British teenager becomes an international star for announcing his virginity
May 20, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An 18-year old high school senior is gaining international attention for proudly proclaiming his virginity, and his intention to keep it.
In a forthcoming essay, Phin Lyman said that he believes "that sex is an incredibly strong symbol of love between two people." Comparing it to glue, Lyman writes that "once you have had sex with someone, you’re connected to them emotionally and physically. If you tear that bond the rip leaves open scars where the glue once was. That’s why ‘casual sex’ never works in the long term."
The Daily Beast reports that Lyman also pointed to how boys and girls are being raised differently when it comes to sex. With boys, who watch pornography, Lyman says they think sex is "just for them." With girls, Lyman believes they have a romanticized idea of what sex means.
Lyman says he has been accused of making his virginity known to attract women, something he says is patently untrue. "I have never seen any evidence that girls are interested in that sort of challenge. I want to wait until I have met someone who knows me and I love them."
According to former Fox News contributor and comedian Steven Crowder, whose op-eds on his own abstinence drew millions of readers, Lyman "is going to catch a lot of flak for this." Telling LifeSiteNews.com that "waiting for marriage is the only sexual taboo left," Crowder said that Lyman's choice "is truly alternative."
However, Valerie Huber, president and CEO of the National Abstinence Education Association, says that Lyman may not be as alone as many think. She told LifeSiteNews.com that "the choice to wait for sex is one that is increasing in the U.S. - and let’s hope that many of Phin’s peers follow suit in the UK."
"There is a growing body of research that shows that young people who wait to become sexually active are more likely to graduate from high school and college, excel academically, and be emotionally healthy. They are also less likely to divorce when they marry," Huber says. "Sexually active youth are also more likely to participate in other risky behaviors, such as drinking or using drugs."
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Huber says that "most teens are not sexually active in the U.S.," although she criticizes "the media and popular culture [that] make it seem that all youth are having sex."
The Young Adult Ministry Coordinator for the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, likewise praised Lyman for his decision. "The practice of abstinence provides us the opportunity to see others as God sees them, love them as He loves, and to be vigilant to offenses that seek to destroy this love," Erin Kisley told LifeSiteNews. "It is a recognition that God created us for something greater than ourselves."
"Living chastely allows us to deepen our friendships (of the same and opposite sex) in mutual respect, fidelity and understanding that they are truly a gift from God," Kisley said.
She added that "it’s important to know we’re not alone in our mission. Share your struggles and difficulties, and encourage one another in a lifelong journey of faithfulness and virtue."
The Daily Beast claims it is not yet fully known whether Lyman is encouraging people to wait to have sex or to remain abstinent until marriage.
A recent survey of 6,000 students at 100 universities in Britain found that more than half of the survey respondents say they have had "one-night stands" after starting in the university system. One in 10 British students had sex by the age of 14.