Daddy I Do: Documentary on Purity Balls and Abstinence-Only Culture

Via Jessica, it looks like there is a newish documentary on Purity Balls and abstinence-only programs — and lawdy, does it look compelling. It’s been screened thus far at a number of film festivals, winning a ton of awards. Let’s hope it really exposes the dangerous and shaming consequences that abstinence-only programs and purity-pushing has on young people — particularly girls.

Approximate transcript below the jump.

The Chastity Industrial Complex
There’s nothing rebellious about “purity”
NYT Takes on Purity Balls
The Purity Myth

“I pledge my purity to my father, my future husband and my career…”

It’s like a wedding, but with a twist…where a dad gets in a tuxedo and the daughter gets in a gown..

She’s daddy’s little girl there to take a vow of chastity…

It’s a creation of the conservative Christian movement in America.

Whoever came up with the name, “Purity Balls”…

There’s a lot of funding for abstinence programs. There are a lot of organizations who will go to schools and say, “We will come into your school and we will implement an abstinence program and it will cost you nothing. We will bring in all the materials and the training and it will cost you nothing. And schools think that’s great and invite them in.

The ultimate goal of the silver ring thing is to help teenagers find Christ and end up in heaven. Christian kids are coming anyway..that’s not hard, it’s their friends who we want to reach.

You believe what you believe…the question is, should your belief should be the — of the law?

It’s condoms versus abstinence, that’s what it’s about. It’s the argument.

If you were to do sex safely, it’s premeditated.

Sex prior to marriage is a sin, so why are we telling young people how to protect themselves in sin?

I wouldn’t tell my daughter to use a condom in a sex act.

That’s frightening. That’s truly frightening.

It doesn’t matter if you get married at 18 or get married at 28, it’s, “Don’t have sex don’t have sex don’t have sex — wedding, have sex, you are free to do anything you want.”

You’re looking for this knight in shining armor…

I would have never ever ever thought that that would have happened to me.

You wonder, “Am I going to be punished for this?”

Once the baby is out of the womb, where is the Right to Life movement?

I was pregnant, living in my car, pregnant with my youngest son…

It was all based on fear, it was all a lie.

How is it possible that you as a parent do not know this?

I’m shocked that something so archaic could still be pushed as an agenda. He does not own me.

Join the Conversation

  • Travis Mamone

    The funny thing is there is absolutely NOTHING in the Bible that says anything about girls pledging their virginity to their fathers.

  • Shannon Drury

    Is anyone else feeling gut-level revulsion at the title alone? “Daddy, I do” ?? It could be the title of that awful pedophilia book that was being hawked on Amazon!

  • Travis Mamone

    P.S. The guy at 00:22 is the brilliant Matthew Paul Turner, who is like the evangelical David Sedaris. And he’s right, “purity balls” does sound nasty!

  • Matt

    Any time parents talk about or alludes to having sex outside of marriage, the more their children think about it. Even if (maybe especially if) they tell them “don’t do it.” So the kids obsess about it, and because they’re governed by fear and ignorance, they’re completely oblivious about how to deal with their feelings love, and they won’t use protection in the event they do have sex (and kids who pledge abstinence seem to be more likely to have sex than those who do not). Then if/when these kids end up with STDs (and girls end up pregnant), they are blamed because they “sinned” — but the real “sin” is that parents were too controlling to teach their own kids how to use protection and to avoid people who do not respect them (the kind of people who would pressure and sweet talk them into a sexual encounter when the kids aren’t ready for that in their relationships).

    It may be counterintuitive, but while educating kids about protection may make sex less scary, it also makes abstinence less coercive — and it allows parents to offer a more nuanced and compelling justification for being circumspect about having sex. And respectful discourse will help children keep their heads cool when their emotions and feelings would otherwise get the best of them in a relationship.

    Also, the idea of a girl making a vow to her father never stops being creepy.

  • Shelly

    You believe what you believe…the question is, should your belief should be the — of the law?

    “The question is, should your belief be the underpinnings of the law?”

  • Emily

    The trailer alone gives me the heebie jeebies.

  • Tiffany

    Why tell young people how to protect themselves? Oh, I don’t know, so they can protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies and STD’s. Teaching a kid how to properly use a condom isn’t going to make them fuck like rabbits, and if they do, at least they’ll do it safely. I don’t understand the mentality of KEEPING EDUCATION FROM people. They’re essentially saying “even though we CAN educate and inform, we should not, we want to keep this education and information away.” That makes zero sense to me. “Let’s keep everybody uninformed!” No.

  • dark_morgaine_le_fey

    I think the final line of the transcript says it all: “I’m shocked that something so archaic could still be pushed as an agenda. He does not own me.”

    My father is an atheist, so the likelihood of him dragging me or my little sister to one of these balls is zip to nil, but even the idea: putting on a dress to go dance with my father (and I suppose the moms and brothers just stay home and hang out) seems awkward at the least and bordering on incestuous at the worst. Notice how they “pledge [their] purity” to THEIR FATHERS?! Not, “to my family,” or “to myself” or something slightly more egalitarian. Though I know my father would love to protect me from all the dirty boys in the world, the fact remains that my body is MINE and not he, or my mother, or anyone else has a claim to it. I don’t even consider them when it comes to sex, and frankly, why would I?

    This whole thing is just sick.

    Also, “premeditated sin”? Give me a break. Does this guy refuse to teach his son to handle a gun because anytime you use a gun you’re premeditating, I don’t know, MURDER?

  • Esmeralda

    Some of my own family members try to protect my “purity” by sticking their nose into my personal sex life and lecture me whenever they suspect I have spent the night with a man and had sex….and I’m 30 years old!!! It just baffles my mind that they are still so Hell-bent on “protecting” my virtue when everyone in my family knows that I have lived with two boyfriends and had an abortion….the jig is up already, I’m no virgin and there is nothing to “protect” anymore!! Why would I even WANT to be a virgin at 30 year old?? Geez…

  • Amelia

    the whole concept of virginity baffles me. “pure” – does that mean never kissing, never holding hands, no exploring hands, no oral sex, no forms of sex other than PIV… i mean, where does virginity start and finish anyway? and does preaching abstinence mean you actually talk about sex – the different kinds and ways of expressing sexuality? Because if you don’t (and it seems that they don’t), it’s no wonder kids get confused about it.

  • Jennifer

    I have nothing against promoting celibacy. It’s just that the way some evangelicals try to do it absolutely baffles me. That pledge – what is going on there? It sure sounds like it’s saying that fathers have the same rights to a girls’ “purity” that husbands do.