Volume 96, Issue 77
Friday, February 14, 2003

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A virgin in a sea of promiscuity

By Lorraine Forster
Gazette Staff

I have a confession to make. I'm 20-years-old and I am a virgin.

Today's western pop-culture saturates every fib of our moral being with sex. From Britney and Christina's "dirrty" bodies, we're all constantly being bombarded with sex, sex and more sex. All these images seem to be sending the message that being a virgin in your 20s is more taboo than having sex at 14, making me, the 20-year-old virgin, feel like I am at fault.

Year after year, from Grade 11 on, I have watched as each one of my close girlfriends steadily lose her so-called "V-card." In a group of 10 girls, the pattern finally ended this year, with me now standing alone, outside the circle of "experienced" women.

So how does this make me feel? Although society seems to want me to run to the nearest guy and beg at his knees, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. I don't feel alienated listening to my girlfriends talk about having – or not having – the big "O."

While many individuals make a conscious decision to remain virginal, remaining a virgin into my 20s is not something I planned.

Western sociology professor Kim Luton noted the importance of virginity to some cultures.

"Some groups, based on their values and belief systems, would see [virginity] as the optimum state to be in," Luton said.

I don't feel in any rush to go out and give away 20 years of celibacy to any Joe Shmoe. It's cliché, but I want my first time to be special: I want romance, and I do want it to be with someone who I love and who loves me.

Until this person appears, I will remain the "Big V."

However, Luton also believes that teens who experience sex at a younger age are more familiar with their sexuality. "As a group, young women experience men earlier, not so that they can be promiscuous, but so that they can make informed decisions about their lives," she said.

Despite this, fellow students do not feel like they're missing anything. A first-year administrative and commercial studies student at Western commented on her virgin status with pride.

"My virginity is something that is important to me; it's a moral decision that I've made because I've seen the consequences [losing your virginity] can bring through my friends." She feels confident in her choice, noting it is something that sets her apart from most other first-years students.

Although her friends are sexually active, she says she doesn't feel left out. In fact, she feels more confident.

"I don't feel pressured, but that doesn't mean that the opportunity isn't there. I just have enough things to worry about," she says.

In a recent Maclean's magazine article entitled "Deluded," Barb McWatters, executive director of Planned Parenthood in Regina, stated that by Grade 10, 33 per cent of Canadian teens are sexually active, and by Grade 12, this percentage rises to more than half. As a 20-year-old virgin, I'm a part of a dying breed.

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