“Secondary virginity” is a return to abstinence following sexual debut. A commitment to secondary virginity is often made with the goal of remaining abstinent until committing to a life-long monogamous relationship, such as marriage. Increasing numbers of teens and young adults are making this decision to reduce their considerable risk for sexually transmitted infections and nonmarital pregnancies. Parents, peers, family physicians, youth directors, teachers, and health educators all play important roles in encouraging sexually active youth to turn to abstinence.
Reviewed: June 2012.