The Instigator
Railsguardian
Con (against)
Losing
32 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
58 Points

Pre-Marital Abstinence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 15 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,028 times Debate No: 11921
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (71)
Votes (15)

 

Railsguardian

Con

I utilize this first round of this debate to clarify my position and for a few definitions, and I urge my opponent to do something relatively similar.

1. Opening statement:

I am resolved that premarital abstinence (as in SEXUAL abstinence, otherwise known as the 'virginity pledge' or being 'pure') is detrimental to the health of the age group that it is imposed on. I am also resolved it is a negative force working against not only teen pregnancy prevention, but also the promotion of safe sex in general.

2. Definitions:

Abstinence
(1)Main Entry: ab�sti�nence
Pronunciation: \ˈab-stə-nən(t)sFunction: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinent-, abstinens, present participle of abstinēre
Date: 14th century
1 : voluntary forbearance especially from indulgence of an appetite or craving or from eating some foods
2 a : habitual abstaining from intoxicating beverages b : abstention from sexual intercourse

This debate pertains to abstention from sexual intercourse before marriage ONLY, not any of the other definitions mentioned above.

Detrimental
(2)Main Entry: 1det�ri�men�tal
Pronunciation: \ˌde-trə-ˈmen-təlFunction: adjective
Date: 1590
: obviously harmful : damaging

I await my opponent's opening statement and wish them the best of luck in this debate!

Sources:
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Danielle

Pro

==== Introduction ====

Thanks, Con, for beginning this debate! I'd like to point out that I am not actually in favor of the resolution; I took this challenge simply for the sake of a good debate. The resolution as I understand it reads, "Premarital abstinence is detrimental to the health of the age group that it is imposed on." However, in that case, Con would actually be Pro lol. So for the sake of debate, it should be understood that I am arguing Pro-abstinence (i.e. the position that abstinence is not detrimental) and Con is arguing the opposite. Con also believes that it is a negative force working against teen pregnancy and the promotion of safe sex in general. I believe that I can negate these premises, so without further adieu, let's begin!

==== Contention 1 ====

Because I accept Con's presented definitions, I fail to see how not engaging in sex is "obviously harmful" to the individual who decides to practice abstinence. Abstinence as Con defines it is voluntary forbearance. In other words, if someone is choosing to refrain from sex, they are choosing a path that they feel best suits their values. Some reasons for avoiding sex until after marriage include religious reasons, personal sentiments about the sanctity of sex and wanting to avoid pregnancy and STDs in the safest manner possible. If those are one's reasons for choosing to wait to become sexually active, then I fail to see how this is "obviously harmful" to the individual making that decision. On the contrary, I feel abstinence is obviously helpful. Though there are indeed benefits to having sex, I don't think refraining from those benefits until one is ready or comfortable can be considered HARMFUL (detrimental).

==== Contention 2 ====

The ONLY foul-proof way of warding off pregnancy and STDs/STIs is abstinence. Condoms, birth control and other contraception methods are not 100% effective. Avoiding the sex act all together is the only way concerned individuals can ensure that these things will not be a factor in their lives. Con says that abstinence is a negative force working against teen pregnancy; however, on the contrary it is the BEST birth control against teen pregnancy [1].

==== Contention 3 ====

Supporting abstinence =/= endorsing abstinence-only sex education. I believe that sex education should be about educating individuals on sex: the risks, how to protect yourself from those risks and what to do if you think you're in trouble. Promoting abstinence in no way assumes that one is anti-sex or sex education. Instead, it simply acknowledges the reality that it is the best course of action for many people and understanding that it is not a dangerous or detrimental position to take as the instigator has implied.

==== Contention 4 ====

I'm assuming that the age group Con references when talking about the resolution is teenagers or those under 25. While it is no secret that one's hormones start raging during their teenage years, it is also no secret that teenagers' brains are not fully developed. The part of the brain that inhibits risky behaviors does not develop until one is about 25 years old [2]. Additionally, Michael Bradley - a psychologist and author specializing in teenagers- says U.S. culture tends to view teens as small adults when neurologically they are nothing but large children [3]. In other words, most teenagers lack typical common sense and other maturity factors. Being immature about sex can be dangerous. For one thing, you might not be ready to deal with the repercussions of sex: mental, emotional and physical. For another, a girl in particular might feel pressured into it meaning she will heavily regret her decision and all of the psychological repercussions that go along with that. At this stage, the physical hormones may override the rational ones leaving one to make a decision that could negatively impact their life forever. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for one to want to avoid this endeavor.

==== Contention 5 ====

One who abstains from sex can still get sexual gratification. For one thing, teenagers can and should masturbate pretty regularly. For another, teens can still kiss or practice "heavy petting." There are various ways to orgasm outside of the realm of sex.

==== Contention 6 ===

Many teens value their virginity despite the physical craving for sex. Almost all teens (94 percent) believe that teens should be given a strong message from society to abstain from sex until at least after high school. Also, nearly 70 percent of teens said it is not okay for high school teens to have sex, and two-thirds of all sexually experienced teens said they wished they had waited longer to become sexually active. Moreover, most teens think highly of virginity. In 2003, 73 percent of teens surveyed said they are not embarrassed to admit they are virgins. A 2005 study of youth in grades 7-11 found that engaging in premarital sex often leads to depression. Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in premarital sex are two to three times more likely to be depressed one year later. Teens who engage in premarital sex are also likely to experience regret, guilt, lowered self-respect, fear of commitment and fears about pregnancy and STDs. In addition, they are more likely to commit suicide [4].

=== Contention 7 ====

Kids (teens) can be cruel. Those who have sex at a young age may get a bad reputation, i.e. called a "slut" - especially young women. Abstinence is a way to avoid a negative social stigma. While teens can poke fun at virgins, abstinence implies a WILLINGNESS to abstain from sex therefore negates the idea that one "can't get laid." This is often seen as a virtue or something to respect rather than something to poke fun at.

