dating daddy? the hook on father/daughter purity balls

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 my family as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by god to influence generations to come. 
–Pledge from the Generations of Light Purity Ball

Has your dad ever said anything like that to you?  He might have if you’d attended one of the increasingly popular Daddy/Daughter purity balls that have been popping up around the country.

At the balls, daughters in prom dresses and daddys in tuxes dance together in preparation for  a public pledge like the one above. Sometimes there’s even the exchange of a purity ring from father to daughter.

Dating dad or dating the dude from school–really, is it so different? (Um, the answer is yeah.)

Girls at the balls may be as young as ten or as old as twenty. The events are hosted by various groups including Christian congregations, abstinence-only organizations and even crisis pregnancy centers.   

One of these, the Baptist affiliated New Life Pregnancy Center, explains their ball:  “[It] is a reminder to young ladies of the importance of purity, that even though they are hearing the message everyday that ‘it is okay to have sex before marriage’ God’s perfect plan for sex is that it would only occur within a marriage relationship. Fathers, set this time aside to just be there for her and make her feel like the princess that she is… It is never too [sic] late to help her to ‘honor God with her body’ (1 Corinthians 6:20).”

If you thought the time when a girl was seen as her father’s property until she became her husband’s was a thing of the past, think again. In this culture of “purity,” where men are called the “high priests” of the home, a girl’s virginity is considered her father’s responsibility until her wedding night.  Before that event, it is also pretty clear that Daddy is expected to be his daughter’s stand-in for any romantic experiences. 

Not only is that a little too close for comfort for me, but I also take issue with the tired double standard about male and female sexuality that purity events promote. I mean, have you ever heard of a Mommy/Son purity ball? I haven’t. 

It’s 2008, but apparently, it is still only a girl’s virginity that matters.  (On that note, I wonder what boys are supposed to do while their sisters dance with dad?  Maybe hook-up with the girl down the street who didn’t have a father to take her to the event…) 

I have to say, this whole “purity” thing seems like a throwback to a different era and not one I was particularly nostalgic for.

What do you think of Daddy/Daughter purity balls?  Have you ever been to one?    

Photo provided by Tommy Gunn

Posted in: Health, Sex & Relationships, Relationships, Virginity
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  • Amy

    well, it sounds weird on here, but when you think about it, it makes since. there is a reason the dads give their daughters away in their wedding, and the daddy daughter dance after the wedding… most of the time, when you hear about a girl’s dad catching her have sex, he doesn’t go, oh well, carry on. he goes and chases that naked boy out of his house with a shotgun. the daughter is under the protection of her father until she gets married, then it passes to her husband. idk whats so hard to understand about this

  • Emma

    I'm sorry, but this is just a bit too pedophilic for me. It just kinda creeps me out. I get it if you don't want your daughter to have sex, but do you really have to make it into a ritual? I don't understand why they have to keep going against the fact that teenagers usually do not only feel sexual tendencies of SOME sort, but also don't typically get married then. I'm sorry, I respect all religions, but I really honestly think it's just a trap. If my parents wouldn't let me have sex, would I want it more? Hell yeah I would. I already do, I'm a very sexual person. But as of this very minute, I'm still a virgin. Why? Because I know my parents would be okay with it if I did. I don't have that pressure on me to stay 'pure'. Kids that are raised in a 'No penis' household are always the ones that end up as teen mothers- and who can really blame them?

  • beth

    father/daughter purity balls?
    there is no way i'd go to one with my dad, i mean it is sooo creepy, I only talk about sex with my mom and a couple of my friends, one of my friends she's in 7th grade and she asked her mom for BIRTH CONTROL PILLS!
    god! why do girls have sex before marriage, i mean if you and your husband are both virgins, its really special it creates a special bond in which you both can look at each other and know that you were his first and last as he was yours

  • will

    Those girls need to move to the north east the minute they are old enough to…and get a taste of what civilized (liberal) society is like. Look, I’m all for saving it for marriage and yes, kids shouldn’t be having sex, but jeez, these people are just insane. I mean, give me a break. Kids shouldn’t have sex because they understand it, not because there’s some supernatural thing that’s going to come after them. They should have parents who teach them that, not go to a daddy/daughter dance.

  • will

    Those girls need to move to the north east the minute they are old enough to…and get a taste of what civilized (liberal) society is like. Look, I'm all for saving it for marriage and yes, kids shouldn't be having sex, but jeez, these people are just insane. I mean, give me a break. Kids shouldn't have sex because they understand it, not because there's some supernatural thing that's going to come after them. They should have parents who teach them that, not go to a daddy/daughter dance.

  • america

    i think alot of people take this article the wrong way… the idea behind purity balls is NOT that a girl's virginity is her worth, while a select few people in the world may think that, that is NOT the christian view (I can't speak for sects or extreme branches however, as i am not familiar with their beliefs.) Yes there are people who believe that girls who have sex before marriage are whores but for a majority of people in the U.S. today that is definitely not the case.
    Personally, I have made the decision to wait until marriage, but I don't flaunt it because it is a very private and personal decision, but alot of people who do these purity pledges choose abstinence because:
    1- It is the most effective way to shield yourself from STD's that can potentially make you infertile or worse
    2-Having sex, according to the Christian belief, is when two people share not only their bodies, but a large part of their selves as well. You can never be sure that the other person will stay with you, because they aren't obligated to. Sex within marriage, between people who sincerely want to spend the rest of their lives together (a sacred marriage, and not a disposable one) allows them to give themselves to each other completely, knowing that the other person will stay with them and honor them for the rest of their lives.
    One of the biggest dangers of having sex outside of marriage is giving yourself to that person, even though that other person is under no obligation to stay with you. They could walk away anytime; do you really want to give a part of your self, not your body but a part of you, your feelings, etc, to someone who doesn't have to stay with you?
    And the whole thing about the father protecting the daughters virginity, if you really read that quote it says that the father will act as an example of purity by being a faithful husband and father.
    People who do purity pledges dont think people who have sex are whores! They have just made a personal decision to wait until marriage, to save sex for a time when many of the fears that come along with sex (like STDs and getting pregnant, and giving yourself to someone else) aren't problems.
    THAT is why in the christian faith sex is meant to be between married people. Premarital sex comes with alot of dangers we shouldn't have to deal with, and therefore can be most fully enjoyed and celebrated in a marriage, without these fears.