No Trespassing

When teens vow not to have sex, the moral to their story isn't always clear

And Mallory knows exactly why losing her virginity has been so emotionally excruciating. She feels that though her family doesn't know anything about her sexual experiences, she has deeply disappointed them. "I've let down everyone that I've ever loved," she explains. "I let down myself, I've let down my parents and my grandparents, I let down my whole world...Before things happened, I thought I was so naïve," she says. "I wish I were naïve again."

The virgin diaries: In 1994, top, more than 200,000 True Love Waits commitment cards were displayed at the national mall in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness of the burgeoning teen abstinence movement. Since then, TLW estimates more than a million teens have signed such pledge cards; left, pledge drives like this one two years later at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta are still used today to increase TLW commitment numbers (at this display, more than 340,000 cards were stacked from the dome's floor to its roof); students at a high school in Tennessee, right, sign pledges. A TLW spokesman says teens are so willing to commit to abstinence because "teenagers today are standing up to adults."
top:Jim Veneman
The virgin diaries: In 1994, top, more than 200,000 True Love Waits commitment cards were displayed at the national mall in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness of the burgeoning teen abstinence movement. Since then, TLW estimates more than a million teens have signed such pledge cards; left, pledge drives like this one two years later at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta are still used today to increase TLW commitment numbers (at this display, more than 340,000 cards were stacked from the dome's floor to its roof); students at a high school in Tennessee, right, sign pledges. A TLW spokesman says teens are so willing to commit to abstinence because "teenagers today are standing up to adults."
Dr. Richard Ross, a seminary professor in Fort Worth, helped launch True Love Waits a decade ago. "These young people have a warmth toward God that is much more intimate and much more real than would be true for many adults," he says.
Mark Graham
Dr. Richard Ross, a seminary professor in Fort Worth, helped launch True Love Waits a decade ago. "These young people have a warmth toward God that is much more intimate and much more real than would be true for many adults," he says.

Mallory knows that at some point in the future she will have to stop hiding under a dark cloud and relieve herself of this secret burden. "I just really want to find a way to get through it. I want to start going back to church. I want to start living right. I want it off my chest," she says wearily. "I don't want to feel guilty anymore."

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