==== Contention 8 ====

There are many benefits to abstinence including better relationships; couples who wait to have sex have healthier, more trusting relationships, and, if they marry, are less likely to divorce, and generally have better sex lives than those who did not wait. Also, teen girls who abstain from sex until they are older, and limit sexual partners later in life, are less likely to develop cervical cancer or become infertile [5].

==== Conclusion ====

I reserve the right to add more contentions in R2; however, I will leave it at this for now. I feel that I have proven abstinence can be a great method of birth control or alternative to an active sex life for young people. Many people value the things I've mentioned, meaning choosing to abstain from sex probably would not be detrimental to them. There are benefits to being sexually active indeed, though choosing to wait is not something that should be looked down upon or considered harmful. Whether someone should have sex or is ready to have sex is not only subjective in terms of personal evaluation, but on a case by case basis in general. I look forward to Con's response -- thank you and good luck!

[1] http://kidshealth.org...
[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[3] http://www.usatoday.com...
[4] http://www.freerepublic.com...
[5] http://www.teenhelp.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Railsguardian

Con

I thank my opponent for her invigorating response!

I. Refutations to opposing arguments

1. Since Pro accepts the definitions provided, then they should understand that the topic being debated is that and only that of abstinence pertaining to sex only. With that established, I am going to argue how the virginity pledge IS obviously harmful to the group it primarily pertains too. Now, Pro states that "If someone is choosing ... their values." The question I would like to raise is: whose values are actually being suited here? Is it the values of the person who's virginity is being pledged or is this really fulfilling the desire of someone else? Purity 'balls' are events where a daughter pledges her virginity to her father. They are presented as being things of celebration and innocence, for father and daughter to bond over. However, the underlying premise of the balls is that the girl has a responsibility to not only her father, but to another Father --- as in God the Father. Imposed upon them are the beliefs that their virginity is a sacred 'item' that must be preserved until marriage at all costs. But, instead of this being the responsibility of the GIRL to abstain from sex, this ball suggests that it is the FATHER'S and not the girl's responsibility. Who cares if the girl wants to have sex? As long as daddy says no sex until marriage, she cannot think for herself. Is this the DAUGTHER actually abstaining from sex or is it her father pledging his daughter's virginity for her? I believe the latter is the case in this circumstance of abstinence. Now, when the daughter goes to actually engage in the act of sex, wherever, whenever, and with whomever that may be, is her father going to be there? HOPEFULLY not. The act of sex SHOULD be a very close, personal thing between the daughter and a partner of her choosing (let's not even get into hetero or homosexuality here - as far the 'ball' is concerned, the daughter is almost the 'property' of her father until he hands her over to her husband) and her father really should have no say in the matter. So why is it, through this abstention, he chooses when she has sex when she chooses how? Therefore, it may not be through the person's choice, per-say, but the choice of someone else, thus not developing healthy decision making skills in said virginity pledger.. This is, of course, detrimental as far as mental (and personal) growth goes. [1]

2. I do concede the fact that 'barrier' methods of birth control are never 100% effective, but if used carefully and with much caution, they can be just as effective as abstinence in preventing pregnancy and STDs -- and, who says a couple must be married to be faithful and clear of STDs? IF the couple ONLY sleeps with each other, than there is no chance of either one of them contracting an STD. But, with abstinence, we would never find out if that was true. Abstinence and religion (primarily Christianity, it seems) go hand in hand, as evidenced by the entire 'purity ball' example. Now, on a completely serious note, why should this abstinence idea even be taken seriously when, in said religion, a virgin was impregnated by means other than sex -- a.k.a. the Virgin Mary. So honestly, if you are believing in Christianity, than abstinence isn't 100% effective either. And if used properly and with caution, condoms and the 'pill' can be just as effective as abstinence -- and you get the perks of sex too. It really all depends on the SOLE INDIVIDUALS mental readiness as to when they choose to have sex, not anyone else's...or at least that's the healthy reasoning.

3. My opponent states that her endorsement of abstinence does not equal a stance against sex ed. Unfortunately, the new 'sex ed' is steadily becoming abstinence only. Now, what are the downsides of this? Well, kids could then, understandably, figure that, since they took the pledge and aren't going to have sex until marriage, that they shouldn't even bother with birth control at all --- which, according to (http://www.washingtonpost.com...) is primarily what happens in abstinence only education. The source says that, even though they take the pledge, said kids are still just as likely to have sex as kids who don't. Why is this detrimental? Because when the abstinence pledgers go to have sex, they know absolutely nothing about the importance of birth control. And that means an EXTREMELY, extremely, extremely likely chance of having yet another set of teen parents. And that means that their life just changed forever, no matter how they decide to deal with said predicament. Therefore, yes, that is detrimental to their overall health and does add to the category of 'increases teen pregnancies'. and all because of good 'ol abstinence.

4. Since my opponent mentions those hormones and supports the fact that they are not yet fully developed, than who's to say that the pledges are effective. Well, surprise surprise, thanks to things like said hormones and a thing called our society, abstinence pledged DON'T WORK. And since the kids have taken the pledge (as I mentioned above), then they may very well not know about birth control....than the scenario mentioned before will occur. AS pro said, the raging hormones may override the good ones, and with no education of birth control OTHER than the now irrelevant abstinence, than, guess what --- as the before-mentioned source sates, a teen pregnancy will almost defiantly occur. Therefore, by taking the pledge, the pledger is then prohibiting themselves from potentially lifesaving information --- and that is information on birth control, such as condoms and the pill. As Pro has said, then the pressure may very well prove to be too much for our little abstinence-pledger, and then we will have yet another teen mother on our hands. And all thanks to abstinence!

