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What do you think of purity rings given to girls by their fathers?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
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purity ring
Photo by Tomm Y. Gunn Photography, shared under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Apparently there is a trend in the USA where fathers give their daughters a purity ring. That is a ring to wear on their left ring finger to remind them not to have sex before marriage, as discussed in this post on Jezabel. It is sometimes presented at a Purity Ball, where the girls present pledge publicly to remain abstinent until they are married and the fathers pledge to protect their daughters' purity.

What do you think of this trend? If people were doing this in Australia would your family participate?

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Personally I think it's a little creepy (overtones of incest) and quite sexist, playing into the idea that women are the property of a man (either their father or their husband). And do these fathers make their sons pledge abstinence too? And then there's the presumption that the girl will even be interested in men, or ever wish to marry... There's just so much wrong with this.
I should probaby add that I see nothing wrong with the purity rings that teenagers volunarily decide for themselves to wear. If they want to abstain from sex that's their business. It's the dads giving it to their daughters part I think is icky.
I thought it is a bit icky too .
by jonaja
For once we agree! It's the bit about the father giving it, not the ring itself (though that's a bit weird too) :)
I think you have said it well
by pfuit
I have never heard of this trend, but to be honest, I think it's a little odd.
Wow, just wow. I would think that it would be the responsibility of both parents to instill whatever values they believe is vital to their child's growth. I also think that having your child wear what is basically a purity stamp on her hand is, well, almost barbaric. What is the girl going to do if she loses her so-called purity, take off the ring to announce to her father that someone has claimed her maidenhead? Yup, I just used the word maidenhead, that's how medieval this 'tradition' sounds to me. Okay, I'm going to get off my soapbox before I start really ranting but I don't think I'm going stop shaking my head over this one anytime soon.
Yeah, I've heard about this and it sounds almost like incest without being incest. Give them the right information and foundation and they should be able to make those decisions on their own...
Haven't heard of it either. It does sound bizarre. Not sure...
I think it is a Typical American idea.
I would think no parent would want their daughter to have a child, just out of high school...or even start to have sex.
The idea is a bit strange to me....
Hi Jonaj....
Just LOVE photo there! Siamese cat?
I luckily have a real live(ly) one at home!
by donjo
As an American I want to chime in here. It is a religious based, Christian. And boys do it too, although I don't know if moms are involved as much as dads.
It is both noble and creepy at the same time. I think there is value in not being promiscuous.
There are also studies that suggest these people simply avoid intercourse but have other types if sex. So I don't think it's working as well as the think it is.
It's cool, I don't think anyone here would think all Americans do this. I know it's religious based. That doesn't make it any less loopy. I also know boys do it too, but the purity balls mentioned in the question are a father-daughter event (it's even in the name, they're called Father Daughter Purity Balls), and it's these events, with the idea that a father owns his daughter's virginity, that I think is gross.

I can definitely see the value in teaching kids not to be in too much of a hurry to have sex, for a number of reasons (it's not just about pregnancy and disease, it's about being emotionally ready), but you are right, teaching abstinence only doesn't seem to be working at all as far as slowing the spread of STDs with kids believing that other forms of sex "don't count".
I've heard of it - I think it's totally creepy. Why is the father giving them the ring? Why not the mother? It's gross....
So that's a no from this family! And great question btw...
Hormones will beat a piece of metal any old day.

This is totally creepy!!! What's next - chastiy belts? Seriously!!! Mandy E.
I think handled the correct may it may be a useful bond between father and daughter. I'm not sure that wearing it on the left ring finger is appropriate however having a symbol that will help remind "a young girl" or even boy for that matter that they wish to respect their body and wait for the special person is quite important. Too many young people have little or no respect for the sanctity of their body and their ego get controlled by their hormones and then they regret it..I believe this could be a good step forward in making more conscious choices where sex is concerned.

Oh YES VERY creepy! Huge overtones of ownership!!
And according to statistics it doesn't stop daddies little princess from having sex.
How about teaching your children both boys and girls about love and respect and sexual health
This is the first I've heard of it, it's disgraceful. It would be better to teach the girls to respect themselves and feel free to have physical relationships when they are ready, as opposed to controlling them with a piece of jewellery. Also, define sex, girls can not have sex and still be far from the definition of 'pure'.
It's not all Americans that do this, just certain religions.
I know. But the trend comes from America.
Too bizarre for me - very creepy, ugh!
Typical American psyche lack of self confidence.
Yet just another creepy 'tradition' by persons of the 'Bible Belt'.
I would not participate in such a misogynistic activity.
by Rice
We definitely wouldn't participate if it was started in Australia. I, too, think it creepy. One would hope moral values would have been taught so it would be up to the individual to respect her body.
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