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What They Were Thinking: Purity Balls, Obeying Fathers, Serving Husbands

"...I go[...]yearly to remind myself of the commitment I have made to keep myself pure — physically, morally, sexually — until I am married. What I really like about my father going is that he is the one that God has put at the head of our household. I’m preparing myself for when I am married, so I think you could call my dad my guinea pig. I’m learning how to serve, respect, love, honor my husband. I practice that by loving, serving and obeying my father."

Tara Wixom, 14 New York Times Magazine feature "What They Were Thinking: A Purity Ball, Oroville, Calif." (Interview by Alexandra Wolfe)

The troubling issue for me is not about waiting until marriage to have sex. It's about making that waiting synonymous with 'moral purity' and the need to learn how to properly serve your husband. It's about assuming you will want a husband. It's about your entire sexual being being placed under the moral authority of your [male] father/husband/God. That, and the fact that there's not a purity-pledging boy in sight.