5. Masturbation, according to abstinence's #1 sponsor, Christianity, is a sin. And according to the purity balls, some teens are reported to not even have kissed their partners till their wedding day, thus negating Pro's fifth contention entirely.

6. All of the statistics my opponent presents are exactly what I'm talking about: they SAY this, but there is still no guarantee that ALL of them won't go out and have sex. We just don't know! And when the pledges of abstinence are taken, I again say, that then they have a very limited amount of information pertaining to other methods of birth control, thus, if their will breaks EVEN one time, than we have another set of teenagers with a kid and their lives put on hold. Do you really want to take that risk with abstinence? Yes, abstinence DOES work in some cases, but then again, so do condoms and the pill.

7. Trust me, kids at my school are mocked all the time for their 'pledges', and one of the remarks constantly made is that, yes, that they (the pledgers) are taking the pledge because of their lack of social skills...almost because they are afraid to put themselves out there. However, according to society, in which sex is slammed into kids heads 24/7, being sexy and attractive is the cool thing to be -- i.e.. most of the female pop-stars out there today who are flamboyant with their sexuality. Or just look at music videos, let alone shows, on MTV and VH1. Sex is good, according to them. So, what do they want to be --- made fun of or 'cool'?

8. The entire premise mentioned in Pro's eight contention is based on abstinence that worked --- what if it doesn't (which is more likely the case)? Then where do they go from there? According to (http://www.washingtonpost.com...) abstinence WON'T work... then you have a bigger issue over the heads of the teen couple --- a child.

In conclusion, all signs point to abstinence not helping teens (since it doesn't work) and even may be, yes, detrimental to them overall.

I await Pro's response!

[1] - http://www.purityball.com...
Danielle

Pro

1. In response to my contention that abstinence is in accordance with the values of many teens, Con's response was that many teenagers do not actually want to pledge abstinence, and instead they do so for the sake of other people. He proposed the example of the Purity Ball, for instance, where young girls symbolically pledge their virginity to their biological father and God the father. I'd like to make a few obvious points. First, where do young people's values come from anyway? In addition to their peers, it's usually their family and their faith who influence them. Therefore, Purity Balls represent what a young woman willingly chooses to value due to those influences. In other words, those values would exist with or without the Purity Ball.

Second, you'll notice that Pro hasn't provided an example of young boys who pledge abstinence being "forced" to do so, or rather upholding the values of others. Indeed teens are capable of having their own values. Con cannot say that all teens who choose abstinence do so for the sake of others. When I was in high school, I pledged abstinence to a certain point (until I was ready) for my own sake and what I thought was best for me. Of course my decision was influenced; it is impossible to make an uninfluenced decision about anything. Anyway, extend my argument that abstinence is simply the right course of action for people who hold certain values.

2. Con states, "but if used carefully and with much caution, they [birth control methods] can be just as effective as abstinence in preventing pregnancy and STDs." I'd like to point out that this is mathematically 100% UNTRUE. Abstinence can and will only be the *ONLY* foul-proof method of birth control and protection from STDs! So, when Con writes, "And if used properly and with caution, condoms and the 'pill' can be just as effective as abstinence -- and you get the perks of sex too" this is completely and utterly false. There is no such thing "just as effective as abstinence."

Second, Con asks why Christians would believe that abstinence cannot result in pregnancy when it supposedly happened to the virgin Mary. The answer to this is obviously that this was a miracle; it can happen again though only through divine miraculous intervention. God defies logic and thus can achieve the impossible though human statistics cannot.

Finally Con argues that "It really all depends on the SOLE INDIVIDUALS mental readiness as to when they choose to have sex, not anyone else's." I completely agree with this statement. This statement made by Con supports MY case. I said that abstinence is an acceptable course of action until an individual is ready for sex. Here, Con is seemingly agreeing to this same position.

3. Con states, "My opponent states that her endorsement of abstinence does not equal a stance against sex ed. Unfortunately, the new 'sex ed' is steadily becoming abstinence only." Obviously whether or not some sex-ed courses are becoming abstinence-only has absolutely nothing to do with my position in this debate. During the Bush administration, Republicans did invest or support abstinence-only sex education. However, I am against that type of sex ed as I explained in the last round. Regardless, I still think that abstinence is the appropriate choice for some individuals and thus it is not detrimental.

Another thing that doesn't make sense here is the conflicting logic Con gives about birth control. First he says that many take abstinence pledges and so they "figure that, since they took the pledge and aren't going to have sex until marriage, that they shouldn't even bother with birth control at all." Wait, wut? They are breaking their pledge, sure, but how or why does that translate to not using birth control? Just because they change their mind doesn't mean they should take the risk of unprotected sex. If Con is suggesting that teenagers use this backwards logic then I think it is quite obvious exactly why teenagers are not intelligent enough to be having sex and thus many should choose abstinence!

4. Con's 4th point is once again about a lack of knowledge from little to no sex education. As I said in the last point, I do NOT ENDORSE ABSTINENCE ONLY SEX EDUCATION. I believe sex education is important to those who have taken virginity pledges or not. My fourth point in the last round explained how and why teenagers do not have fully developed brains and rationality senses despite their raging hormones. Con's only counter to this was explaining that hormones sometimes supersede everything else. I agree. That's why sometimes taking abstinence pledges really reinforces one's values. Sometimes they don't work, admittedly, but this debate isn't about the merit of abstinence pledges -- it's about abstinence in general. Once again, teens are not fully developed and aware thus abstinence is the logical choice even if it's one that teens don't often make.

5. Con notes, "Masturbation, according to abstinence's #1 sponsor, Christianity, is a sin." To clarify, it is a sin for men according to the Bible to masturbate because the ejaculation of semen is the release of a potential sperm that could have impregnated an egg. Many theologians suspect that this was because the ancient people who wrote the Bible did not understand fertilization and actually thought that masturbation would "waste potential life." We know now that this is not the case, therefore many Christian sects acknowledge that masturbation is probably not a sin, just as people have realized eating shellfish isn't really a big deal either nor is wearing cotton and polyester at the same time or shaving your beard. Nevertheless, this applies to men only so women can still technically masturbate even according to literalists ;) And! Abstinence is not only a choice for Christian or religious individuals, negating this premise entirely.

