Purity Balls

Virtue Ethics, Sexuality, and Moral Development

  • Nicole B. Doolen
Keywords: article, virtue ethics, sexuality, moral development, ethics, philosophy


In this paper, I draw on the principles of Aristotelian
ethics, the work of modern virtue ethicists, and previous feminist
critiques of purity balls to interrogate the effects of this practice
on moral development. I argue that purity balls discourage young
women from making autonomous, informed, and virtuously
motivated decisions regarding their sexuality. While most critiques
of purity balls are rooted in the explicitly patriarchal structure of
these events, my analysis emphasizes the negative impact they have
on moral agency. I conclude that purity balls are unethical because
of the detrimental effects they have on the becoming of virtuous

How to Cite
Doolen, N. B. (2019). Purity Balls: Virtue Ethics, Sexuality, and Moral Development. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, 9(1), 73-83. https://doi.org/10.33043/S.9.1.73-83