Monday, July 28, 2008

Purity Balls...,9171,1823930,00.html?xid=newsletter-weekly

Maybe you've already heard about "purity balls," maybe not, but either way, you should check out this thoughtful article from Time magazine on the subject. Nancy Gibbs does a nice job of offering a balanced perspective on this phenomenon that some of us may find a little bit creepy.

I'd say I still have objections to the way the events are structured, the focus on sex as impure, and the limiting of the participants to girls and fathers (what about boys and mothers?). However, this article points out that many of the dads present are there to commit themselves to being a positive, involved presence in their daughters' lives, rather than leaving all the raising of their children to the mothers of their children. Also, I think that abstinence is a perfectly respectable and healthy choice, and I hope that Gibbs' conclusion including the importance of education and respect for teens' agency is part of the message imparted by these events.

Interesting...what do you think?

1 comment:

RaisinBagel said...

I actually wouldn't have thought of the whole "son-mother" thing if you hadn't mentioned it, maybe from my own natural bias or what I've been taught as a female?

I very much liked the point at the end of the article where the author says, "Maybe mixed messages aren't just inevitable, they're valuable."

I think that the kid as a preteen or teen should be given true information from both sides of the argument and weigh the pros and cons for him or herself. Bluntly put, if they're old enough to start having sex, they're old enough to learn about it.

Proper health education all throughout middle school and high school would help with that. The parents do have a right to teach their children their own values, but with information from the school and other sources, the child/teenager has the ability to also evaluate the issue apart from the pressure of their parents, and then ultimately make his/her choice.