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2006 Abstinence Essay Contest 3rd Place

Joshua Olmsted, a 9th grader at Eastern Wayne High School is presented with 3rd place by Kristin Mcintosh-Tri of the Wayne County Health Department Health Education Program. Joshua will be a rising sophomore at Eastern Wayne High School in the 2006-2007 school year.

He received a $300 college scholarship, $50 gift certificate to Berkeley Mall, $5 gift certificate to McDonalds, a T-Shirt that says "I'm worth waiting for", and a certificate of Recognition for 3rd Place.


ABSTINENCE

Today's society places so much emphasis on safe sex due to the increase in sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, casual sex can be as life threatening as playing Russian roulette. There is a better choice that involves no risk at all. The answer is abstinence or no sex. A true commitment to abstinence prior to marriage will result in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding unplanned pregnancies, and developing a greater sense of self-control and respect.

Abstinence is a way of life that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Society is always advocating the idea of safe sex when, in fact, there is no guarantee that any form of protection is 100% safe. Currently, all protective devices are manmade and there is always the risk of human error either in the proper use of the method selected, or the construction of the protective method used. At a time when more and more people are being diagnosed with incurable and/or potentially fatal diseases due to casual sex, abstinence prior to marriage is the only answer to protecting one's self from such diseases. It is also a way to ensure that when someone finally selects their life partner, they will be able to assure them that because of a previous commitment to abstinence they are pure and healthy. If both people have made that same commitment, it greatly decreases the risk of any future health problems for the couple due to sexually transmitted diseases. In order for a person to maintain a healthy lifestyle, safe sex is not a choice. The only answer is no sex, in other wards abstinence.

In continuing, unplanned or unwanted pregnancies are also a result of casual sex. As with safe sex, there is no method of birth control presently marketed that is 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy. Again, the only absolute way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy is to remain a virgin and abstain from intercourse. So many teenage lives are adversely impacted by an unwanted pregnancy. Teen mothers and fathers are often forced to quit high school and begin employment to support their new family. The jobs that they obtain are typically low income and leave very little room for much advancement: If the father refuses to accept responsibility, the teenage mother is often times forced to live off welfare with little chance of changing the cycle. The only method of birth control that works all the time is to abstain from sexual intercourse, abstinence!

For teenagers in today's sex-oriented society, a commitment to abstinence is extremely difficult. They are constantly being bombarded by sexual images through all sources of media. Technology and the Internet have added to the opportunity to be exposed to sexual material. Throw in the power of peer pressure and the chance of abstinence is almost a lose, lose situation. However, if one is brought up in a family that values self-control, good morals, and self-respect, there is a greater chance that a choice to abstain will be made. In addition, the schools are now involved in character education and stress self-control as a positive character trait. Teachers often encourage their students to exercise self-control and have respect for both themselves and their bodies. A teenager who develops a great deal of self-control and respect is one, who will decide to make a commitment to abstinence.

Finally; society can choose to advocate for safe sex using manmade methods of protection. While the only true answer to safe sex is abstinence. If abstinence is the answer, then the result will be someone who maintains their personal health, avoids unplanned pregnancies, and demonstrates self-control and respect.