This article was orginally published on January 29,2007
I came across the topic for this article abruptly while browsing the Internet recently, and apparently it was a hot topic among bloggers within the past two years. The topic was on father-daughter purity balls and what occurs at them. At these events the father or a male that is like a father figure to the young woman dress up in formal attire and the young woman makes a pledge to remain a virgin until marriage.
This is often common among some teens but what stirred the blogging world was that at these events the father or father figure also makes a pledge to be the protector of the young woman’s chastity and to pray in this manner.
This sounds sweet and sincere — besides, some studies have shown that for young females the father figure is the most important for help in interaction with men. However, when it comes time for that young woman to step out into the dating world the father will not always be around. These purity balls and other virginity pledges have been highly regarded by abstinence programs, but are these pledges guaranteed to fully enact its purpose, which is for the person to remain a virgin until marriage?
Janet Rosenbaum, a researcher for the Harvard School of Public Health reported her study of the effectiveness of these pledges in the American Journal of Public Health. The results of the study found that teens that signed the pledge that went on to have premarital sex were likely to deny ever signing a pledge. This coincides with the recent news that a study found that most all Americans had participated in premarital sex. In addition there have been other studies that showed that individuals that signed these pledges were just as likely to have STDs as their peers.
This shows that just because someone signs a piece of paper or makes this declaration wearing formal attire does not mean they will uphold what they promise. Then again, these studies also cannot really determine whether all persons that sign the pledge will break it.
So what does this all mean? If one wants to remain a virgin until marriage it is going to take the determination to resist the temptations that are in the environment around them, and no one said it was going to be an easy one, but if the person wants to dress up and make a declaration then that is good and all, but let’s hope they brought the willpower with them to withhold the promise.