What are some good secular arguments to refrain from pre-marital sex and/or condom use?

I often find it difficult on what exactly I should say when these things come up. Any ideas? Even if you just answer one of the two, it’s greatly appreciated.

Do these often come up in conversation? When that happens, are others receptive to any arguments?


What has given rise to the question?

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Sex was meant for marriage because it was given by God for babies in and bonding of a married couple. When you bring babies into something else it just opens up doors for all kinds of issues.

Condoms are barriers to conception of a human being. As Catholics we believe that all marital sexual relations (acts) are to be open to the creation of life. Using condoms physically blocks that openness to life. Something artificial is being brought in to block life where it should only be natural and open to life.


Because engaging in sex outside of marriage changes the relationship in ways that are seldom helpful and are very often hurtful.


Out of wedlock pregnancy. Disease. Abortion. Breakdown of the family. Those are all bad for humanity without religious argument.


You will here the falsehood that contraception reduces abortion. This might sound intuitively true, but it’s patent nonsense. Contraception increases the incidence of passionate exercise. When passions are exercised with less restraint, people get sloppy. The very mentality that you might think solves the problem in fact turns it pandemic.

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People have already given you the Catholic religious arguments. I’m going to give you the practical arguments. Hopefully the mods won’t censor this post.

Premarital sex gets to be a drag really fast and in the end did nothing but make me grumpy and have a pretty cynical attitude towards sexual relations and couples relationships in general. I was fortunate to meet a great husband who wasn’t terribly focused on sexual relations so I was able to get a better understanding of what a loving relationship actually was.

Also, you can catch diseases. Don’t expect your partners to be honest with you or even know if they have anything to pass around. Fortunately I didn’t catch anything because my activities were relatively restricted, but I knew other people who weren’t so lucky and are going to be coping with herpes outbreaks for the rest of their lives. Of course, some folks got HIV as well.

Condoms don’t work all that well for pregnancy prevention, much less disease prevention. They can break, they can have a pinhole leak, they can fall off, lots of other things can go wrong with them, and people get lax about using them anyway, don’t have one handy so they go without. A significant number of men and some women also just plain don’t want to use them, even at risk of getting bad diseases.


Yep–this is why St. Thomas says fornication is a sin against human life, since it is injurious to the children born out of it, who should have both parents in a stable relationship. And then because of this, those who fornicate tend to take further anti-life measures to prevent and ultimately take the life.

While persons may “get away with it” in a particular case, in general we see the harm socially. Where fornication is common, children are born of wedlock more and crime and poverty are greater, as well as anti-life practices like abortion and contraception, which itself engenders anti-life attitudes leading to further abortion and fornication.

These anti-life attitudes toward sex ultimately lead to confusion about the very nature of human beings and the sexes as is abundantly clear in our time. It’s a mess.


The natural law arguments aren’t particularly religious.

I like to put it in simple man’s terms. Reproductive organs are ordered to reproduction. Using contraceptives, of their nature, attempt to stop this from happening. In addition, they often do not work, which means more unwanted children, which is bad for kids and bad for moms and bad for dads (though ultimately they’ll probably love their children anyway). Better to refrain and wait for that special person, when everything is in order and ready as a family for your potential child. The marital act is best in marriage, which shows through act what they affirm through their marriage vows.


When you’re dating someone, having sex really clouds the judgment on whether or not this is a person who you should marry. Lots of times family and friends can raise red flags about the person but it gets very easy to make excuses for bad behaviour. It’s a time to keep your wits about you, not put on a blind fold. lol


The only thing that I would add to the conversation is that certain contraceptives such as the pill can have adverse effects on women’s bodies, I personally know several women who had to undergo multiple procedures after getting off the pill so that they were able to conceive, some sadly are unable to conceive altogether due to issues that stem from having used the pill.

It seems to me that perhaps explaining things like the above may reach a non-religious person as equally as much as a religious person, I cannot imagine anyone would like their body adversely affected just because they wanted to use a contraceptive.

