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Abstinence is a term that refers to the choice to refrain from participating in some, or all, sexual activity.
Abstinence is generally voluntary, and is influenced mostly by religion and/or social norms. In some countries, abstinence is enforced by law. Some individuals choose to wear a "purity ring" as a symbol of their commitment to abstinence.
Abstinence is also often promoted as a method of birth control.