On Icky Purity: You Are Married to the Lord and Your Daddy Is Your Boyfriend and If You Have Sex You Will Get Pregnant, Use Drugs, Join Gangs and Then (Obviously) Die

We know change is hard, but this is ridiculous. This weekend the Las Vegas police partnered with a local church (wait, what about that church and state thingy?) to sponsor a "Choose Purity" event at which girls learned that having premarital sex leads inexorably to sexual assault, prostitution, hard drugs, gang violence, limb-decimating meth lab explosions and death from diet pill addiction, or what one critic politely called "a hodgepodge of unrelated fear mongering." If you think the Las Vegas event is weird, think again: A reported 48 out of 50 states in this country where you believe you reside hold Purity Balls featuring cross-bearing, ring-presenting, all-white, wedding-like ceremonies where young girls "gift" their virginity to their fathers, who sign a pledge as "high priest of their home and family" to protect their daughters' chastity until marriage, because, really, the single most important thing about girls is whether they become sluts or remain good girls by having their father as their boyfriend until they marry the Lord, both of which life phases sound kind of creepy. In his book Purity, Swedish photographer David Magnusson places these embracing pairs of fathers and daughters in fields with crosses and horses and oil tanks, arguing that the portraits show "how we are shaped by the society in which we grow up and how we interpret the world through the values we incorporate as our own.” Which is probably true. Alas, over 95% of young Americans, including pledge-taking virgins, ultimately go on to have premarital sex, which in turn can lead to pregnancy, STDs and other complications commonly called reality, for which abstinence programs and Purity Balls provide some extraordinarily piss-poor preparation.

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