Virginity Pledges Can Work for Some

Evangelical fervor and Jonas Brothers fuel new virginity movement.

ByABC News
September 28, 2008, 9:26 PM

Sept. 29, 2008 — -- For Keith Dorscht, escorting his daughters to the annual "purity ball" is about chivalry, not chastity. For his five girls -- ages 10 years to 9 months -- it's a fairy tale night filled with ball gowns, swirling ballerinas and dancing past midnight.

This year, it's 6-year-old Glori's turn to walk down the aisle with her father at the famous Broadmore Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. He dressed like a prince, and she, in a flowing white dress, his princess.

At this highly ritualized event, Dorscht walks through an arch of swords, as she lays a rose -- the symbol of purity -- on a Christian cross and he signs a covenant pledging to serve as her protector.

"We don't even go close to the topic of virginity," the Canadian-born counselor told "It's just a father-daughter ball, and they are thinking 'Cinderella.'"

"At a later age, we will bring up sexuality," said Dorscht. "But this is something that leaves a prescription of love and commitment and invests in their lives. It helps me get into their hearts when they are young."

Dorscht and other evangelical parents view the purity ball as a "fatherhood event," which helps their daughters build self-esteem and inner beauty . The girls do not sign the covenant right away, but many will later make "purity pledges" vowing to refrain from sex before marriage.

One of them was Laura Black, whose father, Randy Wilson, founded the Colorado Springs Purity Ball in 1998 and who made a commitment when she was only 13 not to have sex -- or even kiss -- until marriage.

Today, she is 23 and happily married, and both her sisters, Khrystian, 21, and Jordan, 19, are doing the same. "When you make a choice to remain pure on your wedding day, it's forever, there are no regrets," Black told