By Alicia Lai, New Jersey

 

Katie Cronmiller of Wisconsin, the author of Proposal 549, informed the conference our nation’s 50 states have purity balls – but you probably don’t even know what purity balls are. Our government, however, continues to fund these balls with our federal tax dollars.

What exactly is a purity ball? It is a daylong father-daughter cotillion consisting of white dresses, dancing, and, ultimately, the celebration of a daughter’s pledge of virginity to her father until he deems her future husband worthy of her “most precious gift.” The father in turn pledges to diligently protect their daughter’s virginity, basically insinuating that even in the 21st century, women still do not have the power to make their own decisions.

Information acquired by the Wired Bear 2.0 (hey, look, free advertising) indicates that purity balls did not, in fact, come into existence until 1998. Seventy-eight years after women were finally granted the right to vote, women are still considered subservient to men.

Getting back to the actual point of the proposal, which is to stop government funding of a religious event, consider this ballpark of just how much money is given to these events annually. While exact numbers for the balls themselves could not be found, the Wired Bear found that $110 million is given for teen pregnancy prevention and $50 million for single funding for abstinence education. The ratio for contraceptive-centered education in relation to abstinence-only education is 16:1.

With this much funding going into these organizations, one would expect them to make headway. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, however, claims that teen-agers making virginity pledges are less prepared to practice safe sex in life. The author of the proposal stated that even with abstinence education, HIV and AIDS cases have doubled in recent years.

It seems as though the debaters of this proposal misunderstood the author’s intentions. While she was against the holding of purity balls, her proposal pushes to stop government funding for a religious event, as this clearly is not a separation of church and state.

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