Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Stopping Sex, One iPhone App at a Time

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Spirituality, Politics, virginity pledge, purity rings, the Guardian, Feministing,

Purity Ring iPhone AppPurity rings and virginity pledges are getting an upgrade. For only 99 cents, iPhone users can download a virtual purity ring, complete with a virginity pledge in which users vow to “not engage in sexual activity of any kind before marriage,” and “keep my thought and my body pure as a very special present for the one I marry.” (You can listen to that pledge below.) The application displays a silver ring on iPhones that theoretically proves the user’s commitment to abstinence.

The company behind the virtual purity ring, Island Wall Entertainment, chose the following keywords to entice people into buying the app: “The Jonas Brothers, Chastity, Miley Cyrus, Billy Grahm, Barack Obama, Bible, God, Jesus, Sex, Naked, Woman,” and “pocket.” The company also makes an application that helps disoriented users find their tents during music festivals.

One espoused benefit the virtual ring is that it saves money, Island Wall Entertainment director Henry Bennett told the Guardian. According to Bennett, “If you wanted to buy a purity ring, you could spend as much as £100.” When asked if the virtual nature would lead young girls to forget about their pledge, Bennett responded, “If you've taken the pledge, you're likely to follow it through.”

Not everyone agrees that the application will be so effective. Jessica Valenti of the blog Feministing writes that the purity pledge won’t really promote chastity, but it could promote “oral, anal, and unprotected sex.”

To hear the pledge, click on the links below:

Men’s Purity Pledge
Women’s Purity Pledge

Sources: The GuardianFeministing