Purity Rings: Promoting Abstinence

Purity Rings also known as Promise Rings, Christian Rings, Abstinence Rings, and Chastity Rings, have gained so much popularity in American society, especially during the Bush administration in the 90’s.  Its boom was a result of an all-out effort to promote safe sex and prevent STI’s and STD’s.  According to the Chicago Tribune, “Under the Bush administration, organizations that [promoted] abstinence and [encouraged] teens to sign virginity pledges or wear purity rings have received federal grants.”  The Pennsylvania Evangelical Church, for instance, has received more than $1 million from the federal government for its subsidiary, “The Silver Ring Thing,” to endorse abstinence and sell its rings in and outside the United States. 

Historical analysts, however, have traced its history way back to the 1800’s when young ladies wore rings as a promise to their parents, betrothed and church to remain chaste until finally married.  Today, these rings continue to encourage thousands of teens not only in America, but all over the world, to make the same promise.

Anyone Can Make the Same Pledge. In most cases, parents buy Christian jewelry for their adolescent children, but many young adults buy Purity Rings for themselves, too, especially those who have never had sex.  Even “secondary virgins”—those who have had sex, but chose to go back to abstinence until marriage—have also joined in the popular movement.

Love Waits. Whether cheap or expensive, fancy or simple, Purity Rings represent one thing:  true love is indeed patient.  It’s symbolic.  It embodies one’s commitment to abstain from sex until marriage.  And the ring, worn on the left ring finger, is only removed when replaced by a wedding ring.  Some people call it odd, even weird or prudish, but here’s the bare truth—just as much as our youth need advice when it comes to money, career, and education, they likewise require guidance in love, sex, and marriage.  And if Christian Jewelry can provide moral support and help instill discipline, then it surely is well worth the investment.

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