Worrisome Statistics


#1

I'm not entirely sure how I can convey my thoughts on this matter, nor whether they will come across as unrestrained fanaticism, but I will try regardless.

I came across this piece of information: "By their early 20s, some 79% of never-married women—and 89% of never-married Catholic women—have had sex." (Source: guttmacher.org/media/inth.../15/index.html).

Now, I'm usually distraught and despairing on matters of culture and social mores (I have only recently considered changing my mind on my lifelong goal of becoming an anchorite), but with this piece of information having been exhibited, I ask: what would the chances of me (or any person who has lived their life in an utmost chaste manner) actually finding a good, chaste, Catholic wife?

I have read around 108 studies relating either fully or tangentially to the matter of pre-marital sex and its effect on marriages; am I wrong to worry about this? Am I allowed to worry about this? Is this something that I should not be considering? What are optimal resolutions? Can any good come of my concern? Are there things (specific knowledge, in this case) that could allay my concerns? Should I just remain with my original goal?

I will have completed my Master's degree next Spring, after which I wish to make a choice on the path I choose. I'm in my early twenties, if that matters. And, if my mind were not ill-at-ease enough, many people around me consider "extremely eligible" for marriage (their words; if only they knew my dilemma). sigh

[NB: This was cross-posted accidentally in another section. Sorry.]


#2

To put it simply, stop judging. A woman who is not a virgin could well be living a more chaste life than one who is not a virgin. Just because a person is a virgin does not mean they have lived a chaste life. The simple fact of virginity (or lack thereof) is not the only meaning of chastity, chastity is a much wider virtue. You cannot know the circumstances of these women's lives - maybe they were abused or assaulted, maybe they were not instructed properly in the faith by their parents but later experienced a reversion. It is not your place to pass judgement on them if they have made their peace with God.

Seek a wife who living a good Catholic life now, not just in chastity but in all areas. You are not perfect so do not judge those who have also made mistakes in their past. As Christians we believe in redemption and in forgiveness and that everyone can find a second chance in God. If God can let go of their sins, why can't you?


#3

Firstly - given that women marry much later now on average than they used to, it probably means that the same percentage of women are having sex as always did, the difference being it is less common now than formerly to want the benefit of marriage - at least at a young age.

Secondly - the conclusion you are drawing is that women care less about chastity than they used to. You are not allowing for those who are the victims of rape, or those who tried it but regret it.

Remember a man as sexually promiscuous as St Augustine was can be, when reformed, every bit as 'good' and 'chaste', by God's and man's standards, as someone who has kept their virginity. Same for a repentant woman, be her past ever so sinful. And such a man or woman will make every bit as good chaste and godly husband or wife as one who has never had sex.

Those who do keep their virginity may well simply lack opportunity, or fear pregnancy or disease, or the act itself, rather than actually valuing and treasuring it as a gift of God. Such a one would be a far worse choice of spouse than the now committedly chaste but formerly sinful candidate.

God bless, and try to love people - including reformed sinners - as Jesus would.


#4

I acknowledge your point about judging; I did not intend to judge. The fact someone is a virgin is not the point I was driving at, though. Rather, the encompassing virtue of chastity is what I was concerned with (virginity still being important, of course.)

I understand your point of seeking a wife who is living a good Catholic life now; that is indeed what I seek. Chastity was only the focus in this particular post. I further recognize redemption and forgiveness, but that is only part of the whole. One must acknowledge that STDs and various other ills may find their way into a marriage, no? Should I risk my health, or that of my children? Is that not a valid concern?


#5

[quote="CelestineFan, post:4, topic:285421"]
I acknowledge your point about judging; I did not intend to judge. The fact someone is a virgin is not the point I was driving at, though. Rather, the encompassing virtue of chastity is what I was concerned with (virginity still being important, of course.)

I understand your point of seeking a wife who is living a good Catholic life now; that is indeed what I seek. Chastity was only the focus in this particular post. I further recognize redemption and forgiveness, but that is only part of the whole. One must acknowledge that STDs and various other ills may find their way into a marriage, no? Should I risk my health, or that of my children? Is that not a valid concern?

[/quote]

There are tests for STDs you know. Such should be taken before you have sex. If thoroughly screened for, the risk is as low as the risk of you yourself having hepatitis or AIDS from things like a doctor unknowingly using an improperly sterilized instrument, or you unknowingly sharing a toothbrush or something with a sufferer.

What 'other ills' are you speaking of? And why would they be lower in a virgin than in any other woman committed to chastity?


#6

You surely recognize that some STDs are not able to be tested for, yes? As to other ills, I refer to the fact that premarital sex can lead to emotional problems that can be avoided if both the husband and the wife wait until they are married (this applies even in cases where the couple marry after engaging in sex).

Am I terrible person for wanting this? Frankly, I feel so overwhelmed with sadness when I consider the whole situation.


