The Virgin Daughters

The Virgin Daughters

2008, Sexuality  -   453 Comments
Ratings: 6.42/10 from 106 users.

The Virgin DaughtersCutting Edge explores the purity movement in America, where one girl in every six pledges to remain a virgin, or to save her first kiss, until her wedding day.

Award-winning documentary-maker Jane Treays investigates whether this decision is made by the girls themselves or their parents, and follows a group of fathers and daughters as they prepare to attend a purity ball in Colorado Springs, run by Randy Wilson and his wife Lisa.

Two things were striking to the outsider. The first was how young the girls were: Hannah, aged 11, was going to her fifth ball, having started at the age of seven.

The second was the central role played by fathers: they squire the daughters to the ball, dance with them, receive fulsome tributes from them (Hannah: I adore being your daughter. When you spend time with me, you make me feel like a beautiful princess), and later on will be called on to vet any young man showing an interest.

According to Randy Wilson, the minister (self-appointed, the commentary noted) who organizes the Colorado Springs ball, the father is the significant individual in a young girl's life: He is everything.

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6 years ago

However, losing your virginity in todays world is an issue for all of us until we actually lose it. Once that happens, you wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place.

Lisa Milton
7 years ago

This is a new level of creepy. It's almost boarding on a unhealthy relationship with their fathers. These fundie Christians take control of their kids to a sick level (cult like). I have two teenage daughters. There father has never been a huge influence in their lives. Yet at 16 and 19, both of them are still virgins, they don't drink or smoke, they haven't had a serious boyfriend (because they hold themselves in high esteem and won't just date any guy). I have always been open and honest with them when it comes to dating and sex. They know that if they are ever going to be in a sexual relationship that they can come to me and I will take them to get birth control. So it's possible to teach your daughters self-worth without going to extremes like this. They sound like they are all brainwashed.

10 years ago

(last comment, promise ;) ). this doc in all is very disturbing. it's not the idea of virginity that troubles me here (because the point is, that you can do whatever the h*ll you want with your body, including not havingg sex, ever), but it's the absence of choice the girls have. they have no place to express themselves outside of their parents' expectations.

I find it revealing the difficulties the girls have to justify their "choice".

the parents are not trusting the girls to make decisions. how will they ever be able to trust themselves? obviously they never heard the saying "practice makes perfect".

and just,... what's with the "girls want to feel beautiful" ????? that's the frst and often only word they use to describe their daughters (contrary to their sons, which apprently deserve more rewarding compliments).

As a women, I would be offended if my dad only viewed value in wether I'm being and feeling beautiful or not. I don't want to be beautiful. I want to be brave, intelligent, compassionate, cunning, ... all the interesting stuff that doesn't make me a bland barbie doll that has her choice and life removed from her.

(and FYI, having sex and respecting yourself are not incompatible. If you know what you do and there is trust involed, sex is actually the best form of self respect ever. Why? because it actually feeels good. and judging other girls for "having a different boyfriend each month" is actually disrespectful.)

10 years ago

ow, even better then; the guy just decided that her daughter would be happier if she only kissed one man in her entire life, when he probably f$cked himself plenty of girls. what's that phrase again... double-standard?
they obviously are misogynistic (is this the right term? english ins't my motherlanguage) basta$ds who can't accept women making their own choices, and want to keep their precious daughters from becomming like the slutty ones their sleeped with when they were young, while ignoring that they were also someone's daughter. in fact, they don't want their daughters to be disrespected, shamed and viewed as they themselves view other women.

10 years ago

just watched the first 3 minutes of the video... and I'm already upset.
The only thing the father wishes for his daughter is for her to meet a
guy. Not for her to find happiness wether on her own or with someone,
but he's basically saying to her that her life fullfillment depends on
another person (who's basically a younger version of himself). if it's
not conditionning girl to be dependant, passive and not take credit and
responsability of her own choices, I don't know what it is.

