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Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Also Pro-Abstinence!

— Posted by Kara (May 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm)

Did you know that Martin Luthur King Jr. was against premarital sex? I didn’t know until recently. Evidently, Martin Luther King Jr. said this in a monthly advice column for Ebony Magazine (1957-1958):

I think you should hold firm to the principle of premarital virginity. The problems created by premarital sex relationships are far greater than the problems created by premarital virginity. The suspicion, fears, and guilt feelings generated by premarital sex relations are contributing factors to the present breakdown of the family. Real men still respect purity and virginity within women. If a man breaks a relationship with you because you would not allow him to participate in the sexual act, you can be assured that he did not love you from the beginning.

This validates a lot of what I’ve read, as well as what I’ve written in chastity/sexuality posts. One risks so much more with premarital sex than abstinence! It’s not merely a sexual health issue (STDs, etc.) but is also a psychological issue.

Fear–isn’t that the reason many are tempted to have premarital sex? A person will worry that if he/she doesn’t have sex, he/she won’t be able to become “good” at it; if he/she doesn’t have sex then their girlfriend/boyfriend will break up with them; he/she fears being considered as “prudes” or “frigid,” and dozens of other fears all seem to have a part in pressuring people, particularly youth, into having sex in order to “fit in.”

Premarital sex causes suspicions. How often have you heard someone sexually active complaining to you that they fear their significant other is cheating on them? I suspect that suspicions have also fueled all of the widespread, unfair categorizations that don’t apply to everyone, i.e, “men are after only one thing.”

Premarital sex causes guilt, and not only in the classic sense of “my parents are going to kill me.” This guilt isn’t often portrayed in mainstream media, but hints of it do surface, such as when a character in a movie or show regrets losing his or her virginity because they gave it to the “wrong one” or it was “a bad experience,” or when a character is dumped even after having sex with their significant other. So many times we hear of people who regret having sex, or feel bad about it–not always, of course– but this guilt occurs often enough to be a legitimate effect of premarital sex.

I particularly agree that Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Real men still respect purity and virginity within women. If a man breaks a relationship with you because you would not allow him to participate in the sexual act, you can be assured that he did not love you from the beginning.” A true, chivalrous man will respect purity and virginity–especially because these are often the marks of a virtuous woman, and a real man shouldn’t have to feel that to “be a man” he has to have sex, just like a woman shouldn’t have to feel that to be considered a “woman” she has to be sexually active. A true man will respect the wishes of the woman he loves.

I get frustrated how often people don’t consider that final part of Dr. King’s quote. If someone breaks up with you–or threatens to do so–because you won’t given them sex, then they don’t love you and they have never loved you. Trying emotionally blackmail someone into having sex is exploitation and manipulation for selfish ends, not loving ends! Love asks what you can do for someone, not what you can get from them.

How often does someone give in to demands for sex, only to still lose that person anyway? Why should someone stay in a destructive relationship where someone demands something from the other? Why give your body to someone that doesn’t even love you for your whole self and isn’t willing to commit to “forever” before even daring to accept a gift you can give only once?

Like Dr. King said, more problems are caused by premarital sex than premarital virginity. There is nothing wrong with virgins getting married, or someone choosing from this day forward to abstain from sex until marriage. If you think that staying a virgin will ruin your chances at a happy and satisfying marriage, then please refer to my other post, “Dispelling Myths About Chastity.”

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I encourage you to subscribe to Walter B. Hoye II’s weekly “Conflict of Interest” column, where I got this information about Martin Luther King Jr. and other updates in the fight to end abortion. “Is there a ‘Conflict of Interest’ within the Black community and among her leaders? Walter Hoye’s weekly column entitled: “Conflict of Interest” examines the abortion debate from an African-American’s perspective with a Judeo Christian Worldview ().” Sign-up here.

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2 Comments on “Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Also Pro-Abstinence!”

Please Note: Visitor comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Generations for Life or our parent organization, the Pro-Life Action League.

  1. Alexander Helphand says:

    Is it really realistic to push a program of abstinence when even someone of unquestionable courage and moral rectitude as Dr. King failed to remain faithful to his wife?

    Comment posted May 25th, 2011 at 10:42 am
  2. Roxie says:

    Alexander,
    Is it realistic for an illiterate man to want his child to learn to read?
    Is it realistic for a recovering addict to wish sobriety and good living for his family and loved ones and his society?
    Is it realistic for the generation who lived up to the slogan, “if it feels good, do it”, to pray, and work for the young to have the blessings that come from spiritual qualities, such as charitable love, patience, joyfulness, purity, courage, justice, strength, faithfulness, perseverance and limitless more qualities?

    Comment posted April 10th, 2012 at 1:50 am