Also, Con mentions, "And according to the purity balls, some teens are reported to not even have kissed their partners till their wedding day, thus negating Pro's fifth contention entirely." It should be noted that in no way is my point "negated entirely." I pointed out that many people choose to orgasm in other ways i.e. masturbation or heavy petting to remain abstinent but also receive sexual gratification. Con may have pointed out the OBVIOUS point of not *everyone* choosing these alternatives, but that in no way negates the many people who DO choose those alternatives. A famous example includes Jessica Simpson who remained a virgin until her marriage with Nick Lachey. However, the couple admits that they "dry humped" before marriage [1].

6. My 6th argument gave a whole bunch of statistics about teens and sex. Con did not negate or argue against any of them. Instead, he just said that many people make uninformed decisions in choosing abstinence. I agree. However, Con also notes that this is the RIGHT CHOICE for some, which is my entire point. Abstinence is not "detrimental." It can be a useful tool and perhaps one that many more teens should consider.

7. My 7th point said, "Those who have sex at a young age may get a bad reputation, i.e. called a 'slut' - especially young women. Abstinence is a way to avoid a negative social stigma." Con's response was about how some kids are mocked and teased for their pledges. Again, kids can be very cruel and they will always find an excuse or reason to make fun of someone. However, that doesn't negate the reality that abstinence still offers many benefits and is the right choice for many people despite the reaction from their peers.

8. Con again states that many people take their abstinence pledges back and then don't know how to properly protect themselves from the risks of sex. He repeats this point over and over but I have already said I AM AGAINST ABSTINENCE ONLY SEX ED. Also, abstinence is 100% reliable for those who practice it!

/ Character Space

[1] = Comment Section
Debate Round No. 2
Railsguardian

Con

I thank my opponent for her response!

1. Young people's values are, indeed, derived from people and things around them, and normally things thatthey are involved in or part of on a daily basis. This would indeed be family and faith. But a purity ball doesn't neccesarilly represent the girl's choice, persay, but the influence of her father and the subsequent faith of her family. So is this the choice of the girl or the only option she has been given? Does she even have any other option? Normally, the answer is no. Does forcing a set of beliefs on your young daughter with no disregard for what she may want or what she may want to do seem to be best for her? This is the ultimate 'daddy's little girl' example in the form of a pledge from the girl saying that she is basically the property of the men in her life. Where is the promotion of free thought and making decisions on your own? Independence, anyone? I think not. Therefore, the abstinence is detrimental because it has been imposed on them by the 'family and faith' around them. And since Abstinence has been proven not to work in any sense whatsoever (http://www.washingtonpost.com......), these girls, actually really boys OR girls, that either take part in purity balls or pledge abstinence are being set up for failure on an intellectual level.

That is, indeed, detrimental.

Now, Pro says that teens are CAPABLE of having their own values, but I ask this: where in this lovely scenario is there an example of free thought? Does pledging yourself to the men in your life giving you the chance for free through or to develop values on your own? Not while you are being itemized by a pledge. it doesn't. Really, abstinence PLEDGES aren't the right choice for ANYONE, whether they hold values or not, because they simply don't work, and therefore recklessly endanger the pledgers to STDs and parenthood where they could have been protected by birth control.

As far as my statement on birth control methods, they CAN be as good as abstinence in protecting thier users from STDs or getting pregnant. IF this were untrue as Pro states, then why doesn't someone get an STD or become a parent every time they use a condom? They CAN be just as useful as preventing pregnancy. That is why most people use them AND is also why it is encouraged they be used. And really, as according to (http://www.washingtonpost.com......), abstinence isn't really that effective at all. Birth control: 1. Abstinence: 0. Why? Becuase birth control works.

According to many christians, miracles happen every day. And this specific miracle supposedly happened just as I am writing this arguement here today, so it is therefore, according to the Bible, counted as an occurence that DID occur. Therefore, it is a case in where abstinence AND birth control failed. Please extend that arguement.

In no way, shape, or form does abstinence work for ANYONE becuase, again, according to (http://www.washingtonpost.com......), it doesn't work in general, and also limits the knowledge of the pledger so they do not know of any other birth control method, thus completely destroying its premise entirely. Again, this proves it is detrimental. And that translates into them having unprotected sex because they simply don't know about birth control. Don't take my word for it! Read the study that has the facts ... facts that say abstinence simply fails at its premise entirely.

SINCE hormones supercede everything esle, and since abstinence pledgers tend to be absent of knowledge on birth control, those hormones overpower thier weak pledges and yes, do sometimes lead them to have sex, which TENDS to be unprotected because of abstinence. Therefore, it is detrimental to them because they are now at risk for STDs and pregnacy BECUASE OF ABSTINENCE.

Now, in my opponent's sixth contention, she admits the fact that teens who choose abstinence are uninformed.

"...Con did not negate or argue against any of them. Instead, he just said that many people make uninformed decisions in choosing abstinence. I agree."

Really? You agree that people who choose abstinence are un-informed? And you think that is a good thing? That proves in and of itself how abstinence CAN be detrimental to the group it is normally imposed on. Thank you for supporting my case :) . And never, ever is it the 'right choice' because, again, it simply doesn't work. Therefore it is entirely, truely, wrong. And yes, teens are very very cruel to people whether or not they are sluts, gay, of a different race, or of a different religion. So really, abstinence, to teens, is really only good or bad depending on what views they have either been taught or have learned... well, abstinence will always be good to the pledgers because those beliefs have been hammered SO hard into their head they really have no choice but to agree, so that point, in my opinion, is null and void.

