Sexual abstinence is the practice of voluntarily refraining from intercourse and usually other sexual activity.
In the Rwandan culture, young people are expected to abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage and to remain faithful to their spouse thereafter. Therefore remaining pure in the Rwandan culture means sexual abstinence for unmarried people.
Decades ago, it was a lot easier to abstain, unlike today when the decision to abstain from sex, either until marriage or until you are in a long term committed relationship, is often easier said than done.
Presently, it seems as though sex is everywhere which makes it difficult to abstain. There are many different social forces at play that challenge a person who has decided to be abstinent.
In the past, people married at a much younger age which meant that remaining a virgin until marriage involved putting off sex for only a few years. Today, lots of things have to get done—finish secondary school, go to university, start a career and save some money, before one gets married.
Those who have decided to abstain from sex until marriage probably look at as much as 15 plus years before they finally get to fulfill that curiosity. In the past, courtships and engagements did not last that long.
Today, it is a prerequisite for one to be financially established before they get married.
That’s why many couples decide to move in together before marriage, mostly because of financial reasons since it’s cheaper for two people to split the bills. Co-habiting and staying clean and pure is almost impossible—in fact, it’s a practical joke!
Another thing that once deterred young people from having sex was the fear of getting pregnant: Today’s availability of contraceptives has banished that fear away, it’s not only easy but also cheap to prevent pregnancy from occurring.
Another reason that makes abstinence difficult is that everywhere you look, there is sex: on various TV channels, movies, magazines and even on the radios everything has become sexualized.
As a result, teens have become preoccupied with sex and in their eyes, it appears as if everybody else is doing it except for them who are abstaining.
‘Just do it’, has become the biggest source of pressure for teens. If you feel pressurized to get down, remind yourself of why you have chosen abstinence and evaluate how you feel about abstinence in relation to these other pressures.
That way, you are in a better position to do the right thing.