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No argument needed. Just a no. Or no thanks im waiting for my special girl.

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Having sex, especially for women, creates a bond that as @PennyinCanada has said can cloud judgement. The more sexual partners, especially for women, that one has can make it harder for women or men to bond with their spouse as they have already “bonded” with many other people and had those relationships fail.

Also, sex can lead to babies and having a child would connect you to this person for at least 18 years and if you two don’t stay together or agree on how to parent that could be a very difficult 18 years for you and your child.


This is understandable if one ignores the nature inherent to sexual relations. If one can think of it in purely pleasure- and comfort-giving terms, and close one’s eyes to what the body is doing (the man emits sperm bound for the woman), then yes, your vision stands.

Disease risks within the exclusive relationship which one promises to be a feature of marriage are exceptionally low compared to the alternative.

That one made me laugh. Best to toss family member out if the house, eh?


Remember this thread is about secular arguments. The idea that things have an inherent nature and/or purpose is a religious argument. I think sex is an evolved function which contributes in a number of ways to the success of human groups. If you look up the sexual activity of Bonobos, humans’ closet living relative you will see the way this evolved function operates to make unfits of these chimps more cohesive and successful (and yes, they do not have exclusive life-long pair-bonding).

Our eyes did not evolve to appreciate art. But they do.


There’s nothing religious about saying sex has the inherent purpose of 1) procreation and 2) helping couples to bond emotionally. The Church recognizes this, but it’s not something rooted in belief in a religious system let alone a Christian one. The procreation part is obvious given that it has that function in every species that mates, and the emotional bonding part is obvious as well or we wouldn’t have hundreds of thousands of romance books/ films/ shows dealing with that issue, most of which are from a secular perspective.

From a practical perspective, it’s a lot better/ healthier to do both 1) and 2) in the context of a committed marital relationship. It provides a more stable environment. Saying “well, marriages break up too” is ignoring the fact that quite a few of them don’t, and there is a lot more motivation to stay together and try to work through differences when it’s more difficult - legally and usually also emotionally - to break up.


In my view the whole idea of ‘purpose’ implies a design. We secular types generally think biological functions evolved. That was the point I was making. Many discussions between non-believers and Catholics derail because of a lack of understanding that ‘natural law’ is a religious belief (or at best a philosophical belief) and does not derive from science. (Although I know Catholics say it does not contradict science).

Many of the books you mention of course also deal with the loosing of bonds!

I wouldn’t know a “natural law” if I fell over it. I’m not a philosophy major (thank heaven).
Nor did I have any desire to spend much time around those who did talk about that sort of thing.

I never had discussions on that level about sex. I dealt in common sense practicalities.

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I have also known one person whose period didn’t came back naturally after she stop the pill.

There could be various side effect of the pills that are now known more and more spoken of by women, and less accepted by them.

Thoses are good secular arguments, but it depends of your goal. Because these people will just try to find an alternative, they will not come to a better understanding of the dignity of sexuality anf the beauty of it when we don’t separate the unity and the procreative function.

One secular argument against premarital sex:
Sex is biologically ordered to brings baby in the world. Babies and children are dependant creatures for many years, and we are not enough with two parents to take care of them. Having children make survival more difficult, so the parents benefit greatly to the material and moral support and the affection of the other parent. That’s why we naturally create couples to raise children that last often for life. Marriage is the cultural way to engage the couple, and guarantee the rights and protection of all the family members involved.

Sex is creating a bound between the couple. So we want to do it again. It’s a need because the human fertility is very low. The bound help the couple to stay together to raise the children.
But as humans are complex, a lambda male will not want to stay with another female only because she is a female. There are a lot of reasons that are cultural that determine a choice.

*When sex is done outside marriage? Do you want to have a chemical bound with someone you are not ready to make a comitment? Do you want to end up with bad marriage with an increase risk of divorce? Or do you prefer to have a difficult break up? Breaking up is emotionally difficult, it’s bad. *
Would you not prefer to keep your freedom to choose and have an happy marriage and happy children?

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