Abstinence-Only Sex Education, Tiaras and White Roses: Father-Daughter Purity Balls

The Perceptions of Pregnancy blog, like the Researchers’ Network, aims to reach beyond boundaries and borders, and to facilitate an international and interdisciplinary conversation on pregnancy and its associated bodily and emotional experiences from the earliest times to the present day. Today’s post on American Purity Balls is contributed by Jamie Wagman. 

Abstinence-Only Sex Education, Tiaras and White Roses: Double-Binds and Double-Standards at Father-Daughter Purity Balls

Everything was white. As I entered a gleaming ballroom, I surveyed the scene: a white tabletop featuring a three-tiered wedding cake topped with a castle, and underneath a snowflake adorned canopy, fathers arm in arm with their daughters, each girl carrying a long-stemmed white rose. I was attending a purity ball, or father-daughter dinner dance, where girls, mostly between ages 10 and 16, were about to pledge their virginity to their fathers until marriage.

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