T Nation

Vows of Chastity

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070322/lf_afp/afplifestyleussexchastity_070322082138

It has all the ingredients of a wedding. The proud tuxedo-clad father, the frosted white cake, the limousines and an exchange of vows.

But there is no groom and the girl in the long gown is no bride. She’s daddy’s little girl, there to take a vow of chastity.

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.

Mike Parcha, who recently attended one of these balls with his 11-year-old daughter Lora in the western state of Colorado, said the events reinforce his family’s Christian beliefs.

“We realize that purity is a lifestyle, not an event, and this is just a celebration of that lifestyle and of that relationship that I have with my daughters,” he said. “The ball is a culmination of the relationship we have with God and with each other.”

He said his three daughters have looked forward to attending the balls and have no qualms about pledging to remain virgins until marriage.

“They are just all for it, they think it’s the greatest thing,” said Parcha, 43, who is a college math teacher. "We raise our children as Christians, we share the same beliefs … and we’re on the same page.

“It’s not like there is a tug of war of any kind going on.”

His two older daughters, aged 11 and 18, have attended the balls while the youngest, aged 4, must wait a few years. The three girls, along with their three brothers, are all home schooled. Parcha’s oldest daughter Christy, who recently graduated from high school, is now working on a fictional book about “the emotional purity of a young girl as she grows up.”

The first Purity Ball in the United States was organized in 1998 by Generations of Light, a popular Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Randy Wilson, who runs the ministry with his wife, said the idea was to create an event that celebrates the bonds between father and daughter.

“We saw that in our culture there wasn’t a place for the father to work for a good relationship with his daughter,” Wilson told AFP. “So this (relationship) allows the daughter to become a stronger person in her culture as she is bombarded with all the sexual images that are out there.”

Wilson, who has five daughters, said the balls have become so popular over the years that there is now a waiting list for those wishing to attend.

Enquiries are also pouring in from aboard with organizations or churches in New Zealand, Britain and other countries asking for guidance on how to organize such gatherings.

The popularity of the balls in the United States, especially among evangelical Christians, mirrors the Bush administration’s support of abstinence education in US schools. The government’s funding for such initiatives has more than doubled in recent years to 206 million dollars (150 million euros).

But critics say that while teaching abstinence to children may be laudable, it is just as essential to make them aware of sexually transmitted diseases and condom use.

They also point to studies showing that the majority of adolescents who take purity pledges break them within a few years, often by engaging in risky and unprotected sex.

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.

“Teens may pledge with the best of intention… and then as they break their pledges they are so shamed and embarrassed that it’s unlikely they will go for help.”

You know there is something about this that just strikes me as really weird, and almost sick.

It has to be the dad, and daughter exchanging vows thing.

Haven’t we figured out that this abstinence crap doesn’t work and that by not educating instead of indoctrinating we’re screwing the kid?

I wanna hand out free condoms outside the event.

[quote]haney1 wrote:
You know there is something about this that just strikes me as really weird, and almost sick.

It has to be the dad, and daughter exchanging vows thing.[/quote]

+1

I applaud the effort, but this sound like something the Branch Davidians would do.

Geessss, and I thought Ned Flanders was far out…

Education is always better than privation, IMO.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
Haven’t we figured out that this abstinence crap doesn’t work and that by not educating instead of indoctrinating we’re screwing the kid?

I wanna hand out free condoms outside the event.[/quote]

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
Haven’t we figured out that this abstinence crap doesn’t work and that by not educating instead of indoctrinating we’re screwing the kid?

I wanna hand out free condoms outside the event.[/quote]

Now that isn’t true. Abstinance is a 100% guarantee method.

The problem is adherence to it.

For instance I can tell by your post that you would not adhere to it.

Come to think of it though why don’t they have these things for boys as well? The more I think about this the more disturbing it becomes.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
I wanna hand out free condoms outside the event.[/quote]

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Classy…

But yeah, the whole absitinence thing is a little weird. Not to mention, possibly the worst idea in history.

[quote]Zen warrior wrote:
Geessss, and I thought Ned Flanders was far out…

Education is always better than privation, IMO.

Ghost22 wrote:
Haven’t we figured out that this abstinence crap doesn’t work and that by not educating instead of indoctrinating we’re screwing the kid?

I wanna hand out free condoms outside the event.

[/quote]

I mistyped, I meant that by NOT educating we’re screwing them up.

It was early in the day. :stuck_out_tongue:

And abstinence DOES work, people just don’t stick with it.

So we’ve got to teach the children instead of just trying to slam one idea into their tiny little brains.

So much crap. The dads must be impressed with themselves or something like that.

Could we draw parallels between chastity vows and prohibition?

Some, I would imagine.

In a way, it is a good idea. But, in practice, the results outweigh the benefits, for most people.

Do I smell another porn star in the making?

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
And abstinence DOES work, people just don’t stick with it.
[/quote]

You wanna tell that to th 90% girls who get plowed before Wedding?

This tendency to try to shield children from absolutely everything is creepy and misguided.

It seems to me that this sort of ceremony would only make the girls feel bad when they almost inevitably have premarital sex. Shame on these people for trying to make healthy young men and women feel like there is something wrong with them for having these feelings.

Wouldn’t work in the UK - I read an article in the Guardian a couple of years back stating that the silver ring people
“[…]are promoting the idea that young people should not have sexual relations before marriage, which is an inversion of the usual British tradition of abstaining from sex after marriage.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1247118,00.html

:wink: Makkun

[quote]diesel25 wrote:
Ghost22 wrote:
And abstinence DOES work, people just don’t stick with it.

You wanna tell that to th 90% girls who get plowed before Wedding?[/quote]

Did you read my statement?

Abstinence works at preventing STDs and babies, but people don’t do it.

Saying you’ll be abstinent then screwing doesn’t fall under the blanket of abstinence failing it falls under personal weakness.

That’s why education is much better.

The “promise ring” thing has been around for a while. Where the dad gets the daughter a ring and she vows to remain a virgin til marriage. If she breaks the vow she gives the ring back. It’s an honesty/apology thing. These ceremonies just seem like a way to con a lot of people out of money and guilt the girls.

“Keep the white dress at home ladies. It’s MEANINGLESS.”

Weird.

Abstinence is like communism. It may (or may not) be a fine idea in theory, but for 98% of humanity it will be a total clusterfuck of unintended consequences.

Personally, I think there should be a lot less people having sex. All I have to do is run to Walmart to wish more people practiced abstinence.

[quote]tom63 wrote:
Personally, I think there should be a lot less people having sex. All I have to do is run to Walmart to wish more people practiced abstinence.[/quote]

Could they then, be the people who tried to practice abstinence, truly believed in it, and yet still failed?

[quote]T Ham wrote:
tom63 wrote:
Could they then, be the people who tried to practice abstinence, truly believed in it, and yet still failed?[/quote]

Evolution provided them no beliefs. :wink: