Purity test

A purity test is a self-graded survey that assesses the participants' supposed degree of innocence in worldly matters (sex, drugs, deceit, and other activities assumed to be vices), generally on a percentage scale with 0% being the most and 100% being the least "pure". Online purity tests were among the earliest of Internet memes, popular on the Usenet beginning in the early 1980s.


Most purity tests have possible scores anywhere from 0% to 100%. Purity tests ask numerous personal questions of their users, most commonly about the use of alcohol and illicit substances; sexual acts with members of the opposite or same sex; other illicit or illegal activities, and the above actions in an odd or "kinky" context. These tests typically have anywhere from 50 to 2000 questions.

Many popular purity tests encourage participation in a social situation (one person reading a purity test aloud while others mark down their 'yeses' for later ). The tests often acknowledge that some may use them as a checklist for things to do, try, or accomplish.

One of the best-known purity test is The Unisex Purity Test (or, simply, the Purity Test — note the capitalization). First written sometime before 1980 in the MIT Baker House, the first incarnation had two parallel versions, 100 questions each; one for male, and one for female. The next iteration (247 questions, written at Carnegie Mellon University in the Spring of 1983) heralded the merging of the gendered versions, making it actually unisex. Over the next decade or so, many re-writes and expansions commenced. A 2000-questions-long version being written in the Fall of 1995.

Methodological problems

Purity tests are typically designed anonymously without attention to statistical or scientific validity. One problem with many tests is the duplication of questions, and the asking of irrelevant follow-on questions. An example is a question, "Have you ever had an abortion?", where the respondent has for example already replied 'no' to "Have you ever been pregnant?". Another methodological problem in the omnisex versions is that some questions are duplicated for both sexes in the case of sexual orientation (e.g. "have you ever kissed a person of your same sex" and "have you ever kissed a person of the opposite sex", and various more subtle variations) that would tend to rate bisexual persons as less pure.

Recent versions

The purescore (sexual purity) test is the most popular of the new generation of interactive tests, perhaps because of its anti poverty / AIDS messages, and because it has been translated into a great many languages. Though most purity tests are sexual in nature, ones measuring purity in other areas are also available.

Purity tests are easily obtained using any search engine.

See also

External links

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This article is based on "Purity test" 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+test&action=history