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[Sex is] The melting pot of sensual pleasures
[that is] is easy to slip into life after life,
and difficult to crawl out of life after life.

Stonepeace

Premarital sex is a problem which is much discussed in modern society. Many young people would like to know the opinion regarding this sensitive issue. Some religionists say it can be considered as committing adultery, while others say it is immoral and unjustifiable. In the past, young boys and girls were not allowed by their parents to move around freely until they were married. Their marriages were also arranged and organized by the parents. Of course, this did cause unhappiness in some cases when parents chose partners on the basis of money, social status, family obligations and related issues. But generally, the majority of parents did try very hard to choose partners who would be acceptable to their children.

Today, young people are at the liberty to go out and find their own partners. They have a lot of freedom and independence in their lives. This is not a bad thing in itself, but some of these people are just too young and too immature to see the difference between sexual attraction and true compatibility. That is why the problem of pre-marital sex arises. Too much laxity in matters concerning sex has also given rise to social problems in modern society. The sad part is that some societies do not express liberal attitudes towards unmarried mothers, illegitimate children and the divorcees while they are quite liberal about free sex. As a result, young people are being punished by the same society which encourages free mixing of the sexes. They become social outcasts and suffer much shame and humiliation. Many young girls have become victims of their own freedom and have ruined their future by violating age-old traditions which were valued in the east as well as in the west.

Pre-marital sex is a modern development which has come about as a result of excessive social freedom prevalent amongst present day young people. Whilst Buddhism holds no strong views either for or against such action, it is thought that all Buddhists, particularly people of both sexes in love and contemplating marriage, should adhere to the age-old traditional concept that they maintain chastity until the nuptial date. The human mind is unstable and forever changing, with the result that any illicit action or indiscretion may cause undue harm to either party if the legal marriage does not take place as expected. It must be remembered that any form of sexual indulgence before a proper marriage is solemnized will be looked down upon by the elders who are the guardians of the young people.

A Happy Married Life: A Buddhist Perspective
Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda 

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