Cultural attitudes towards sex have changed a lot in the last couple of decades. While people have been having sex outside of marriage for centuries, the act itself has mainly been attached to the idea at least of a committed relationship. Now that link has been broken too; we live in an age where sex has become a recreational activity.
The media has had a huge influence on how young people especially view sex and relationships ethics. TV shows depicting lots of teen sex help to propagate the idea that young people can do it as much as they want, as long as it's physiologically 'safe'. As much as we might want to critique this kind of media, those who think differently are often overwhelmed by the power of its influence.
What follows is a list of famous people who've taken a counter-cultural attitude to sex and relationships. They might not all have maintained some kind of sexual 'purity'; they may also not operate from a Christian perspective, or even one which fits neatly with it. What qualifies them for this list is a refreshing attitude to sex which refuses to divorce it from commitment and / or marriage.
1. Lisa Kudrow
As one of the stars Friends, Kudrow remains an influential face in culture long after her career had arguably peaked. While not known for having a particular faith, she did hold to a value of celibacy outside of marriage.
Kudrow told American magazine W: "I decided pretty early on that I should stay a virgin until I got married. My virginity was something I had decided was very precious, something that I owned, to give away. It was an honour I was bestowing on a young man and he had to be worthy of it."
2. Taylor Lautner
The star of the Twilight films and TV series Cuckoo claimed in 2009 that he was a virgin who was 'waiting for the right girl'. Despite the somewhat unfashionable stance, the practising Catholic was nevertheless voted People magazine's 'World's sexiest man' the same year.
3. Lenny Kravitz
Famously promiscuous at times, Lenny Kravitz went on record in 2005 as saying that he was going to wait until he married to have sex again. In a surprisingly not-very-rock-star move, he told men's magazine Maxim that he hadn't had sex in three years, and was now waiting until he found "the one". "It's just a promise I made until I get married," he explained. "Where I'm at in life, the women have got to come with something else, not just the body, but the mind and spirit. It usually trips them out, but that's the way it's going to be. I'm looking at the big picture."
4. Tina Fey
US comedy queen Fey is no abstinence campaigner, but she has confirmed in interviews that she remained a virgin until she met her husband of ten years. She now jokes that she 'couldn't give it away' but she also quips that her 'homely' values helped to maintain her celibacy.
5. Kevin Jonas
Disney-branded singing sensations the Jonas Brothers became infamous for wearing Purity Rings - popular in the American no-sex-before-marriage movement. While one of the three, Joe Jonas, admitted to breaking his promise, Kevin says he waited until he got married aged 22 to lose his virginity. And perhaps the fact that not everyone manages to keep a celibacy promise isn't the point - the intent that the Jonas Brothers demonstrated through their ring-wearing was undoubtedly hugely influential.
Despite operating in a field (sorry) where sexual promiscuity is expected, not just accepted, this Brazilian footballer married his childhood sweetheart, and saved sex for marriage. He said afterwards: "The majority of people say that after marriage, they don't like jumping into bed with their partner because there is no desire. However, this is not true, my wife is the person I love and it was worth waiting."
7. Jessica Simpson
An actress and singer, Simpson was 27 when she married Nick Lachey, and maintained that she did so as a virgin. While she does practise a Christian faith, Simpson suggested this had 'nothing to do with' her decision: "Abstinence, for me, is about romance. It has nothing to do with my relationship with God. It's about giving something special to that person you're going to spend the rest of your life with." For integrity's sake, it's worth noting that Simpson and Lachey subsequently split, and that the singer did not return to a life of celibacy afterwards, but I'd argue that doesn't invalidate her initial stand.
8. Tim Tebow
He's been quiet for a while since the Tebow-mania of 2012/13, but when the American Football star was thrust into the public spotlight, every aspect of his Christian faith was scrutinised. This included his attitude to sex - he was famously asked at an AOL media day whether he was still a virgin, replying in the affirmative. "I think you're stunned right now," he joked at the reporter's awkward attempts to formulate the controversial question. "You can't even ask a question... I was ready for that question, but I don't think ya'll were." Now a college football analyst, Tebow continues to maintain his stance on sex and marriage.
All pictures: Reuters