I just heard an item on NPR: audio of a group of US soldiers patrolling in Iraq, finding and detonating IEDs, and trying to pacify children who set the IEDs by throwing peanuts and candy at them. One soldier says, whimsically, "please don't blow us up!" Indeed. Is it really helping the new Iraqi government to have these poor soldiers putting themselves on the line, and inadvertantly making the civilians feel like an occupied territory? I suspect that we can help the new government succeed, but it will be with advisors and financial assistance, not soldiers. Bring 'em home.
Anyhow, more on those purity balls. A little googling reveals they have similar things for boys, only the boys get "Integrity Balls." This speaks volumes. "Integrity" connotes an active principle, while "purity" connotes passivity. Boys have choices to make, actions to carry out; girls just have to glow like the widdle angels they are (don't fornicate or you lose your hymen halo). This sexist framing of men as active and women as passive probably flatters the predelictions of the evangelical daddies at these things, but it has less and less application to the big bad world. Women can be active; they need integrity as much as guys do. Integrity is something everyone needs. What is purity? Cocaine can be pure, but that doesn't make it good.