And being against sex ed doesn't negate the fact that the pledgers are uninformed, misguided, and are ultimately being forced into a mistake that could potentially (and most likel) eill ruin their life if they have no outside input besides their controlling, useless pledges.

/ Time, dinner is on the table, headache ...

I await my opponent's tesponse!
Danielle

Pro

Thanks, Con, for the response. Back to the debate! :)

1. Once again, Con keeps relying on the fact that purity balls do not represent the values of girls who choose to participate in them. He says, "But a purity ball doesn't neccesarilly represent the girl's choice, persay, but the influence of her father and the subsequent faith of her family." I already responded to this entire contention under Point 1 in the last round. I said that Purity Balls represent what a young woman willingly chooses to value due to those influences (family, friends and faith). In other words, those values would exist with or without the Purity Ball because one's values typically derive from those 3 sources of influence. Con acknowledges this reality, yet does not refute my argument at all whatsoever. Again, he just repeats the same exact argument from R2 which I have already refuted in the last round. Please extend my arguments from there. In short, Con argues, "abstinence is detrimental because it has been imposed on them by the 'family and faith' around them" though my point was that there is no way around this reality! Every single person is influenced by their friends, family, faith and the media including Con himself. Therefore there is no way to avoid one's values influencing another.

Furthermore, Con asserts that "Abstinence has been proven not to work in any sense whatsoever." This is once again 100% FALSE. Some people do indeed practice abstinence, therefore saying that it doesn't work in any way whatsoever is nothing more than a blatant lie. This cannot be backed up with facts or evidence (quite the opposite actually!) and Con's link to the Washington Post article was broken to boot. However even if it wasn't, at best it would say that abstinence PLEDGES were likely to fail (key word: likely - not definitely) though the act of abstinence itself is not impossible to achieve. Additionally, Con says that not going through with an abstinence pledge affects one's failure on an intellectual level. Uh, how? Con questions, "Pro says that teens are CAPABLE of having their own values, but I ask this: where in this lovely scenario is there an example of free thought?" This is a loaded question if I've ever seen one. The answer is that there is NO SUCH THING as "free thought." All thoughts, actions, values, etc. are derived from others and previous thoughts, actions, values, etc.

2. Con continues with his false assertions when he insists that birth control methods are as just as effective as abstinence. Once again, this is a BLATANT LIE. Abstinence is the *ONLY* method of birth control that is 100% effective. Any other form of birth control runs the risk of not working. Con asks (and this is quite ridiculous), "why doesn't someone get an STD or become a parent every time they use a condom?" First off, about 2% of condoms break in general. Further, "Studies also indicate that condoms slip off the penis in about 1-5% of acts of vaginal intercourse and slip down about 3-13% of the time" [1]. The point here is that condoms are indeed VERY effective; however, they are not 100% foul-proof -- abstinence is the ONLY FOUL PROOF METHOD OF BIRTH CONTROL (and contracting STDs). I have said this repeatedly and even cited and linked sources saying the same thing [2], [3], etc. so you have no reason to accept Con's flat-out lie. Overall, this entire contention fails so please extend all of my arguments on Point 1 from previous rounds.

3. Extend my argument (Con completely ignored it) that I am pro-abstinence in cases where it's the right choice for the individual, though I am against abstinence-only sex education.

4. Con's faulty reasoning becomes crystal clear in his response to my fourth contention. He writes, "SINCE hormones supercede everything esle, and since abstinence pledgers tend to be absent of knowledge on birth control, those hormones overpower thier weak pledges and yes, do sometimes lead them to have sex, which TENDS to be unprotected because of abstinence. Therefore, it is detrimental to them because they are now at risk for STDs and pregnacy BECUASE OF ABSTINENCE." Clearly he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about; the arguments just don't follow. Yes, I agree that sometimes hormones override rationality. And yes, I agree that it's important to know about sex. So, when Con writes that people who take abstinence pledges don't know enough about sex, he makes TWO MAJOR MISTAKES. First and foremost, I've already explained how I think sex education is important to EVERYONE - even those who take abstinence pledges - so that point alone completely negates his entire contention. Second, Con mistakenly accuses abstinence itself of being "wrong" however what's really wrong is the lack of knowledge and not abstinence (the lack of sex) itself!!!

5. Con has completely ignored my fifth contention which talked about alternatives to sex, and abstinence pledges applying not only to religious individuals. Please extend all of my arguments.

6. Con writes, "Now, in my opponent's sixth contention, she admits the fact that teens who choose abstinence are uninformed." This is completely UNTRUE. I really think it's abusive for Con to keep manipulating Pro's arguments. I have never said that. I agree that many people who make abstinence pledges wrongly choose not to learn about sex in general. However, I've pointed out throughout this entire debate how some INFORMED and EDUCATED teens make the choice not to have sex (abstain) until they are ready. That is the choice that I made and one I know a lot of teens willingly choose. So, right here Con's assertion that anyone who chooses abstinence is uninformed is again a manipulation of the truth and cannot be backed up. This logic does not apply to ALL people who choose abstinence.

Con also completely manipulated my argument and once again ignored all of the facts and statistics I presented in my favor. He writes, "And never, ever is [abstinence] the 'right choice' because, again, it simply doesn't work. Therefore it is entirely, truely, wrong." This argument, honestly, is full of LOL. Con absolutely 100% can NOT prove that abstinence "does not work." First, he keeps confusing the act of abstinence with the pledge of abstinence. Second, many people choose abstinence and are happy with their decision. These declarations without a shred of truth to them are getting annoying.

7. Con completely ignored my 7th point; please extend it.

8. In the last round I wrote, "Con again states that many people take their abstinence pledges back and then don't know how to properly protect themselves from the risks of sex. He repeats this point over and over but I have already said I AM AGAINST ABSTINENCE ONLY SEX ED. Also, abstinence is 100% reliable for those who practice it!"

