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Fr. Mark Hodges

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Sexually abstinent women featured in…Cosmopolitan magazine?

Fr. Mark Hodges

NEW YORK CITY, March 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Cosmo and abstinence make strange bedfellows.

The magazine, which since the mid-sixties has glorified guilt-free promiscuity, is the antithesis of the values held by men and women who save sex for marriage.

Nevertheless, Cosmopolitan's over three million readers got something unexpected last week: an article on Cosmo's website featuring three single, dating women who practice abstinence.

The blatant fornication-promoting magazine quoted three women in their early 20s who are waiting until marriage to have sex. The feature was unexpectedly honest, simply quoting the women who value their virtue.

"Sara" told Cosmo, "I decided I wanted to wait when I read St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body. In it, he discusses how Christ loves us totally, definitely, and sacrificially through His Body, and that is what sex was created for us to do as well – to love others totally, definitely, and sacrificially through our bodies."

"Most people I go on dates with are people who know I take my commitment to my Catholic faith seriously, and ... keeping sex sacred in the sacrament of marriage is important to me," the 22 year-old continued. "Guys don't necessarily treat me much differently."

Sara said, "The nicest thing a guy's ever said to me when I told him I was waiting was, 'Your commitment to waiting just makes you that much more attractive to me.' The worst thing was 'I don't know how you do that.'"

"Madeline," also 22, told Cosmo, "My faith teaches me that sex is a deeply spiritual act and a symbol of intimacy with God. I feel most comfortable participating in that sacredness within the commitment and context of marriage."

"If ... a guy's just looking to hook up, I'll pass," Madeline said.  "Not wanting to have casual sex comes into play because my pool of potential men on [dating] apps can be fairly limited."

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She says she doesn't bring up the subject of abstinence unless she senses a potential future in her date.

"I feel like guys try to treat me more gently, but I also assume a lot about me," Madeline confided. "A lot of guys are so accustomed to the virgin (stereo)type that they worry they'll tarnish me, or think that I won't be any fun, or that I'm conservative."

"My coworker and I had a conversation about why I'm waiting, and she actually listened and told me that my thoughts made sense. That alone was so validating."

"Jordan" said, "I made the choice to wait until marriage when I was 15 years old[.] ... My parents taught me that sex was only for married couples."

"As I got older and began dating, I realized [that waiting] was something I truly wanted to do," Jordan, who is also 22, continued. She said she brings up the subject of abstinence "from the beginning" on her dates. "That's deterred people before, but I try to be as honest as possible."

"In general, I've noticed that men really respect my decision to wait," Jordan said. "They see it as something that makes me unique, and most of the time they feel that waiting allows us to focus on important aspects of relationships that aren't physical."

"The worst thing someone's ever done when I told them I was waiting to have sex was just end all communication[.] ... It hurt," Jordan confided. But Jordan's story has a happy ending: "I met my current boyfriend online, and we had an instant connection. When I brought up to him that I was a virgin and was waiting for sex until marriage, he said he was a virgin as well. We're going to be engaged soon, and are both looking forward to our marriage and the special intimacy and bond that will come with that."

Long criticized by Christians for its sleazy covers and adultery-promoting articles, Cosmo's abstinence feature is getting praise from pro-family advocates. 

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told LifeSiteNews, "Kudos to Cosmo for showing a side of young women that we often see on college campuses even though they are in the minority."

"Because of these young women, and others like them," Ms. Hawkins said, "we have great hope for a much needed culture change – one that respects life and the bonds that create it."

Other Christian groups are more skeptical. Haley Halverson of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation told LifeSiteNews, "In less than ten weeks, Cosmo published ten articles promoting or normalizing pornography. The messages of pornified sexuality Cosmo consistently propagates speaks more to the character of the publication than one anomalous article."

Relied on by a host of young female readers as the only available source of information about sex, the January 1988 issue of Cosmopolitan published an article reassuring women that there was little or no risk in having sex with HIV-positive men. The article ignored medical science proving the risk of contracting HIV.  The article even stated that it is impossible to transmit HIV in the missionary position.



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