Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Purity Balls: The new pre-engagement party?

Scott T passed along this article to me about young girls pledging to their fathers to remain virgins. All I can say is "ew" and "creepy." Not that there is anything wrong with deciding to remain a virgin until marriage, but do we need to pledge such personal decisions at a ball with white cake and limousine service?

In what is becoming a trend among conservative Christians in the United States, girls as young as nine are pledging to their fathers to remain virgins until they wed, in elaborate ceremonies dubbed "Purity Balls."

The gala affairs are intended to celebrate the father-daughter relationship.

The highlight is when the fathers and daughters exchange vows, with dad signing a covenant to protect his daughter's chastity by living an unblemished life and the daughter promising not to have sex until marriage.

Many fathers at the ceremonies also slip "purity rings" around the finger of their misty-eyed daughters or offer them "chastity bracelets" and other jewelry that the girls can entrust to their husbands on their wedding night.

"The father makes a pledge that he is going to keep his mind pure and be faithful to her mother and there is also a time when there is a conversation about putting the right kinds of things in your mind, such as the father not using pornography," Leslee Unruh, founder of Abstinence Clearinghouse, a leader in the so-called purity movement, told AFP in describing the balls.

She said some 1,400 Purity Balls were held across the United States in 2006, mainly in the south and midwest, and double that number were expected to take place this year.

I feel bad that I laughed when I read this:

One study conducted by researchers at the universities of Columbia and Yale found that 88 percent of pledgers wind up having sex before marriage.

"Unfortunately these young people tend, once they start to have sex, to have more partners in a shorter period of time and to use contraception much less than their non-pledging peers," said Debra Hauser, executive vice president at Advocates for Youth, a Washington-based non-profit organization.

It's just like those kids that didn't get into any trouble in high school then get to college and go crazy.

Random question: why would anyone include the word "Balls" in the name of a virginity event?
Question for you: what would you call this if it were an MTV show a la, "My Super Sweet Sixteen"?


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