Con's response was, "And being against sex ed doesn't negate the fact that the pledgers are uninformed, misguided, and are ultimately being forced into a mistake that could potentially (and most likel) eill ruin their life if they have no outside input besides their controlling, useless pledges." As you can see, his response was ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT to my point (just as all of his others were). First, he said "being against sex ed..." but nowhere did I ever, ever say that I was against sex-ed. I have been all for it. Second, he talks about how those who pledge abstinence are misguided and pledging abstinence sometimes means choosing to be uninformed about sex, which can have detrimental effects. Well, obviously those detrimental effects can ONLY OCCUR if... the people have sex! In other words, if they actually practiced abstinence (no sex!) then none of those risks would apply meaning my point is actually upheld.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.avert.org...
[2] http://www.greattowait.com...
[3] http://www.boston.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Railsguardian

Con

I, for the final time, thank my opponent for her response.

Pro states that "... In other words ... refute my argument at all whatsoever." Your argument is that this would be happening anyway, correct? Whether or not they were involved at all in purity balls? I only have one question to refute this: exactly, how do you KNOW that it would be happening anyway? Do you have PROOF of this? The argument that Pro is talking about basically says "They would be doing it anyway, with or without the peer pressure."Unfortunately, this is all speculation. We really do have NO idea what these young women would be choosing to do with their lives, virginity, anything if it were up to them. Why? Well, they've already been pressured by their family, faith, and possibly friends into doing something that is DESIGNED for failure. But don't take my word for it. Just ask the professional researchers who conducted a study and found that it doesn't work it all. That isn't speculation. That is fact. And the facts show that abstinence just plain DOES NOT work. Therefore, I say, the conclusion can be reached that it is, in fact, detrimental. [1] Now, Pro says that "Every single person is influenced by ... values influencing another."

Oh yes. The media.

See, we ALL know that the MEDIA is SO pro-abstinence. I mean, everyone is running around with purity rings on, right? Wrong. The media is DRENCHED in sexual imagery. [2] According to this source, the media has a large part in prompting teens who are exposed to these sexual images to yes, surprisingly, have sex. Now, with good old abstinence as a teenager's guide, when they are exposed to all of this blatant sexual propaganda and those "raging hormones" Pro keeps referencing do indeed OVERPOWER their week pledges, those sex-having teens are going to be clueless about condoms and will have no idea what they are doing THANKS to said abstinence [1]. See, it goes like this:

Sex-drenched media + clueless, abstinence-loving teen = pressure

Pressure + clueless teen = sexual desire

Sexual desire + raging hormones = sex

Sex + Abstinence + sex-drenched teen = UN-protected sex

Unprotected sex = child (this is a fact)

Therefore,

Abstinence ≠ effective birth control

AND therefore,

Abstinence = detrimental.

And, on top of that, even if people practice abstinence, THAT doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing to do, just like being a total sexual junkie isn't good either. See, the whole point of my argument is not to promote going out and sleeping with everyone that comes by. No. It's just to say that everyone should have their own control over what they do, NOT be pressured into abstinence by their so called "loving family" and be set up for failure. They should have the decision on when to have sex or not, not some cheep plastic ring. Teens should be educated on the dangers and be aware of the facts, but by pressuring abstinence on their sweet little heads, it actually causes them to have MORE sex, not less. All that should happen is that they should be educated and then THEY should make the choice, not their friends, their God, or their family. This literal BABYING that abstinence is says that they have to be dependant on their family. Well, as I said before, their FATHER isn't going to be in the bedroom, their CLERGYMAN isn't going to be there, and I personally don't think God wants to watch that. Daddy isn't going to be calling out tips from the sideline, you know? And abstinence literally is somewhat of a retardant when it comes to sex because. Teens most likely will be uneducated about the dangers and, with abstinence, you will probably have sex BEFORE you were really ready. And ABSTINENCE is the thing to blame. So, I say we must not encourage sex, but let all teens make the decision themselves. NOT their faith, family, or friends. and DEFNINETLY not the failure known as abstinence. And whether you take a 'pledge or not, the only difference is you aren't wearing a ring. NONE of the before-mentioned pressures will just magically go away. They're still there. And, more likely than not, that person who is abstaining will STILL have sex, just a a pledger would [1], so really, WHAT is the difference?I personally see none since the result is the same: failed birth control method.

A.K.A., abstinence.

Oh, and me saying that abstinence doesn't work at all is pretty much the truth. I source [1] as my "FALSE"method of pointing out the obvious. And yes, that does count as "Facts or evidence". And, as far as intellect is concerned, it DOES affect them if they do not know how to stay safe. THAT's how. That PROBABLY leads to another couple of teen parents. Again, this all stands from the smoke-and-mirrors birth control method that we call "Abstinence" which is really a misnomer: the only thing you are abstaining from is being safe by partaking in it, more often than not. and yes, again, this IS detrimental. But this isn't speculation, people. This is a fact.

Just ask Bristol Palin!

Palin, you see, who just happens to be the daughter of former Gov. Sarah Palin, vowed abstinence. So, I guess she stayed 'pure' till marriage, right? NOT exactly. She became a teen mother as SO many others that pledge abstinence [3]. And experts, according to this report, say that all these good old abstinence pledges will be abandoned WITHIN. FIVE. YEARS. Effective? No. Detrimental? Yes. Failure? Most definitely. It says Palin re-pledged to remain abstinent, but by then the damage was done: another child trying to be a mother by having faith in an unrealistic goal. And that goal was abstinence. Therefore, even if she keeps this pledge, it already failed once - who says it won't fail again? And as I said before, the damage is already done! She's only 19! And abstinence, is to blame.

