to me.  It turns out that the study only had an 11.5% response rate, which makes me wonder what type of people actually contributed to that data. I bet the 11.5% of people who respond to the survey are not the ones who are hooking up.  Regardless of the methodology of the survey, I am not opposed to people remaining virgins until they are married, or until they are out of college. I DO have a problem with is some of the reasons stated in the article for why people decide not to have sex:

“I’m not embarrassed by my decision to be a virgin,” Eskridge said. “When you have sex with someone, you’re giving a big part of yourself to them.”

Giving away a big part of yourself to your partner?  I don’t think that ones worth or value  is dependant on if you have or have not had sex, and you having sex doesn't mean that you give anything up. Hooking up and having sex in college does not damage anyone, as long as it is done safely and responsibly.  Jessica Valenti talks a lot about this in her book The Purity Myth, which I encourage everyone to read if you have not done so already.  She argues that there is nothing wrong, immoral, evil, or dirty about having pre-marital sex, as long as protection is used and there is active consent from both people.

This brings me to my second problem with this article.  It focused solely on virginity, and not at all on safe sex.  With over a decade of abstinence-only sex education in North Carolina, there are many students at UNC who don’t have all the facts they need about sex, birth control, and STI’s.  UNC students are full of myths and rumors about sex.  I’ve heard people say things like having sex standing up can prevent pregnancy, or taking a shot of Clorox can cure HIV.  Things like  “We had sex so I could prove that I loved my partner, but we didn’t use a condom”, or “He cheated on me so I had sex with him so he would love me.” These myths are all created from misinformation and outright lies that students hear in high school, but they exist among many college students as well.  In North Caroline high schools, teens hear things like condoms fail 40% of the time, or that if you have premarital sex you will get an STD and die.

Zero universities in North Carolina rank within the top 15 on Trojan's list of sexually healthy colleges, and UNC ranks number 27. 


While there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with being a virgin in college, one is not a bad person if they have sex.  While there is nothing wrong with telling teens to remain virgins, it needs to be accompanied with life saving information about how people can protect themselves.  This information is critically important in high school, in college, and even at age 30. 

Virgins may not be alone at UNC, but unfortunately students who are having unsafe sex are all not alone either.


38% virgins has to be wrong and probably flawed study

That is not the typical number. I agree with you, that the lack of information about safe sex is wrong. You should do a study (small) about all the different ways that teens believe that you can have sex and NOT get pregnant. It will tell us how the lack of education about safe sex is "working." NOT.

In the mountains, when my oldest was in 5th or 6th grade sex ed, the teacher (a nurse) gave all the kids a sucker, which they unwrapped and began enjoying. She then told them the suckers were provided by someone with AIDS. This is how she started off the class! Well, let's just say she is no longer teaching sex ed 101. It was the typical if you do it you will die lecture. There was nothing of value offered.

Keep up the good work! Keep us educated and thanks! I hope to see you working in state government one day.

It has to be wrong

I have never heard Silent Sam fire a single shot