twitter facebook stumble upon rss

The Purity Promise

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

These days, young stars are sacrificing sex in favor of virginity vows. Momlogic explores this modern movement -- and what it means for teens everywhere.

What's the latest accessory to grace the bodies of teens wearing barely-there skirts and tummy-bearing tops? Purity rings. Selena Gomez, the 15-year-old star of Wizards of Waverly Place, wears one on her left ring finger that says: "True Love Waits." And the pop group the Jonas Brothers (Kevin, 20, Joe, 18, and Nick, 15) don silver metal bands to signify their promise to God to remain virgins until marriage.

American Idol winner Jordin Sparks says of her ring: "My parents gave me a purity ring and talked to me about waiting until I'm married to have sex. It wasn't forced; it just made perfect sense. It's going to be awesome to say to my husband that I waited my whole life for him."

These stars seem to want to prove they can be young and have fun without sacrificing their beliefs. And although this celebrity pledge may inspire young teens to wait until marriage, the numbers show they are just a reflection of a booming trend. Over the past decade, the number of Web sites selling purity rings has skyrocketed. In fact, sociologists found more than one in eight American teens have made a virginity vow to God.

K-Mart now sells gray, yellow, and blue sweatpants that proclaim in what they call "bold abstinence screen print" a logo that reads "True Love Waits" on the crotch and butt of the pants. And there's a new magazine geared toward junior high and high school students called Just For Girls, which encourages "abstinence living."

The good news: Studies have shown that purity pledges lower the risk of early sexual activity and teen pregnancy. The bad news: Researchers have also found that girls who make purity pledges were six times as likely to engage in oral sex than virgins who hadn't taken a pledge, and were also less likely to use a condom the first time they go all the way.

What do you think of purity pledges: good idea or a waste of time?


next: Boy Scout Camp Tornado Nightmare
69 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kasi June 12, 2008, 10:41 AM

My 13 year old sister has one and she’s very about it. I think it’s a great idea but probably not that realistic. But if it gets them to wait until they are a little older I think it’s definately worth it!

Beth June 12, 2008, 11:28 AM

I think it’s very refreshing in our sex-saturated world that people are noticing and accepting the purity ring. Don’t we wish Britney, Paris, Lindsey, etc. would have gotten ahold of that idea? The tabloids would have nothing to write about!

I hope my daughter (who’s just a baby) will have positive celebrity role models when she’s a teen.

Violet June 12, 2008, 11:46 AM

I think it’s a little sad that we consider chastity unrealistic. I’ve made the decision to wait for my husband, because I believe that he is worth the wait and that my body should be respected. I think this is a message that needs to be sent to girls worldwide - that they are worth so much more than objects to be used by boys.

alaboutnow June 12, 2008, 1:55 PM

I think the fact that these girls are more likely to be having oral sex tells us that we’re focusing on the wrong thing. Girls should have respect for themselves and their bodies as a whole, not just safeguard their hymen. I think a smarter decision would be for a young girl to abstain from sex until she is at least 18. By then she should have the maturity to deal with sex responsibly and have enough respect for herself to do it for the right reasons.

Kate June 12, 2008, 2:10 PM

“True Love Waits” has been around for a long time. I guess it’s just now becoming main-stream. I think it’s great. It seems more and more like no one is waiting for marriage anymore. My husband and I waited, and people look at us like we’re crazy. I hope that my daughter doesn’t get sucked into the overly-sexualized, pop-culture world and that she makes the same abstinence pledge one day.

alaboutnow is right about girls safeguarding their bodies as a whole, but I think she’s all wrong when she says that a better idea is for girls to wait until they’re 18. Seriously, what difference does a few years make? Sure you might be a little more mature, but what kind of a “promise” is that? I think that she missed the point that abstinence is about saving the intimacy of sex for ONE person - the ONE person that you commit to for the rest of your life.

Sex is beautiful, and I’m so glad that I have only shared it with my husband.

Lucy June 12, 2008, 8:52 PM

I agree with Alaboutnow- I’m 37, and many women I know my age are still single. I waited until I was 20 and in love to have sex, but I have no desire to be a “40-year-old virgin”. With people putting marriage off longer or not doing it at all, I think it’s better to emphasize self-respect and waiting until after high school. Otherwise you might have kids rushing into marriage at an early age so they can have sex and then getting just as quickly divorced (hello, Jessica Simpson?).

Jake  June 12, 2008, 11:58 PM

Father of 4 girls where can I get these ?! Their Mother and I waited to have sex till we were married .
Glad we did , sex is meant to be something special between 2 people who love one another .

Anonymous June 13, 2008, 3:46 AM

I think it’s just a bunch of religious crap most people outgrow. I remember when I was a Christian and in high school, we all had to sign a “purity pledge” that went on the youth room wall. I know for a fact that at LEAST over half of everyone who signed that has had sex with one or more people.
Abstinence is a nice idea and all, but at least teach your kids to be safe. Not everyone is going to wait until marriage. If your child chooses not to, at least arm them with the right tools and knowledge to be safe when they have sex.

Anonymous June 13, 2008, 3:47 AM

Also, it’s not a “new trend.” The first time I saw the “purity ring” (aka “promise ring”) thing going on was about 10 years ago.