Then Pro goes on to speculate how abstinence is one hundred percent effective, which is actually the only BLATANT LIE here. There is a reason why people use condoms - if used properly and with other methods of birth control, it CAN be, for that couple that uses it, AS effective (actually MORE effective) than abstinence in preventing STDs and pregnancy. Oh, and you get the benefits of sex as well. There is also: Spermicide, the Pill, diaphragm, today sponge, patches, NuvaRing, etc.

And these CAN be as good as abstinence IF used properly AND if you are educated. That's why they exist in the first place! Oh, and the major difference between these things and abstinence (besides they work and abstinence doesn't) is that abstinence is an idea, not a thing. These material things are what determine whether you get pregnant or contract and STD or not. There are, therefore, many levels of prevention if these things are used in unison to prevent pregnancy and STDs, where as with abstinence, you cannot both be abstinent and use a condom at the same time. It breaks the pledge if you have sex AT ALL, so if the ONE barrier falls, you are in for some trouble. Because, then, even though they won't get pregnant if they break the vow, it will still make them feel as if they are a failure (even though the only thing that fails was the idea of abstinence itself) and THAT would disappoint their family, thus making them the black sheep who broke the pledge and committed a sin, thus ripping apart their relationships and mental health! That's horrible! Especially when it's the hypocrites that put the poor kid there in the first place are the ones shunning them.

And the only thing full of "LOL" here is the argument by Pro that this works in the slightest.

It doesn't.

Abstinence = Failure.

Failure = Detrimental.

Abstinence = Detrimental.

Thank you!

Vote CON!

[1] - http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[2] - http://www.cbsnews.com...
[3] - http://abcnews.go.com...
Danielle

Pro

Con begins by saying that we do not know for sure what a person's values really are (where they are influenced). Because this is true, he has just self-defeated his own argument. He claimed that Purity Balls and abstinence pledges reflect the values of the parents, the church, etc. and not the individual making them. But if we cannot know one's own influences, as Con says right here -- "We really do have NO idea what these young women would be choosing to do with their lives, virginity, anything if it were up to them" -- then his whole idea about abstinence pledges not reflecting the views of the one making it fail entirely. Congratulations, Con. You just defeated your own argument :)

Next, Con keeps repeating the same tired argument (zZzZzZz) when he says, "But don't take my word for it. Just ask the professional researchers who conducted a study and found that it doesn't work it all. That isn't speculation. That is fact." Once again, it does not matter if abstinence pledges fail. Con can cite all of the sources in the world indicating that abstinence PLEDGES fail, and yet that would have absolutely nothing to do with the debate at hand. Once again (for the umpteenth time), this debate is not about the failure rate of abstinence pledges but abstinence itself. Con's burden is to prove that abstinence - not having sex - is detrimental. So far all he keeps saying (and citing and sourcing) is the fact that people go back on their abstinence pledges. This does not help his case at all; people who go back on their abstinence pledges are not practicing abstinence therefore this is entirely irrelevant to the debate. I've repeated this consistently Rounds 1 through 5.

Next, Con talks about the media and makes sarcastic claims about how the media promotes sex. This, he claims, makes an abstinence pledge nearly impossible to keep to which I would 100% agree. However, once again, this has absolutely nothing to do with the resolution nor his burden. Yes - abstinence pledges are hard to keep. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. Does this prove that abstinence (refraining from sex) is harmful? No. Here is a step by step analysis of how Con's arguments and rationale completely fail and have failed throughout this entire debate -- Con writes:

Sex + Abstinence + sex-drenched teen = UN-protected sex

This whole equation completely fails. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SEX + ABSTINENCE. SEX + ABSTINENCE = NO ABSTINENCE. Abstinence (which we have discussed and defined) means to refrain from sex. So when Con says "Sex + Abstinence" he completely negates the idea of abstinence all together. If one has sex, they are not abstaining. One cannot be abstinent and have unprotected sex. If they have unprotected sex, then they're not abstinent. Period. Not being abstinent has nothing to do with the resolution since the resolution is indeed about abstinence. Therefore, if all of the harms or detriments Con mentions have to do with unprotected sex, then that has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RESOLUTION because if one is abstinent, then there is no unprotected sex to be had. Once they have sex, they are not abstinent therefore the harms from sex cannot reflect on the harms from abstinence. There are no harms to abstinence (only failed abstinence pledges).

Next, Con writes, "And, on top of that, even if people practice abstinence, THAT doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing to do, just like being a total sexual junkie isn't good either." This is a new argument which according to debate conduct, standards and rules is not allowed to be introduced in the final round. This is what Con should have been arguing throughout this entire debate. Still, I'll say that while abstaining might not be the right or healthy choice for everyone, it is indeed helpful to some, and Con hasn't proven why it is HARMFUL and instead only focused on why it is not practical.

Con writes, "Teens should be educated on the dangers and be aware of the facts, but by pressuring abstinence on their sweet little heads, it actually causes them to have MORE sex, not less." This is a statistic that is not backed up with any source or fact, therefore we have no reason to accept it. Further, if one PRACTICES abstinence (instead of just promises it), then once again there is no sex to be had. I understand that people tend to break their pledges, that those who tend to break their pledges are uneducated on sex, and thus in the end there can be damaging effects. However as I've explained consistently and repeatedly throughout these past 5 rounds and in the obnoxious comment section sub-debate, PROMISING ABSTINENCE =/= ABSTINENCE. Con's points about the failed promises of abstinence and those harms have absolutely nothing to do with actually practicing abstinence itself.

Con states, "Then Pro goes on to speculate how abstinence is one hundred percent effective, which is actually the only BLATANT LIE here." Actually, Con saying that this is a blatant lie is indeed a blatant lie. NOT HAVING SEX means you cannot have any of the harms from sex!!! Promising virginity and then going back on your word, and then suffering the harms, is only the failure of an abstinence PLEDGE and not abstinence itself. This is common sense. Con's arguments are repetitive and laughable to say the least.

