When I was in high school, girls wanted boys to know they were virgins. It was a sign of values, strength and honor. Not just Christian girls, all girls. Smart girls, pretty girls, cheerleaders, etc… All of us. I know this because I was one of those people that was friends with everyone. I never fell completely in one clique. So I say that with confidence. Friends were just friends were just friends and there were no benefits…well at least not sexually. We giggled about ‘bases’ but very few ‘hit the home run’ and if you did, you didn’t cop to it.
Before moving to Nashville I coached for 10 years at the local public high school. Yes I had cheerleaders who had babies, who had abortions and who did a bunch of other stuff I was sad to discover. So I haven’t lived in a fog. I have seen sex creep into the schools at a younger and younger age. But the one thing that still stood out was that it was still socially acceptable to be a virgin.
In the last year I have seen so many shows on MTV and VH1 where both guys and girls tease other girls for being a virgin. Like it is a bad thing. An embarrassment. Now it has hit mainstream TV. In the last couple of weeks I have seen on Grey’s Anatomy and 90210 where women were either embarrassed or harassed for being a virgin. Sigh. Has it come to that?
It is hard enough to choose abstinence today with sex saturated everywhere but to add being embarrassed about? That is sad. I don’t have an answer to young people to change this. All I can say is the sooner you have to stand on your own values in any area of your life, the sooner you are ready for adulthood. Peer pressure occurs at all ages in all settings. It even happens at work, in church and at your small group. There are few safe places from either real peer pressure or perceived pressure. I am sorry for young people that they just have to face it sooner and sooner with harder and harder topics.
Let’s pray for young people. Let’s do what we can to model standing firm in the midst of pressure. And let’s continue to show grace when they fall short of reaching the high mark. It is harder to get there.