10 years ago

I grew up being taught the "purity" message in my church youth group. When I was 12, a woman did a demonstration with a paper heart where she would rip off pieces to represent every man we were ever with before our husbands. All that was left at the end was a small scrap and she said that if we had sex before we were married our husbands wouldnt be getting our full heart. We were also told that good Christian men didn't want women who weren't virgins. This same type of message was drilled into my brain the entire time I was a part of that youth group. We were taught that even looking at a boy we were attracted to and having "impure" thoughts was a sin. I went through one of these ceremonies. I got a purity ring too. I lost my virginity at 18 while drinking. I felt so horrible about myself because of all the shame I had been taught. I was already "damaged goods" so I figured it didn't matter who I had sex with at that point and I went through a time when I was very promiscuous. I am now married to a wonderful, godly man. My marriage is just as special as the marriages of people who waited. Actually, my marriage has lasted longer than many of the people I did know who waited. But the guilt and shame that was drilled into me by this movement seriously hurt my self worth and self esteem. These people need to realize that putting all this emphasis on virginity is the reverse-objectification of women. It is harmful and dangerous.

Cassie Nadeau
10 years ago

Wow. Okay. I see a lot of great things here. I see fathers who genuinely love and cherish their daughters. I see fathers who have a real interest in their lives and real relationships. I agree that a strong relationship with her father is very protective for a young woman. It's too bad that the entire thing is based around whether or not a man has had access to her vagina. It's too bad that love isn't actually unconditional. And it's too bad these men feel a sick need to have their daughters worship them. Take purity and god and father worship out of it and like the concept.

10 years ago

Oh my, kinda creepy watching young girls in beautiful white dresses, doing ballet around a crucifix, in front of their fathers.
The Reverend Randy was "Captain Creepy" in my book.
I wonder if any of these girls, 5 years later, have run off and joined a motorcycle gang; far, far away from their creepy dads.
I'm all for encouraging young girls to hold onto their virginity, but not to the extent of these people.

10 years ago

freud would love this

10 years ago

when you love someone just for sex
in time they may become your ex
your then left with a broken heart
since both of you were torn apart
your certain to ask yourself why
they were once a nice girl or guy
the reason you should know and feel
when you first met they were not real
you saw their superficicial side
and thats why its so wrong to hide
the type of person that you are
GOD sees all watching from afar
HE hurts when HIS children feel pain
so know there is nothing to gain
loving them for their outershell
you will not be able to tell
if what united you was fate
if theyre really your true soulmate
to make a relationship last
commit to a sexual fast
that ends at the marriage union
thats between a man and woman
you then are free to procreate
and will know its been worth the wait
bypassing sex for making love
and pleasing GOD who is above
so be the ones who buck the trends
instead become eternal friends
before you share that special kiss
that is the start of wedded bliss

10 years ago

One thing that really annoys me is how they seem to think that they've cornered the market on how to remain virgins because of their religiousness. But I am a 22 year old virgin who has never even kissed someone and I was raised secular and have never been a Christian. I'm an atheist and I'm just doing whatever the **** I want and that just happens to not include romantic or sexual relationships.

10 years ago

47:50--actually no, you jerk...that's not what any woman wants to know. Some of them want to know that they are respected and valued for something besides their appearance or their sexual status.

Megan Meier
10 years ago

I feel for these girls, being indoctrinated by men as to how a woman should act in a relationship. Sad to say I didn't see any boys, but then again a boy not waiting is chalked up to boys being boys. Having been through this type of religious up bringing I can say that you can take back your life and make your own choices when it comes to relationships.

10 years ago

Creepy, Look at one of the early stories - Jessica. Totally involved in this then falls in Love, starts having sex , full of shame, lots more sex, no sex education, gets pregnant, condemned by church, mom, dad. Now mom views her as a "lesser person". These are SICK people who put their children through "Hell on earth". I would rather have my granddaughter sane (and viewed by these terrorist as being a slut) that to have her mind and life screwed over by something like this. Now Jessica's mom might be unwittingly doing her the best favor she can by rejecting her life stile and her boyfriend. With luck Jessica might just move on and live a healthy life away from this awful excuse for a mom. My college age granddaughter is so close to her dad but in a healthy way; not like these sick dads who sure do appear to be undercover pedophiles. Some of these girls will get through this without a damaged mind but most of them will suffer through much of their childhood and as young adults and even worse might pass this illness on to their female children. Almost to the other extreme they introduced David who appears to be a spoiled old man who lived only for himself and now that the curtain is closing on his selfish life he is trying to blame it upon the couple of "older girls" who "took advantage of him" and setting out to get some of his daughters in this path of shame. Watching the reverend Randy Wilson pass his blessing upon all his children exposes him as the real person he is a control freak who see himself as god (self appointed it should have been be noted in the article). And finally Randy Wilson's exhausted, overworked, depressed and over screwed (seven kids and five miscarriages) wife said it just about right - She said that she did not know how she could be the best mom for these kids. Maybe she should have taken some birth control and put her foot down or kicked this primadona self appointed controller of virtue and womanhood to the curb.