#7

[quote="CelestineFan, post:1, topic:285421"]
I'm not entirely sure how I can convey my thoughts on this matter, nor whether they will come across as unrestrained fanaticism, but I will try regardless.

I came across this piece of information: "By their early 20s, some 79% of never-married women—and 89% of never-married Catholic women—have had sex." (Source: guttmacher.org/media/inth.../15/index.html).

Now, I'm usually distraught and despairing on matters of culture and social mores (I have only recently considered changing my mind on my lifelong goal of becoming an anchorite), but with this piece of information having been exhibited, I ask: what would the chances of me (or any person who has lived their life in an utmost chaste manner) actually finding a good, chaste, Catholic wife?

I have read around 108 studies relating either fully or tangentially to the matter of pre-marital sex and its effect on marriages; am I wrong to worry about this? Am I allowed to worry about this? Is this something that I should not be considering? What are optimal resolutions? Can any good come of my concern? Are there things (specific knowledge, in this case) that could allay my concerns? Should I just remain with my original goal?

I will have completed my Master's degree next Spring, after which I wish to make a choice on the path I choose. I'm in my early twenties, if that matters. And, if my mind were not ill-at-ease enough, many people around me consider "extremely eligible" for marriage (their words; if only they knew my dilemma). sigh

[NB: This was cross-posted accidentally in another section. Sorry.]

[/quote]

Be flexible.
Because a girl is not virgin does not mean she is not chaste.
Because you felt does not mean you are prone to falling. People fall and get up.
Do not think too much.
If you are going to marry, God has got the girl for you.
If not, God has another plans for you.
So, just relax.


#8

[quote="CelestineFan, post:6, topic:285421"]
You surely recognize that some STDs are not able to be tested for, yes? As to other ills, I refer to the fact that premarital sex can lead to emotional problems that can be avoided if both the husband and the wife wait until they are married (this applies even in cases where the couple marry after engaging in sex).

Am I terrible person for wanting this? Frankly, I feel so overwhelmed with sadness when I consider the whole situation.

[/quote]

I cannot think of a single STD that cannot be tested for nowadays.

So can masturbation, pornography, and any number of other ills against chastity. Virginity at marriage does not guarantee there will be no problems.

You care too much about virginity and not enough above chastity and living a Catholic life.


#9

PerfectTiming, I am not sure why you've focused solely on virginity; I did not even mention that in my first post. I stated chastity was my concern, and that the statistic I mentioned led to my concerns about chastity. I agree with your comment on chastity, of course, since that was my original concern.

HPV is not testable, as an example. A doctor who is a friend mentioned hundreds of STIs/STDs/strains that have no tests available. It's one thing to be forgiven, but a complete other to be cured. Do you recognize that?

I'll revise my question: Is it wrong of me to seek out a wife who has unfailingly dedicated their life to chastity (as I have)? Are my concerns with emotional instability and untestable diseases not valid?


#10

[quote="CelestineFan, post:6, topic:285421"]
You surely recognize that some STDs are not able to be tested for, yes? As to other ills, I refer to the fact that premarital sex can lead to emotional problems that can be avoided if both the husband and the wife wait until they are married (this applies even in cases where the couple marry after engaging in sex).

Am I terrible person for wanting this? Frankly, I feel so overwhelmed with sadness when I consider the whole situation.

[/quote]

There are serious infectious diseases of all kinds, STD and those acquired by other means, that a potential spouse (or indeed anyone you live with for an extended period of time) can easily have without knowing it and transmit to you. What is the hang up with STDs when you can just as easily acquire something equally nasty from the most virgin of brides?

I have seen no research showing that the mere having of premarital sex, if infrequent or one-off, in and of itself causes problems. Particularly among those who regret having done it, have stopped and are presently committed to chastity for religious motives. The mere fact of a couple both being devoutly religious in itself hugely increases the chances of a successful marriage.

Terrible person? No, but probably one who is attaching undue importance to something that in reality will not make or break a relationship.


#11

[quote="CelestineFan, post:9, topic:285421"]
PerfectTiming, I am not sure why you've focused solely on virginity; I did not even mention that in my first post. I stated chastity was my concern, and that the statistic I mentioned led to my concerns about chastity. I agree with your comment on chastity, of course, since that was my original concern.

HPV is not testable, as an example. A doctor who is a friend mentioned hundreds of STIs/STDs/strains that have no tests available. It's one thing to be forgiven, but a complete other to be cured. Do you recognize that?

I'll revise my question: Is it wrong of me to seek out a wife who has unfailingly dedicated their life to chastity (as I have)? Are my concerns with emotional instability and untestable diseases not valid?

[/quote]

You may not use the word virginity but your first post implies it.

Is it wrong to look for a good Catholic spouse? No, of course not. But you are assuming things that you do not and cannot know.


#12

[quote="CelestineFan, post:9, topic:285421"]
PerfectTiming, I am not sure why you've focused solely on virginity; I did not even mention that in my first post. I stated chastity was my concern, and that the statistic I mentioned led to my concerns about chastity. I agree with your comment on chastity, of course, since that was my original concern.

