< Contraception

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I don't think that Abstinence should itself be a top-level topic just to discuss abstaining from intercourse in order to avoid conceiving a child. Abstinence can mean abstaining from about anything: from meat if you're a vegetarian, from alcohol if you're a teetotaler, etc. If we don't want these to be subpages of contraception, perhaps that should be something like 'Abstinence as contraception'... although some opponents to contraception may see abstinence as an alternative to contraception, rather than a form of it.

Abstinence can mean the avoidance of many different things [1], but in ordinary use, I think it almost always means abstinence from sex, with abstinence from alcohol a distant second; see [2]. "Abstinence from alcohol" has other descriptive terms ("sobriety," "teetotalism"), and "sexual abstinence" has one very important synonym: "chastity." But the latter has many religious connotations that the former doesn't have.

So, I'd propose the following article titles:

--[[Larry Sanger]

Thanks for putting my abstinence comment up on the main page. I also like the article titles you proposed. In my experience, chastity is used to refer to 'sexual purity', which would be sexual abstinence for those unmarried, and sexual faithfulness to one's spouse for those married. I think that was the second entry for chastity at But it still seems very appropriate to link to the topic from the Abstinence page.

A related topic might be fasting, as in temporary abstinence from food, or just from certain types of food, for a limited period of time, whether for religious or medical reasons.