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Question: do you believe girls can remain faithful to this promise...

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Do you believe girls can remain faithful to this promise in today's culture? Are there too many conflicting messages facing young girls today? Would you like your child to have an opportunity like this? Please be sensitive to other's opinions on this topic.

Remember at least 150 words and respond to at least three peers (meaningful responses, please) for full credit.

The first purity ball, with all its queen-for-a-day allure, was thrown in 1998 by Wilson, now 48, and his wife, Lisa, 47; the two run Generations of Light, a popular Christian ministry in Colorado Springs. “We wanted to set a standard of dignity and honor for the way the girls should be treated by the men in their lives,” says Lisa, a warm, exuberant woman with a ready smile and seven children, ages 4 to 22. Lisa’s own father left her family when she was two, and despite a kind stepfather, she says, she grew up not feeling valued or understood. “Looking back, it’s a miracle I remained pure,” she says. “I believe if girls feel beautiful and cherished by their fathers, they don’t go looking for love from random guys.”

That first ball got some positive local and Christian press, as well as inquiries from people in 21 states interested in throwing their own. Today, South Dakota’s Abstinence Clearinghouse—a major association of the purity movement—sends out about 700 “Purity Ball Planner” booklets a year (tips include printing out the vows on “beautiful paper” and serving wedding cake for dessert). While the Wilsons make no money from their ball, a cottage industry for accessories has sprung up. Roam the Internet and you’ll find a $250 14-karat pearl-and-diamond purity ring; for $15, you can buy a red baby-doll T-shirt with ‘I’m Waiting’ emblazoned on the chest, its snug fit sending a bit of a mixed message.

The older girls at the Broadmoor tonight are themselves curvaceous and sexy in backless dresses and artful makeup; next to their fathers, some look disconcertingly like wives. In fact, in the parlance of the purity ball folks, one-on-one time with dad is a “date,” and the only sanctioned one a girl can have until she is “courted” by a man.

The roles are clear: Dad is the only man in a girl’s life until her husband arrives, a lifestyle straight out of biblical times. “In patriarchy, a father owns a girl’s sexuality,” notes psychologist and feminist author Carol Gilligan, Ph.D. “And like any other property, he guards it, protects it, even loves it.”

When it’s time for dads and daughters to take the pledge (some informally exchange rings as well), the men stand over their seated daughters and read aloud from parchment imprinted with the covenant: “I, [father’s name], choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity….” The men inscribe their names and their daughters sign as witnesses. Then everyone returns to their meals and an excited buzz fills the room.”

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