Virgin: To be, or not to be

By Christopher Blake
April 24, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

Katie Mageeney’s childhood was anything but easy. Katie’s mom gave birth to her when she was a junior in college.

Her mom did not raise her until the age of five and her dad was not even around. Sex was a scary word for Katie. Throughout her high school career she kept her virginity.

Mageeney came to Cabrini in 2007 as an 18-year-old college student looking to meet new friends, learn new lessons and experience life away from her home in Norristown, Pa.

She met a boy, and they began spending time with one another, then they dated and then sex entered the picture.

Early in her freshmen year, her now ex-boyfriend asked her to have sex. “I cried the first three times he asked me [to have sex] because of my background,” Mageeney said.

“I was shocked that I let it happen so soon but we had hung out everyday and it seemed like the right time,” Mageeney said.

Mageeney made the decision to lose her virginity. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do.

But looking back on her decision, her mindset has changed.

“I couldn’t have kept my relationship but I could have kept my virginity if I walked away,” Mageeney said.

Mageeney, like many Cabrini students, knows that walking away from sex is not an easy task.

But recently, groups promoting abstinence and virginity have become more widely talked about.

In colleges around the country, abstinence groups have formed and have college students examining their values and morals when it comes to virginity and sex.

For years abstinence groups were seen mainly in high schools.

However, as many college students grew up being exposed to these organizations, the movement has evolved into a new generation of activists.

Although Cabrini College does not have such a group, the issue of sex is a concern for some of its students.

Abstinence is a personal choice: each Cabrini student views sex and their virginity in a unique manner.

“Yes, I completely regret it. Even when we were together I did. But once you do it with someone you can’t just take it away,” Mageeney said.

“Sex has just become so common for our generation,” sophomore human resources major Kelly Sweeney said. “People don’t see it as something special between two people; they just do it all the time.”

Sweeney, 20, has committed herself to saving her virginity not for marriage but for when she is ready in a comfortable relationship.

“I think a lot of people don’t believe it at first because most of my friends are not virgins but at the same time they respect my choice and think it’s a good thing not to rush,” Sweeney said.

Sophomore Tom Hayes lost his virginity when he was a senior in high school to a girl he was friends with in a random hook-up situation.

“Most of the kids I went to high school with either had girlfriends or had lost their virginity before me. It wasn’t something I was searching to do. It just happened,” Hayes, a history major, said.

Hayes, 20, has been in a relationship for five months and although he admits males seem to constantly think about sex, he respects anyone willing to keep their virginity until marriage.

“I could only stay a virgin so long. Once I came to college I would have lost my virginity sooner or later,” Hayes said. “Guys hunt it down to slay the prey. Some girls are a little looser with their morals. They give it up easier, while others you have to fight for.”

Gina Mulranen has been in a relationship for six months and has stayed faithful to her commitment of keeping her virginity until marriage.

“In today’s society there is not a lot of security. They stay together for a few months and break up. I want to give this gift to someone who I want to spend the rest of my life with,” Mulranen said.

The sophomore math and secondary education major from Aston, Pa., said she made her choice in part because of her Catholic faith and in addition she was following her personal values.

“I think people give me respect because they understand how strong of a person it takes to overcome temptation,” Mulranen said. At the same time not everyone understands her decision. “I am human. I have a boyfriend. I love him. People say shouldn’t that be enough?”

Robert Stoop has a different view on virginity. The freshmen from Philadelphia is a homosexual and has been open about his sexual orientation since his junior year of high school.

“Sex is no longer a big deal,” Stoop said. “Today is more about STDs. Sadly, that isn’t even enough to stop it.”

Stoop not only had to face the emotional experience of losing his virginity but he had to come out to his friends and to his family.

“It was difficult because I knew if this was a lifestyle I was going to choose, that the lifestyle in itself would be difficult,” the bio-technology major said.

Junior Drew Pillar made the choice to keep his virginity until marriage during his teen years. The 21-year- old from Allentown, N.J., has been in a relationship for two and a half years and early on in the relationship Pillar and his partner committed to saving themselves for marriage either together or with someone else.

“Not a day goes by in which I wish I wasn’t committed to my choice. But at the same time I would never give it up for the world,” the social work major Pillar said.

Pillar attributes his choice of staying a virgin to his religious faith.

“I’m Christian first, Catholic second. It says in the Bible not to have sex before you’re married so I decided to go by that,” Pillar said.

Still temptation is not easy for Pillar to deal with although he admits most people assume he is not a virgin.

“Just being a guy everyone already assumes I am having sex and I am not a virgin,” Pillar said. “I am looking forward to the awkward first-time honeymoon sex.”

Emily Dispoto has been in a relationship for five years. The sophomore from Hammonton, N.J. lost her virginity at the age of 15 to her current boyfriend.

“Yes, I was hesitant about losing my virginity because I was so young and I thought I would regret it,” Dispoto said.

In a world where relationships only seem to last a few months, Dispoto is of a rare breed. She feels fortunate to have found someone she loves but understands how others can buy into peer pressure.

“I think in today’s society boys and girls feel sex is just another thing and not something to wait for.”

Although she did not wait for marriage, she believes sex should only happen when two people have a deep connection.

“I think sexuality is important to relationships. When you are in love with someone, I think it’s a connection that should be shared after the right amount of time.”

Freshmen year for Mageeney was a time of growth. She met a great group of friends, learned new lessons inside and out of the classroom and lived life away from her family.

She has made the decision to not have sex again until she is in a serious relationship and comfortable with someone. She says, “I would rather have not lost my virginity when I did.”

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Christopher Blake

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