BBC4 just broadcast a documentary called "The Virgin Daughters" about America's very own purity ball phenomenon. From the show's website:
This week Cutting Edge explores the controversial purity movement currently sweeping across the United States. One-in-six American girls now pledges to remain a virgin – and some even to save their first kiss – until their wedding day. But is this their decision, or their fathers'?
Providing a fascinating insight into America's heartland, award-winning documentary maker Jane Treays follows a group of fathers and daughters as they prepare to attend a Purity Ball in Colorado Springs.
Wait, one in six girls pledge to remain virgins? It's the first time I've heard that number. Anyone know where it came from?
I haven't seen the film yet, but I hope it's not all "look at those wacky bible-thumping Americans." This is still a fringe movement, folks, despite the fact that it's been reported to death in the US. Most of the American articles have had this inexplicable and maddening sympathy for these loving dads. Thankfully, in the UK they're as totally creeped out by it as I and others are. Here's a quote from the film:
"It sounds unrealistic in our day and age, it's not the exact path I went down personally, but if it can work, how cool would it be to say I've been kissed by one man in my life? How special, how cherished, how set apart? Why not shoot for the fairytale?" Ken, father of 11-year-old Hannah.
You've heard this before but I can't help myself, so here we go:
Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!! "It's not the exact path I went down personally..." No. Why hold yourself to the same standards as your daughter? "How cool would it be to say I've been kissed by one man in my life?" Uh, no dad, it's not cool. It's sad and repressed. "Why not shoot for the fairytale?" Right, because those fairy tales are so empowering, like the one where the girl is locked up in a tower forever? Or maybe comatose in a glass coffin?