Proca Ioan-Paul
10 years ago

20:10 the sanity moment . thought this documentary was stupid in the first place

Proca Ioan-Paul
10 years ago

13:30 man that scared the shyt out of me !

10 years ago

What a conspicuous motif: some moms and dads admitting to have had premarital relationships yet taking a hard line on their children when it comes to their purity. As an authority, they simply lack credibility.

Ntopas Ntopium
10 years ago

i smell electra complex......

10 years ago

these young girls are being taught to respect themselves and that's good but how do they know what they really want unless they go out into the world and date other men to see what they like and don't like in a relationship.

10 years ago

This is just plainly revolting. Why not just lock them away in convents to keep the brainwashing going?

1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted some time in their lives.. Many of them by family members. My father took my purity, then implied I need to be a virgin on my wedding night.

These balls set these girls up for huge quantities of shame and self hate for the very part of them that makes them human and female.

There is nothing wrong with waiting, Not by scriptures, but by the reality that you should know a person well before you become physical.

They have fed these girls the lie so hard that they have no chance at all.

And.. What happens if one of these girls comes out? Does that mean that they can never be with anyone because they aren't attracted to men?

11 years ago

I lost all respect for the man in the beginning who said "I don't want my daughters to catch cancer of the cervix". Really? You don't know the stories of the women who get HPV at all. Being one of them, I was VERY offended.
I was with a man whom I loved, and who I thought loved me back. Little did I know, he was loving about 4 different women while we were in our relationship. Might I add that he was my first? Might I add that I was engaged to him?
The people in this film (so far, I had to stop and comment) strike me as so judgemental. Who are they to say that someone who got a disease was, for lack of a better word, a slut?
Because I sure as I am sitting here, was not.

11 years ago

Creepy-disturbingly religious documentary, with relationships bordering on incest. This is not healthy.
Sex is a part of life.
Get used to it. Accept it. Do it. Move on.
Also, your religion is fake. Accept it, move on.
Peace out!

11 years ago

Much better than being a sex slave...There's Nothing wrong with a "strong relationship" with your father. As a young girl in society today, experiencing the wrong impressions can be tragic.

honestly my first thoughts involved judgement and swearing but isn't setting a higher standard for yourself something good?" I admire yet, scratch my head at there...beliefs

Does one not learn from mistakes?
I had no role models either way, so you can call me "one who made many mistakes" so i think guidance is needed. BTW Colton, kudos to you sir, either your a great liar or your legit! seriously though i look at this as trying to be a good person.

people are weird, and the almost trance like nature of those young girls was strange to me. they mostly repeated what there parents had told them or "scripture" no free thought really, the one on one interviews made that clear. im not saying there mindless zombies!!! but thinking outside the box *cough cough* the bible, can teach young minds alot as well.

I can argue the benefits of experience, now i just need some one who can argue the benefits of inexperience and we can put any arguments to rest...

11 years ago

The numbers say this doesn't work so well. Basically what happens is the women have sex a little later (I think it was as much as 18 months on average). But then when they do have sex, they are much less educated on how to handle it in a responsible manner, so there is higher unwanted pregnancy and STDs. The other side effect seems to be that the young women engage in risky behavior like oral and anal sex because such a high (in my opinion obsessively strange) amount of attention is given to traditional intercourse. I'm not opposed to teaching kids abstinence, but not at the expense of practicality and education. There's something pathological to this "movement".

11 years ago

A Different Perspective:

i had "lost" my virginity dozens of times before my 6th birthday [involuntarily] - growing up, and listing to years of girl/"purity" rhetoric in church, i secretly felt horrifically ashamed & that deep inside i was somehow "ruined" & even "evil."

i actually do believe in waiting - not necessarily until marriage, but until you find a partner/future partners for whom you truly care - out of self respect, more than anything else. but look at the numbers: 44% of all rape/incest victims are under 18. by calling ALL premarital sex "evil" - we are intrinsically labeling these children "bad".
i wish the adults in the video would realize how much they are probably hurting so many of the ones who they claim to help.

11 years ago

they may as well get married to their fathers, smh.

11 years ago

Why would you choose to believe in something that prevents you from happiness? Are you afraid of being unchained and being free? Isn't it better to first believe in yourself than someone or something else?