For instance, Con mentions Bristol Palin and how she promised abstinence but then got pregnant. This, he says, shows how abstinence can be harmful. However, anyone with any rationality whatsoever can understand that if Bristol Palin practices abstinence, SHE. WOULD. NOT. HAVE. GOTTEN. PREGNANT. Clearly she did not practice abstinence, so abstinence wasn't harmful. The unprotected sex act was harmful. Con says "abstinence was to blame" for the pregnancy but clearly you cannot get pregnant from not having sex (abstinence). Therefore, it is impossible to blame abstinence and to do so speaks volumes about one's understanding of the definition of abstinence. For a reminder, see Round 1.

In conclusion, Con has ignored several of my arguments. I have numbered them numerically from 1 - 8 but Con conveniently ignored the structure and subsequently my arguments themselves. While he tries to insult my intelligence, he fails miserably and in the process only demonstrates his own incapacity to properly construct a debate. The resolution specifically reads "Pre-marital abstinence," and in R1 (the opening argument), Con merely states that abstinence (not having sex) is harmful.

Throughout this debate, he has failed miserably at demonstrating how abstinence harmful. Instead, all he has proven is that many people go back on their virginity pledges (which is obvious and irrelevant) and list the negative repercussions of unprotected sex. Clearly unprotected sex can be detrimental; however, unprotected sex is not abstinence. In fact, it is the opposite of abstinence since abstinence refers to not having sex at all by Con's own definition and standard. So here you can see that Con has not fulfilled his burden in the slightest in addition to ignoring and failing to respond to my arguments. I think a vote for the PRO is most obviously in order.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
71 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Railsguardian 4 years ago
Railsguardian
Ah well ... this could've been done mounds better, but hey - it was closer than I thought it was going to be!
Posted by LLAMA 4 years ago
LLAMA
Yes, agreed.
Posted by Danielle 4 years ago
Danielle
lol
Posted by Railsguardian 4 years ago
Railsguardian
Enough of this. Just let the voting play out.
Posted by Railsguardian 4 years ago
Railsguardian
What a surprise!

On every one of your debates, you give yourself seven points!

Seriously! Go to ANY ONE of theLwerd's debate,s and she v-bombs for herself!

You really are a glaring, glaring hypocrite, you know?
Posted by Railsguardian 4 years ago
Railsguardian
@theLwerd

*facepalm*

If you want b!tchy, then how about you go back and look at all that WONDERFUL arguing you did throughout the entire debate, how you continually say that you don't need facts, and keep saying 'lol' like it somehow makes you sound funny or smart or whatever. For the love of God, I am REALLY glad that there is only one of YOU in the world. And you are the one who did the bombing here - you, Vi-Veri, and two others voted all for you in this debate! And what's your excuse? That they "generally believe that I earned all of those points"? Well? Why can't the people who 'v-bombed' for me believe the same thing? FOUL-proof? LOL? :) ? We are having a debate! We aren't in a chat room here!

And you say you can prove all of those points ... um... just like you can prove abstinence is non-detrimental without providing facts, right? I only have one thing to say to that:

What color is the sky on your planet?

You CAN (almost) prove:

That you had better spelling and grammar.

You, however, can NOT prove:

You had better arguments (all you did is sprout random gibberish about masturbation, which I find somewhat ... odd.)
You had better conduct (dear Lord you are an angry person!)
You had better SOURCES (you yourself said you don't have to provide facts, so heck, why provide any sources, right?)

6 to me. 1 to you.

And I shouldn't debate for a living?!?!?!

Really? Who are you to get to say ANYTHING that I should or should not do? You aren't God! Just because you have multiple wins on this site rooted in vote bombing, lying, manipulating, and trashing doesn't make you a good PERSON! Heck, it doesn't even make you a good debater! Next time you tell me to not debate for a living, how bout you stop lying, learn to debate formally, stop sounding like you can't speak, and become a nice person!

But that will never happen - why take a look at yourself when you can just yell at everyone else, right?

For God sakes, GROW UP!
Posted by Xer 4 years ago
Xer
IP is short for ISP.

Classic.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 4 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
Do you even know what an IP is?

Its short for ISP, meaning Internet service provider."
This is so spectacularly fail. ISP is already abbreviated.

IP is Intenet Protocol. IP is indeed different for every computer (just about, some exceptions exist), but ISP is not-- AOL is an ISP. Multiple computers use AOL. Etc.
Posted by Danielle 4 years ago
Danielle
Frank is your friend who doesn't vote based on the arguments, and instead just votes for you because (a) you're his friend, (b) he doesn't like me, or any of your opponents. That's v-bombing even if you gt someone else to make an account and do it. Also, Llama most definitely did v-bomb me LOL. He gave a nice little comment about my one spelling error and then gave you spelling and grammar points even though mine was far better than yours. Voting against me because he didn't like my comment is not voting fairly on the debate itself, so he DID bomb me lol thank you for self-defeating your own argument (don't debate for a living - that's my piece of advice to you). Also, I did not v-bomb for myself. I generally believe that I earned all of those points. I can prove that you didn't. A simple copypasta of all of your errors from a Word document would show that you did not earn all of those points.
Posted by Railsguardian 4 years ago
Railsguardian
I'm sorry, I can't help myself:

Do you even know what an IP is?

Its short for ISP, meaning Internet service provider.

Its different for every computer.

Frank37's and mine are different.

We talk online at the same time to each other.

He even posts commments about how glaringly hypoctirical you are.

And your actions do speak louder than words.

And Llama didn't v-bomb. YOU V-bombed. Llama changed his vote after you so rudely and blatantly attacked him in the comments.

THAT you can't manipulate because THAT is cemented in the comments section.

Good luck twisting THAT one ... like you twisted the entire debate.
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 11 through 15 records.
Vote Placed by HopeBush 4 years ago
HopeBush
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