That Purity Ring Thing

You spot a silver ring adorning the wedding finger of your 15 year old and you’re immediately suspicious. “And that?” you ask, “It’s a purity ring mom! Duh.” A what? you maybe asking yourself.

It’s nothing to panic about - your teenager has not joined a cult and is not about to get married. The purity ring is something your teen is wearing to show that they want to stay pure and abstain from a sexual relationship until they get day.

I am 19 and wear a purity ring. Not because it is a fashion statement and not because I feel I have to but because I’ve witnessed the effects that sleeping with everyone and anyone has on a teenager. Both physically and mentally.

I have heard many times from older women (and men) that they wish they had waited until their big day because “it just causes issues.” I, myself, would like to avoid said issues.

Purity rings or at least the vow to ‘remain pure’ is nothing new and one of the biggest names in the Purity Ring circle in South Africa is The Silver Ring Thing. They are a Christian organization who promotes that abstinence not birth control or a condom is the best way to stay safe from HIV/AIDS and pregnancy. They hold conferences at various schools around the country telling teens that God’s plan for them to stay safe and pure is abstinence.

Tevin, 15, who has attended these meetings says, “They are open about the effects of sleeping with many partners and it really opens your eyes”. Melissa, a student from the Silver Ring Thing website, says “Since I've been wearing the ring, I've felt a lot more secure about my decision. High school can be difficult because you hear about lots of people having sex, but I look at my ring and know I don't have to.”

At the end of the day, abstinence is a choice that only your teen can make and that you can not make for them.

So if you do spot a silver ring on the finger of your teen, don’t get suspicious - rather get curious and ask you’re teen a thing or two about their ‘sex lives’. You may just be pleasantly surprised!

Does your teen wear a purity ring? Do you agree with what purity rings represent?
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