I recently had the opportunity to view Daddy, I Do, a documentary that explores abstinence-only education and the purity movement. This documentary should be required viewing for those who are on the fence regarding abstinence-only or comprehensive sex education.
The documentary begins with some information and statistics on Purity Balls, where young women (one girl they portrayed was as young as six) go to “Balls” with their fathers and pledge purity in the name of their father. The girls receive a “purity” ring and when they become married, they hand the ring over to their husband. This documentary does a great job of exploring the pitfalls of abstinence-only education and the purity ring movement through interviews with educators, professionals, and normal teens and young people who are on both sides of the debate.
One of the best scenes in the documentary was an interview with a young African American woman with many young children who had a long history of poverty and sexual abuse. Another memorable scene was an interview with a mother of a child who is a strong supporter of abstinence (the child even sings a song in support of abstinence); the mother spoke quite frankly about the naivety of devoting so much energy and emotion into waiting for the perfect man to come along, and the rejection associated with that.
Daddy, I Do does not pose any easy solutions to the problems of teen pregnancy and high HIV and STD infection rates, but it does clearly show that comprehensive sex education is a step in the right direction and that abstinence-only programs are not showing results. Daddy, I Do reveals the complexity of teen pregnancy and acknowledges that comprehensive sex education is not the only answer to the problem, but also reveals that abstinence-only programs are contributing to some of these high rates of unintended pregnancies and STD infections.
While sexual health professionals may only be reminded of the problems they face every day in their own careers by watching this documentary, it is still highly recommended for anyone and everyone interested in teen sexual health, especially for those who are unaware of the significance of the Purity Ball for a portion of Americans.
To learn more about Daddy, I Do or request a video for your own viewing, visit the website.
Check out the trailer for Daddy, I Do below: