More Purity Ball Photos

More Purity Ball Photos May 7, 2014

Last week when NLQ posted the purity ball photos by photography David Magnusson it seemed that was a lone example of creepy purity portraits. At least until another site managed to collect a pile of random ones including a purity contract to be signed by the father and daughter.

Such a sad contrast, beautiful little girls, inappropriately intimate fathers.

Statistics do prove that the strong presence of a loving father in the life of a girl growing up does tend to keep that same girl from becoming sexually active at a younger age. But what message does it send to that same girl does Daddy publicly announcing to the world in her presence that he alone controls her sexuality until marriage?

You don’t have to be a former Evangelical to see what a bad idea purity balls are either.

Even Christians who believe in “purity” should have a problem with these atrocities. Firstly, they promote the idea that a girl/woman’s body is not her own. Instead, a girl becomes the property of a man–in this case her father–until he passes her off to her husband. There is nothing Christian about teaching one’s daughter that her every action should occur with the approval of a man–any man. Purity balls teach submissiveness. They instruct girls to believe that they are not capable of making their own decisions, and thus must defer judgment to their fathers–then their husbands.

Take a look at all the photos posted the site and tell us what you think in the comments below.

Edited to add: As this post was being composed and coded Alternet posted an excellent detailed article about Purity Balls – Purity Balls, Plan B and Bad Sex Policy: Inside America’s Virginity Obsession

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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  • Mel

    Purity balls – to an outsider – just look sick. They’re an anti-coming of age ritual. I’ve been to bat mitzahs, confirmations and quinceraneras – all of which welcome women into a greater level of adult maturity. Purity balls make young women seem weak and helpless rather than strong, adult agents in their own lives.

  • Joy

    The fourth picture in the aatp article is really disturbing. He’s kissing her on the lips while seated. I know some parents kiss their kids on the lips but it has always squicked me out.

    The whole concept is degrading – and the girls are so sheltered they don’t even know it!

  • The first picture was cute. Happy and appropriately innocent. Also with some color on her white dress!

    The rest …. still creepy.

  • Brea Plum

    Purity balls also seem to send the message that a girl’s greatest appreciation and worth will come when she is dressed up, made up, and coiffed for the pleasure of and display to men.

  • And that her worth is related to the condition of her vagina.

    So since I’ve had three children pass through my vagina, I guess that makes me a goddess. 😉

  • LisaP

    There is not enough bleach in this world to clean you after viewing these pictures!!!

  • JustJane

    I wonder what the men of the Quiverfull movement have done in their past to think that women will be debauched at the drop of a hat. Seems like they all have dirty minds and on one track. Got to wonder about the family where the daughter is seated and the dad’s kissing her on the lips. Sick! My father never kissed me like that!

  • Edie Moore McGee

    This made me want to throw up, and I have absolutely no triggers for this type of thing to set off (I mean, my dad was really cool and a perfect gentleman). It is totally gross, IMHO.

  • MyOwnPerson

    I wonder if he kisses his sons on the lips, or it’s just a special, daddy-daughter thing…

  • KarenH

    and now a policewoman in Las Vegas is telling girls that premarital sex leads to prostitution???

  • There is only one word for this: Incest.

  • I believe good relationships with a father makes daughters less likely to sleep around, but Purity balls apply that all wrong:

    Traditionally, mothers were more likely to nurture children in ways that teach children to look inward to the family; and fathers to nurture them in ways that teach them to grow up and look outward. Anchors, in a healthy home in a traditional society, was more likely to come from mothers and wings from fathers.

    I think the whole idea of a good father/ daughter relationship have always been a situation where girl identify with her father, see some of his strengths reflected in her as she grows, where he assures her she is strong and capable of taking on the world, meeting goals and making a difference. Good fathers gave daughters the confidence to know they 1) are appreciated without a boyfriend 2) are strong and capable, and 3) could make it in the world without man-pleasing.

    That is the opposite of being forced into a role that mean your father’s strength and talents cannot be identified with (that strength and talents are male roles); and told she is weak and needy and exist to be the helpmeet of a man.

    The culture of complementarianism/ patriarchy mean that the traditional meaning of a strong father/ daughter relationship is unobtainable. That may be why they try to set up artificial father/ daughter relational events.

  • tulips

    Excellent question…because if (ta da!) kissing your teenage daughter on the lips is ~not~ sexual as they claim…there shouldn’t be a problem doing it to sons as well. Just fatherly affection like a hug or a fist bump. Pucker up fundy dad.

  • Catherine

    I’d say so!

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    . . . which is basically the goal. Adult maturity and female strength doesn’t make for good submissive baby factories, dontchaknow.

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    Nah, in Quiverfull terms you’re about eight babies behind schedule.

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    At least a few of the girls in these pictures are smiling, though there are also a few who look like they may be trying to dissociate, especially that very last one.

  • SAO

    Purity balls are manipulative. Most of the girls in these pictures are too young to understand the commitment they’re being asked to make. At 12 or 13, my kids would have been perfectly happy to pledge that they’d never sex, which sounded pretty gross to them. My daughter tried to convince me that romance and marriage don’t have to have anything to do with sex.

    Not only that, but I doubt a purity commitment is something that a girl can refuse. To refuse the pledge is to announce that you may break with your parents’ values. Even if the parents don’t denounce her as an aspiring slut, why bring on the hassle if she doesn’t know what the hell she’ll want to do at age 16, or 19? So, a girl who’s uncomfortable with the pledge she’s asked to make will probably not say so.

    Ultimately, it’s about calming parental concern and I will admit that seeing breast buds on an 11 year old girl, can be scary. She’s acquiring a woman’s body far younger than she acquires an adult’s maturity. But a purity ball is hiding one’s head in the sand and hoping it will go away.

    And then there’s the hypocrisy. 98% of Americans have pre-marital sex. That means even in the conservative crowd attending these balls, most people didn’t wait until they said, “I do.” Is it fair to ask their children to uphold standards they didn’t manage to keep — with a heavy-handed contract with God’s name on it?

  • Hattie

    It could be my reading into it, but I thought at least one of the dads there looked… uncomfortable. Possibly for the same reasons we feel uncomfortable seeing this?

    I wouldn’t care to trade places with anybody at that party.

  • LOL!!!

  • lh

    Even though my parents subscribe to the whole “purity” ideal (very strictly, I might add…nearly tore the family apart when my sister got pregnant out of wedlock) I was always, always so uncomfortable with the idea of purity pledges and purity balls. And my parents didn’t seem to be too into the idea either. Our church hosted a purity ball once, complete with a father/daughter ceremony where the daughters were given a ring while the dads recited some creepy pledge to protect their daughters’ purity…but I wasn’t made to go, thankfully. All I’m saying is, if the very concept can make a sheltered prepubescent kid who only has a very vague idea of what sex even is uncomfortable, then lord knows there’s something very wrong.