Kate June 13, 2008, 10:05 AM

Lucy, I still don’t understand this whole “wait until after high school” mentality. What is so special about graduating from high school that makes you ready for sex? Why not wait until after college? It seems to me like unleashing a virgin on a college campus and saying, “Now’s the time to get busy” is asking for trouble.

Abstinence is about respecting your body and respecting the person that you will eventually marry by saying, “I want to save this special thing for you.” Abstinence is not just about sex.

And using Jessica Simpson as an example of how abstinence doesn’t work is a HUGE generalization. I know MANY people whose marriages have succeeded - and they waited. ALL of the divorced people that I know had sex before they were married. I hate to break it to you, but saving yourself for marriage is actually a strength that helps to keep your marriage together.

Abstinence is not unrealistic. It might be undesirable to many people who do not have self control, but it is very realistic. I have so much respoect for the teens that decide to make this pledge and stick with it. It’s not easy, and they deserve our respect, not our criticism.

Marsha  June 15, 2008, 1:37 AM

It doesn’t take a ring . My Father had such a strong impact on my life ,on what a man should be , that he became the yard stick to what I measured all Men by . Therefore I waited to have sex till I found the love of my life .
Married him and could not be happier , glad I waited for him to share myself with . Thanks Dad !

Purity Rings June 17, 2008, 12:34 PM

If someone wants to wear one then good for them!

Anonymous June 19, 2008, 10:26 PM

I’m 14 and I started wearing a purity ring when I was 11. When I told my parents I wanted one they were shocked because I guess they though that at 11 I was thinking about other things and not that but the truth is sex is everywhere like T.V., movies, music. Even at school kids would talk about sex like it’s no biggie! So anyway I think a purity ring is a good idea and even if you choose not to get a ring I still think waiting is the right thing.

Markesia June 20, 2008, 10:37 PM

I response to the message Lucy wrote the 37 yr old. Just becuse you are in love does not make you ready for sex that is just any excuse to justify sex. If you really love the person then you will do whats best for them and having sex with someone before marriage is not the way. You are opening them up to std’s and yourself to pregancy. You are losing yourself respect and letting the man use you for your body. the only one who deserves your virginity is your spuse not someone who you think your in love with. Maybe you should to Jason evert a chasity speaker the website is www.pureloveclub.net.

Anonymous June 24, 2008, 12:11 PM

While the decision to save it for marriage is a great one, it still is up to people whether they wish to save it or not. According to some of you, you guys make it seem like you just have respect for the girls who save it but have absolutely none for those who lose it.

The girls and guys who lose it in high school are people as well. While it sucks they lose it unfavorablely most of the time, if a girl wishes to lose it to the guy she wishes to even with all the sex education she has received than that is her decision and none of you deserve to criticize her. If you think she’s too young or waiting is something she should do than thats your business and no one elses.

To those who saved it, congradulations and to those who didn’t, as long as you don’t regret it with the guy, than don’t regret it just because of others’ beliefs.

Its your life and no one else’s so live it the way you wish to.

Amy June 25, 2008, 10:14 PM

What studies are you talking about? Because I have done extensive research on this topic and extremely reputable publications such as Congressional Quarterly and the Kaiser Family Foundation have reported that abstinence vows only delay the average onset of sexual activity approximately 12-18 months. And studies from the CDC and the National Institute of Child Health show that abstinence vows do nothing to lower STD rates — it only means that those teens are less likely to use protection once they have sex (which most of them end up doing).

The virtual failure of abstinence only sex education is also evident, with teen pregnancy on the rise for the first time in over a decade and STD rates climbing constantly. We need to be realistic about teens and sex. Teach your daughters to respect themselves and protect themselves — not to be shamed into not thinking about sex at all. That just means they won’t be ready when the time comes.

IDK June 27, 2008, 12:12 PM

I really like the way Amy says “Teach your daughters to repect themselves and protect themselves - not to be shamed into not thinking about sex at all.” Obviously you don’t know what a purity ring is all about. There is a lot of talk about sex and how do you say “protection”. Believe me there is no hiding anything about sex in this type of education. I think the true meaning is giving the truth instead of lying “protection” lol.

IDK June 27, 2008, 3:04 PM

Another thing, the failure rate. What are you talking about? I’m sorry but abstinence services have only started. Contraception education has been almost 40 years now and guess what…:) Anyways before you start reading your little studies I would actually step into an abstinence teaching class and truly take the time to get a real understanding of it. We are both doing our best to help teens be healthier and believe me they are getting the message of both sides, abstinence and contraception. No these programs don’t put the “safe” sex message down. They just teach the whole truth about it. “Safe” sex in it self is an inaccurate message, however I am glad to see that the language is changing to “safer”.

IDK June 27, 2008, 3:05 PM

Another thing, the failure rate. What are you talking about? I’m sorry but abstinence services have only started. Contraception education has been almost 40 years now and guess what…:) Anyways before you start reading your little studies I would actually step into an abstinence teaching class and truly take the time to get a real understanding of it. We are both doing our best to help teens be healthier and believe me they are getting the message of both sides, abstinence and contraception. No these programs don’t put the “safe” sex message down. They just teach the whole truth about it. “Safe” sex in it self is an inaccurate message, however I am glad to see that the language is changing to “safer”.

IDK June 27, 2008, 3:31 PM

Sorry…I didn’t think it went through the first time. akjsdfhjksdhf


Back to top >>
advertisement