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Do virginity pledges do more harm than good?

For about a decade now, a surprising number of large organisations (such as ‘True Love Waits’ and “The Silver Ring Thing”) around the world have embarked on significant efforts to encourage young people not to have sex. In some countries these campaigns have had the explicit support of the government and have even benefited from state funding. As part of these programs, youths are encouraged to make a verbal or written promise to abstain from sex until marriage. These pledges are known as virginity pledges. By 1995 at least 2.5 million people had made them; the figure is probably closer to 10 million now. Underlying the controversy over whether virginity pledges ‘work’, is the controversy over what objective virginity pledges should be working towards.


Asked by IhartU at 6:39 PM on Jul. 19, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I decided all by myself when I was a teen that I wanted to be a virgin for my husband and I didn't want to have sex when unwed. I didn't need some kind of huge "pledge" organization. I think a "Virginity pledge" is kind of corny, dorky, a "Look at me, I'm so pure.." kind of show -off approach.

    It is an individual decision and when a teen makes a pledge, then breaks the promise, what happens then? Are they punished by stoning? LOL. Whatever. Its just a silly thing, I think. MORE important ,I think, is sex education and information about birth control if you are not strong enough to remain abstinent. Too many teen age pregnancies. Right?

    Answer by Lindalu2 at 11:12 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • I don't think it works. I had one...didn't help me! lol

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:40 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • wsnt really a thing when i was in school....what i think would work is having some of us single mommies and or oung mommmies go in and talk to the highschool girls in sex ed..i think someone telling me something real other than just dont do it may have helped me

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 6:56 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • I personally think that they work, because I don't believe in the concept of "safe sex" -- in my book the only safe sex you can have is abstinence until marriage. But that is just my opinion. LOL.

    However statistics have shown that virginity pledges do work. Girls who pledge virginity (according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health) are significantly less likely to have sex as a teenager or a young adult, experience teen pregnancy, give birth as teens or young adults, give birth outside of marriage, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and have multiple partners.

    I think it is a good thing. When I was young, I had no support. Everyone was having sex and I kinda felt pressured into it, even though I wasn't ready.

    Any way that we can support girls to take control of the sexuality, especially giving them the support to say "no" and be safe is a good idea. The choice is ultimately up to them.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 7:50 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • I don't think they make any difference at all but I am certainly against public money funding what is essentially a religious campaign.

    Answer by janet116 at 8:36 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • Depends on why they are done - if it's just to keep mommy and daddy from nagging, no they won't. If it's because the kids honestly understand the reason behind it, they will.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 8:43 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • every girl i knew/know that made a virginity pledge got pregnant within a year of them making it...mainly because of peer pressure, because the guys knew what girls said they would wait, and the guys would bet to see who could get who. they were stupid and didnt even use protection with the girls.


    Answer by necro1134 at 9:06 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • i did one back in 1999. the Christian club i belonged to (Quest) threw a purity party. we were suppose to bring our parents & pledge to wait till marriage to them & God. i didnt want to do it, but my idiot friend mentioned it around my parents & i didnt want them to think i was planning on having sex (which i wasnt).

    it meant nothing to me. so when i had sex before getting married i "lost" the purity items. but my parents never seemed really interested in it anyways.

    i can only see them hurting if they are taking government money away from programs that actually deserve it.

    so no i dont think they keep kids from having premarital sex. all they do is give the kids who prolly would wait anyways a chance to have a ceremony.

    Answer by okmanders at 9:29 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • mainly because of peer pressure, because the guys knew what girls said they would wait, and the guys would bet to see who could get who. they were stupid and didnt even use protection with the girls

    That sounds more like predatory guys who could've used a nice scare in court than anything else.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:50 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • CAN they help? Absolutely. Do they always? No. Should programs like these be available? If parents think their children can benefit from them, then yes.

    I did BOTH True Love Waits and TWO other school-required program that I can't recall at the moment.  All were abstinence-only education that had me completely convinced that if I had sex outside of marriage I WOULD get an STD, condoms always fail and no man would want me because someone who has sex before marriage is basically "used goods."  Looking back on this now, the "terrify them with half-truths" method is not something I agree with.

    I think abstinence is truthfully the only way to protect your heart and body 100% of the time.  But when you break your vow and have no clue how to protect yourself...well I guess that's why multiple people who pledged with me ended up pregnant isn't it?  lol.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 10:25 PM on Jul. 19, 2009