A new dating website is offering people who practice abstinence a space to find others who share the same value.
Lety and Jose Colin, who said abstinence helped them have a successful marriage, founded www.youandiabstain.com to encourage and support people who made the decision to abstain from sex before marriage. In a world where it is common to have multiple sexual partners in a lifetime, the website seeks to build a community of like-minded people.
"It is our hope that through this website we are going to raise some kind of awareness to keep abstinence alive so that more people can join and make it part of their lives and may also enjoy the pleasures inherent in it," said the Colins in a statement. "Abstinence is a beautiful and powerful choice to create and sustain stronger bonds in couples."
The site is not only for those who have saved themselves for marriage, but also for those who have already had sex but recently decided to abstain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007 nearly half of high school students (48 percent) had already had sexual intercourse, and 15 percent had had four or more sex partners during their life.
Every year, 19 million new STD infections occur and nearly half of these new cases happen to young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Among teenaged girls, one in four has a sexually transmitted disease, the CDC reported in 2008.
Earlier this year, Congress and President Obama approved abstinence education funding of $250 million over the next five years under the new health care law.
Joining the abstinence dating website is free and members are eligible to upgrade to Gold Membership at no cost, which is needed to exchange messages.