What is a Purity Ring?

Purity rings come in all forms: simple, fancy, expensive, inexpensive. What the ring looks like does not matter as much as what the ring means. A purity ring represents a promise, vow, commitment, or goal to abstain from sex until marriage. Purity rings are typically worn on the left ring finger. The symbolism of this finger (the same finger on which most people wear their wedding ring) shows that the person who has made a purity vow is committed to abstaining from sex until they are married. At the time of marriage the purity ring is replaced with a wedding ring.

Purity rings (also known as chastity rings, or abstinence rings) originated in the United States in the 1990s among Christian-affiliated sexual abstinence groups. Wearing a purity ring is typically accompanied by a religious vow to practice abstinence until marriage.

David Bario, a reporter in the Chicago Tribune, Rutland Herald, and several other news websites wrote: "Under the Bush administration, organizations that promote abstinence and encourage 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." The ACLU of Massachusetts brought charges against this decision, because the Silver Ring program did not ensure its secularity and hence was ineligible for federal funding due to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The settlement between the ACLU and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says that any further similar applications of Silver Ring Thing must be reported to ACLU and closely scrutinized for separation of church and state.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

How to wear a purity ring.