HPV is not testable, as an example. A doctor who is a friend mentioned hundreds of STIs/STDs/strains that have no tests available. It's one thing to be forgiven, but a complete other to be cured. Do you recognize that?

I'll revise my question: Is it wrong of me to seek out a wife who has unfailingly dedicated their life to chastity (as I have)? Are my concerns with emotional instability and untestable diseases not valid?

[/quote]

HPV is testable - how do you think they figured out that the vaccines against it (Gardasil etc) work unless they could test for it?


#13

I would submit that STDs pose a greater risk, according to what I've read. In the same way, the rate of marital instability goes up regardless (according to various studies).

I must admit I find the decline of the practice of chastity (and some of the comments here) extremely disheartening; perhaps my previous goal was meant for me. Thank you for your responses.


#14

[quote="CelestineFan, post:13, topic:285421"]
I would submit that STDs pose a greater risk, according to what I've read. In the same way, the rate of marital instability goes up regardless (according to various studies).

I must admit I find the decline of the practice of chastity (and some of the comments here) extremely disheartening; perhaps my previous goal was meant for me. Thank you for your responses.

[/quote]

We are not saying that chastity is not important, it is. You seem to think that once unchaste, always unchaste and we are trying to tell you that is not the case. Yes, there are repercussions of unchastity in any form but they are not as dramatic as you seem to think.

And also do not just read studies and take them at their word. They are rarely unbiased and surprisingly easy to manipulate the results. Just because a study says something doesn't make it true.


#15

"But you are assuming things that you do not and cannot know."

What things am I assuming? I am not clear on what you mean.


I missed this: "There are serious infectious diseases of all kinds, STD and those acquired by other means, that a potential spouse (or indeed anyone you live with for an extended period of time) can easily have without knowing it and transmit to you."

This is not entirely true. You imply there is an equal chance, where it is simply not true. I am offended by you calling my concern a "hang up". I'm really quite shocked at the callous nature of this comment.


"HPV is testable"

Not accurately; testable in that there is a chance of spotting it, but a lucky guess may be just as good.


#16

[quote="CelestineFan, post:13, topic:285421"]
I would submit that STDs pose a greater risk, according to what I've read. In the same way, the rate of marital instability goes up regardless (according to various studies).

I must admit I find the decline of the practice of chastity (and some of the comments here) extremely disheartening; perhaps my previous goal was meant for me. Thank you for your responses.

[/quote]

STDs pose a greater risk than other diseases which are just as common, just as infectious, and just as untestable and untreatable? I'd love to know where you heard that - links or cites please.

And where you heard that any sexual activity - even one time - even of bitterly repented - vastly increases the chance of marital problems. Links and/or citations for that too please.

A virgin bride is every bit as likely to have all sorts of other marriage-wrecking traits - drug or alcohol addiction, hopeless with money, selfish, lazy or whatnot.


#17

"And also do not just read studies and take them at their word."

When the number of studies approaches 108, the biases are balanced out. If anything, the studies produced by most researchers tend to disregard any ill effects; I simply don't see a difference in the attitudes of the Guttmacher Inst. and some of the comments here; that weighs on me considerably.


#18

Thank you all for your time. I wish I could have found some consolation.


#19

[quote="CelestineFan, post:15, topic:285421"]
"But you are assuming things that you do not and cannot know."

What things am I assuming? I am not clear on what you mean.


I missed this: "There are serious infectious diseases of all kinds, STD and those acquired by other means, that a potential spouse (or indeed anyone you live with for an extended period of time) can easily have without knowing it and transmit to you."

This is not entirely true. You imply there is an equal chance, where it is simply not true. I am offended by you calling my concern a "hang up". I'm really quite shocked at the callous nature of this comment.


"HPV is testable"

Not accurately; testable in that there is a chance of spotting it, but a lucky guess may be just as good.

[/quote]

My parents are doctors, as is my grandfather, sister, all my maternal aunts and uncles and most cousins on my mother's side. I know whereof I speak. And I know that STDs are no more common, no more infectious, and no worse as a group, than diseases which are not sexually transmitted.


#20

[quote="CelestineFan, post:15, topic:285421"]

What things am I assuming? I am not clear on what you mean.

[/quote]

The statistic you cited states that 79% of Catholic women have had sex by the time they are in their early 20's.

That statistic refers to women who have had sex at least one time. It doesn't mean that they have frequently engaged in sex. The statistic says nothing about the chastity of their life. It speaks only of their virginity. This is the point everyone has been driving at.

As for your concern with STDs, the likelihood of contracting some extremely rare, undetectable and incurable strain is infinitesimal. If you are concerned about your health and the health of your children, you would be better oft finding a home which is closest to work, shopping and school The longer you and your family spend in a car, the greater the chance of serious accident. That risk is something we rarely think about, but it is far more real.


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