Throughout the centuries, many religions have used marriage as a platform to demonstrate religious values. One value that many religions share is that of sexual abstinence until marriage to show one's purity and a commitment to God and the future spouse. But even if you aren't religious, there are medical and emotional advantages to abstaining.
Avoid Unwanted Pregnancy
Over 40 percent of all U.S. births occur out of wedlock, according to 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you become pregnant outside of marriage and decide to keep the baby, there is no guarantee that you will have the support of the father. Being a single parent is difficult, often coming with social and financial repercussions. If you wait to have sex until you are married, you are more likely to have a supportive partner and stable circumstances if you become pregnant.
Protect against STIs
Many people choose to remain abstinent until marriage to avoid the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Contracting an STI can be devastating as they can potentially compromise your own health and the health of every partner you will have in the future, including your future spouse. Abstinence is the only way to prevent STIs 100 percent.
When you are not always out trying to find someone to get into bed with, you find yourself free to pursue a number of other hobbies and pastimes. The energy that might be spent diversifying your sexual portfolio can be channeled into productive self-improvement outlets such as advancing your career, continuing your education, forming deeper friendships or traveling. It gives you a chance to build your sense of self and gain maturity before bonding together intimately with another person.
Saving the sexual experience for marriage can enhance the level of emotional intimacy between partners. Having intercourse for the first time can be frightening, uncomfortable and even painful. Waiting to share this experience with a spouse with whom you have built up a certain level of emotional trust often reduces any negative psychological impact of losing your virginity. For many religious people, waiting until marriage can make intercourse with their new spouse a sacred experience, as well.