11 years ago

lol such a fail... this is so wrong..

11 years ago

"freedom for our daughters"?!?!?! yeah, certainly "freedom" is overused nowadays, mostly for them who would kill them before letting their own daughters to live thoroughly and FREELY their own sexuality.

I think here we can see a lot of confusion of concepts, melting freedom, god, bible, fatherhood, love, protect, dignity, self respect and inner value; but let's start with one thing:

1. parents can't avoid the "pain" of being human at all for their children. If they think they are parents to do so, they are really damaging their daughters and sons. Pain and deception, and making mistakes is part of growing up, and becoming a better person. The only thing that parents can do is to love their children in a healthy way, obviously telling that they are important, unique and beautiful, but also and equally important: letting them the knowledge of the world, and not scaring them with the freakish discourse that "evil" is everywhere, including within them, and that's what THEY DO when they teach their children that sexuality is a sin, because the bible says so... come on, have you read, for instance, The Song of Songs?!?! (in the bible)

2. The inner value of a women NOT LIES in her sexuality, nor her virginity, it is also as stupid as saying that the value of a man has anything to do with his penis, tha value of a human has to do with other things, and certainly we have value merely for exist, for being. The goodness of a person, also, has nothing to do with his or her religion, it has to do with knowing that every human is important, that everybody counts and deserve a good trait, this is ethics. If someone is good just because one "god" says so, let me tell you...this is just being good because of the consequences that almighty "god" will send to that someone.

3. do you know that long ago, in the XIX century, and before that, almost up to the greeks classical time, exists something that doctors called "hysteria", when they treat women that were sad and restless, who were good, really good christians, and as a christians, they knew that anything near sexuality was immoral, evil, sin, so they barely lived under their own skins, which led the doctors to treat them, you know how they treat them? rubbing their clitoris, that was the treatment, believe it or not... the bibliography, i of course give to you, you can read that fully in Maines, Rachel: "The Technology of Orgasm", you can google it, i'm not lying.

Well, that false disease ended up, when more openness let women be able to touch themselves without that awful sense of guilt. Is this movement leading to more pain to the girls who will become woman and live in a world where just the man has the ultimate word? I thought that we have superseded the men's validation of a woman. I guess not.

Women: don't let anyone to tell you what to do or not with your body, clitoris, sexuality. Let yourselves discover what please you and what not. Know and enjoy your own sexuality.

Everybody: dont think that the women's worth lies in her vagina, our value -of men and women- lies in our capabilities of being good humans, good citizens, good inhabitants of this poor planet. And being good not always means "to be obedient", many times it means the opposite, we have to read a lot and be critical and curious in order to decide what is good for us like humans.

I also recommend you all the books of Shere Hite, especially The Hite Report of Female Sexuality.

Sorry for my grammar mistakes, I write you from Mexico. :)

11 years ago

I agree with this documentary. I'm not religious, but I will say that from personal experience and the absence of a father, it has caused some detrimental effects on my life and relationships with men. I've tried to please in every way, sometimes leading to sexuality, which in fact lead to being used. I was a virgin until I was 20 regardless, but I wish I would of waited. I'm now 35 and still not married, have issues in relationships, and wished that all along I had the love, care and support from my father. I truely believe that my life would be different. I respect these fathers for making their daughters their world. When these girls are ready for marriage, they will have the self-respect and the tools to assess a real man for a relationship. Just a thought.

11 years ago

I disagree with most of the comments here. I think this is a wonderful goal for young ladies to have in this day and age of moral decay. Too many youths are forced to grow up early because of becoming sexually active, when they are neither physically or mentally prepared and then having to deal with the consequences of not having a committed person in your life. Anyone who chooses to have as many partners as possible, then get married when their old and worn out has no respect for their future spouse. And anyone who chooses to live with someone without being married to them (no matter how in love you are) has to live with the constant knowledge that you are not committed to each other. My husband and I were both 27 when we got married. We knew each other from high school and knew that we were attracted to each other. Although we are not part of this movement, As Jehovah's Witnesses we both decided to live by Bible principles and not have sex before marriage. We have been happily married for 5 years, have a beautiful daughter, and deeply love and respect each other.

This documentary only focused on the girls. My only wish is that this movement encourages their young men to remain pure as well.

11 years ago

If purity is that important then why aren't they teaching it to boys as well?
It sounds like something insecure men have set up to just make 'PENIS' seem Holy.

