A Purity Ball (also known as a "Father Daughter Purity Ball") is a formal event attended by fathers and their daughters. These events promote virginity before marriage for teenaged girls, and are often closely associated with U.S. Christian churches, particularly evangelical Christian churches.
Purity Balls can vary in many particulars, but fathers who attend typically pledge before God to protect their young daughters' purity in mind, body and soul. Daughters are expected to remain virgins, abstaining from pre-marital sexual intercourse.
Fathers must sign the "Covenant of Purity and Protection," witnessed by their daughters, and openly commit to the pledge, a typical example of which might be:
I, (daughter's name)'s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.
Purity balls are largely a response to the perception that the Christian ideal of sexual abstinence has lost favor in modern society. A stronger father-daughter relationship is promoted as a means to affirm Christian ideals of spiritual and physical purity.
Writer Eve Ensler criticises Purity Balls for what she sees as the position of inferiority it puts the daughters in:
"When you sign a pledge to your father to preserve your virginity, your sexuality is basically being taken away from you until you sign yet another contract, a marital one...It makes you feel like you're the least important person in the whole equation. It makes you feel invisible."
Purity Balls have also drawn criticism from some Christians; in the Chicago Sun Times, Betsy Hart writes:
I'm an evangelical Christian who firmly believes that sex should be reserved for marriage. But I just can't imagine going about it this way with any of my four kids, son or daughters ... I can't help but wonder if a single-minded focus on virginity is an ironic, and unintended way, of sexualizing youth in a different way ... There's a reason that Christ warned, in condemning the hypocrisy of the (outwardly righteous) Pharisees, that sin is not what goes into a person, it's what comes out of the heart.
This article is based on "Purity Ball" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Purity+Ball&action=history