The Issue of Virginity
One of the most important steps that a person takes in their life can leave both negative and positive memories, pain and pleasure, and pride and shame. The subject of one's virginity is something that can be influenced by many paradigms of life. One researcher suggests, "Symbolic interaction theory suggests that anticipatory socialization is important in the transition from one developmental stage to another" ( Herold and Goodwin 109) . By this he meant that in sexual instances, when people socialize about the pleasantness of sex, this might motivate an individual to seek those pleasures therefore, making that person anticipate those outcomes. Keeping one's virginity may also be influenced by religion, peer pressure, peer surroundings, and sense of pride. Contrary to the belief that only adolescent girls are conflicted with their choice of chastity, more and more adult men and women are as well. A lot of people are putting off sex, and not because they can't get a date. They've decided to wait, and they're proud of their chastity, not embarrassed by it. Suddenly, virgin geek is giving way to virgin chic (Newsweek, October 17, 1994, p.59) Researchers have accumulated an extensive collection of articles based on the sexuality of adolescents, but yet have failed to really do extensive research on the reasons for these sexual choices of young adults. Because of this reason, I believe that the study the causes for virginity between people of all ages would not only be interesting, but substantial as well.
In reviewing many articles about virgins of all different contexts, there were consistent findings showing that gender differences were an important factor in keeping one's virginity. Women are more likely than men to feel less pressured into giving up their virginity. Also, even though women's reasons for not having sex were more passionate ( i.e.; waiting for love, commitment) the number one reason for keeping virginity amongst male and females, was " I'm waiting for the right one". This indicates that many people are just waiting for the so-called " perfect person" to sweep them off their feet.
Sprecher and Regan found that apparently, both men and women in their sample desired sex, but abstained from it because they required an "appropriate" reason to become sexually active ( e.g., the "right" person) ; sought to avoid some real, potentially negative consequences of sexual intercourse ( e.g., unplanned pregnancy, disease); and were attempting to act in service of their personal beliefs ( " College Virgins" 11 ) . Overall, the ratings of these reasons were very similar for men and women. However, they did find that gender differences were given to many of these reasons. The virgin women participants were more concerned than their male counterparts with interpersonal reasons for their virginity ( i.e., not enough love or not having met the right person) (Sprecher and Regan 12). They believe that the reason for this...