History of the Purity Ring

Purity rings really got their start in the 1990s when the Bush administration began promoting safe sex and STD/STI prevention/protection.

“Under the Bush administration, organizations that [promoted] abstinence and [encouraged] teens to sign virginity pledges or wear purity rings have received federal grants. The Silver Ring Thing, a subsidiary of a Pennsylvania evangelical church, has received more than $1 million from the government to promote abstinence and to sell its rings in the United States and abroad.” 1

What is a Purity Ring?
It can be simple or it can be fancy. It can be cheap or it can be expensive. It does not matter. A purity ring is a ring that represents a promise, vow, commitment or goal to abstain from sex until marriage. Purity rings are typically worn on the left ring finger. It is significant, in the fact that it is the same finger on which a wedding ring is worn. It is to remind an individual their desire and goal to abstain from sex until marriage. Once marriage takes place, the purity ring is removed and replaced with a wedding ring.

Promise Rings vs. Purity Rings
Purity rings are actually a type of promise ring. There are several different types of promise rings. Some are used to show commitment and affection to a significant other when engagement and/or marriage is not desired. While promise rings are used to show commitment to a significant other when engagement and/or marriage is desired.

Furthermore, promise rings are also used to make promises and commitments to ones self. This is where the purity rings come from. They are often used to make commitments to ones self to abstain from sex before marriage but can also be used to make commitments to others that you will abstain from sex before marriage. 2

Who Wears Purity Rings?
Anyone can wear purity rings and anyone can purchase purity rings. In many cases, parents buy purity rings for their adolescents. However, there are also many young adults who buy purity rings for themselves. It has become more and more popular over the years among both, adolescents and young adults who have never had sex.

“Purity rings are also popular among “secondary virgins,” the abstinence movement’s name for people who have already had sex but have made a pledge to give it up until marriage.” 3

Anyone can wear purity rings regardless of whether they have previously had sex or not. Wearing of a purity ring, is promising ones self that they (at least from that point on) will abstain from sex before marriage.

1 Bario, David. Abstinence-only accessories: Purity rings for celibate teens. 29 Mar 2005. Rutherland Herald. 4 May 2010. AID=/20050329/NEWS/503290315/1027.

2 Promise Rings: Their History and Meaning. “Engraving Ideas: Personalized Rings and Things.” 7 July 2008. http://www.engravedstyle.com/category/purityrings...

3Bario, David. Abstinence-only accessories: Purity rings for celibate teens. 29 Mar 2005. Rutherland Herald. 4 May 2010.

Purity Balls.

Shopping Cart Software by AmeriCommerce.