The emphasis placed on the father’s role in protecting his daughter’s chaste body until marriage, and the daughter’s commitment to her father as well as God, raises important questions about female autonomy and the value being placed on young girls’ virginity.It also raises troubling questions about a young woman’s ability to make informed sexual choices.Throughout the evening the young women danced with their fathers, listened to testimonials about the power of purity, and, as one young woman summarized, reaffirmed their powerful choice to “say no for the greater yes.” Younger girls dressed in all white performed a dance in front of a large, rough wooden cross, first placing white roses at its base and then spinning around the cross with their arms extended into the air, their skirts floating around their small bodies.
The sweetheart necklines, tulle skirts, pearl earrings, diamond necklaces, three-quarter length white satin gloves, and well-applied makeup, created the impression that every young woman at the ball was a princess in a fairy tale.
The media attention focuses on the wedding-like atmosphere and the ceremonial moment during all purity balls when young women pledge their virginity to their fathers in return for their fathers’ promise of protection.
Unlike in the traditional father-daughter wedding dance at purity balls, the father is also Father-daughter purity balls are an extreme ritualized expression of themes that arise in evangelical purity literature.
So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.
But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
A godly father who escorts his daughter to a purity ball demonstrates to the young woman that she is valuable and deserves respect.