The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 18, Issue 3, Autumn 2018

Mary Beth Phillips
Pages 451-463

The False Freedom of Promiscuity
Consequences of Teenage Sexual Activity

Teenagers enjoy better physical and mental health when they avoid early sexual debut and reserve the sexual act for marriage. Teens who initiate sexual relations outside of marriage risk contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and those who also use hormonal contraception to avoid pregnancy often suffer unwanted physical and emotional side effects. Teens who have multiple partners may have later attachment or bonding difficulties. The consequences of an unintended pregnancy after a casual sexual relationship are often abortion or single motherhood and an increased likelihood of poverty. Teenagers who save sexual relations for marriage experience freedom from these negative consequences and are more likely, in marriage, to experience the beauty of self-giving love.