Social Psychology Sexual Activity and Marriage

There is a certain attitude in modern society which is pervasive in almost all realms of the social sphere and consists of the basic misguided belief or premise that sexual activity does not need to be saved for marriage.  In past times, there was little to no confusion about why it was best for people to save the sharing of their mutual sexuality for the marriage relationship.  The idea of committing to another person was not frightening, yet considered to be an honor, something worthy of investment.  Marriage is the supreme marker of commitment, in which a man and a woman together proclaim before their God and community that they desire to have their lives mingled together until the end of their lives on Earth.  This bold and assuring statement of devotion and security for both man and woman has come under increasing ridicule and attack, especially in the past 50 years.  Now, there is often the widespread notion that marriage is not very important and that sex is something which can be used without much forethought.  This creates very real psychological, emotional, and physical dangers for the people who adopt this attitude and engage in these behaviors.  When people engage in sexual relationships before the defining decision of marriage, there is the very real possibility that both people are being used and potentially discarded, and the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, perpetual single life, and estranged relations between men and women are a fragmenting element of society.

Attitude Formation in Society
There is a wide range of ways in which various elements of society form and contribute to the attitude that sexual activity does not belong within the marriage relationship (Schneider, Gruman,  Coutts, 2005).  The media is particularly good at setting an agenda for shaping the issues people believe are important, and it is well known that business sharks profit from people who make poor decisions.  By advertising products such as artificial birth control in the form of pills and condoms and making money off of people who are not married and familiar with natural family planning, the supposed health industry is making a profit off of people who do not know the meaning of chastity and continence.  The sexual relationship is often framed as a wild party and one night stand, which needs the supposed protection of pills and condoms.  Other sources of social influence can be family and friends, with the family being the place in which initial attitude formation develops.  It is particularly sad when a parent frames the sexual relationship as something which is not sacred, setting the agenda for a child to grow into an adult who does not cherish their gift of virginity to their future spouse and promoting the incapability of the son or daughter to know the meaning of full commitment and devotion in the romantic relationship.

Attitude Changes and Measurement
The best way to promote positive attitude changes and to measure the effectiveness of the appeal for people to save the sexual relationship for marriage is to define a clear objective and to effectively analyze whether or not the objective has been achieved.  In the case of changing the attitude that sexual activity does not belong solely in marriage to the idea that sexual activity does belong solely in marriage, it would be effective to assess the response of people who receive positive sexual formation in the form of persuasion to save sexual activity for marriage.  When older children and teenagers receive healthy sexual education, noting the sanctity of marriage and natural family planning, these young people are more likely to remain chaste until marriage, establish devoted marriages, and practice natural family planning with their committed spouses.


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