Purity Balls: How Popular Are They?

Purity ball

Purity ball

Sometimes, we get curious about the other side of sex education: the side where it pretty much doesn’t exist. Recently, I became curious about the popularity, or possible lack thereof, of purity balls.

For those who don’t know, Christian purity balls have popped up in the last decade as a way for young women (generally preteens and teens) to pledge to remain sexually pure until they marry. They usually take place within an evening event and dance, where fathers attend with their daughters. The fathers pledge to model an example of purity for their daughters, and to protect them from evil teenage boys and their desires.

The daughters, in turn, pledge their virginity to their father. Oh yeah, and the Lord.

Randy and Lisa Wilson created the first purity ball in 1998, and their website notes that balls have been held in 48 states since then. (According to their website, there have also been inquiries from 17 countries.)

In a “New York Times” article written in 2012, feminist writer Jessica Valenti reported 1K+ purity balls were held in 2006, for her 2010 book “The Purity Myth.” In a related stat, Leslee J. Uhruh, president of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, claims she fielded 4K+ calls concerning holding purity balls “within a 12-month period,” though how this period is calculated isn’t defined.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any data on how fast the movement is growing, where it’s growing the most, how many attendees, and other points of interest.

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