Amber Cartwright
11 years ago

colton is werid

11 years ago

I feel so sad for all these little girls! They are forces in their early ages to do something which particularly they have no clue what it is. Their parents and mostly dads build for them unreal life from which sooner or later they will wake up and hit the reality. I am really trying hard not to judge these parents, but thinking about what is going to happen to these young women and how brain washed they are, I am afraid of their reaction when they actually wake up from the fairytale.
From a psychological point of view children shouldn't be that attached to any of the parents because it's going to be hard to live on their own after that and to build anything alone. That's how certain disorders are actually activated in the early twenties, especially in girls.

11 years ago

So... what I see done here is this:
-girl attends purity ball
-girl is sold this unrealistic romantic idea of how real life men & boys are supposed to treat her -i.e. take care of her, tell her how to live and love her in return for her adoration, vorship, and submissal to their authority
-in other words, we're back to century gender roles

Kudos for manipulation.
...don't know how they think this is a good thing for their child.

11 years ago

I felt a little sad for myself watching this because even though I had a father we had no relationship at all. For me I would have to admit that I was looking for validation from men at an early age because of it.

11 years ago

'I see the world and there's sex and drugs and partying....', sounds like a pretty fun world to me! Seriously though have these fathers never heard of condoms? They seem to be worried about pregnancies and STDs/STIs that are so easily preventable: these parents seem to be fear mongering and presenting an unrealistic presentation of human inequalities. Also I wonder what would happen is one of these girls came out as homosexual or bisexual? *shudders at thought of the treatment they'd receive*

11 years ago

No thanks

seamus watson
11 years ago

An unhealthy interest in their daughters. When they mature every fella they get close to will be their daddy. A little bit sick. Do they spend as much time with their wives.

11 years ago

"the father is everything?" :/

11 years ago

I wouldn't consider it a bad thing that these girls are giving the vow to wait until marriage but kind of don't think that it should be up to the father on who gets to be with his daughter. On the other hand, I would never do this lol. Well now at least, I enjoy living life the way I do and I believe that everyone expresses themselves in different ways. If they look down on it well then that's their opinion.

11 years ago

its great to know such thing exist in america.i m happy about it.but what happens if they don`t find husband on time,how do they cope with the challenge.we are in the days the Bible says 7 women will cling to one man due to scarcity of husband

peter umejei
lagos Nigeria

11 years ago

Yeah. This is creepy.

11 years ago

This was so my life.. I had to sign a commitment to God and also wear a promise ring to God stating that I would wait until marriage. I think I was 12 at the time and was totally fine with the idea of waiting until marriage. All through highschool I struggled, had crushes on guys but felt that if I had feelings or even entertained the idea that was sinful. It was a lonely 25 years. I gave my virginity at the age of 25 and now would not wish that on my two girls. Not that I encourage sex at an early age. Just that they need to be sure that they are in love and the guy is totally commited to them. I think it is a very large burden for someone to carry. I also had both of my children out of wedlock which was totally locked down apon and was told that not only was that sinful but that now I apparently am not a Christian because how could I disobey God and still be one. The burdens that Christians endure from the church are heavy. When it clearly states in the bible that "Love" is the greatest comandment. Love others. Anyways enjoyed the documentary and If you have taken a vow with God to save yourself that is totally your choice. It is a hard thing to do and these girls did not protray it the way I endured it. They were smiling the whole time making it seem that they were happy.. Maybe they were. My thoughts also about waiting is that if a women only dates one man and that is the man she is sappose to marry . I think that leaves room for adultery in the future and leaves room for your mind to wander. I dont recomend this sort of thing because I do not see it as healthy. Now if my daughters make a choice by themselves and not being persuaded by someone else to do so, then good for them. I would be very proud. But If they want to date in there teen years then I also think that is great. I also think to live with someone before you get married is a good idea because you get to see the person in everyway and then when you actually say those vows you can be more at peace knowing that you know this person and what your to expect once you get married. I think marrying quickly because you don't want to sin is the wrong motives. Sorry if I offend anyone these are only my personal feelings and opinions.

11 years ago

My mom's only ever kissed one man in her life. I'm pretty sure if she'd tried out a few more, she wouldn't have married my dad, and she'd be a happier lady for it.

This doc was really disturbing and scary to me. I find it especially illustrative that there doesn't seem to be a similar movement by parents to lock their sons up and keep them from ever dating, kissing, etc. Sexual "purity" and the cult of virginity is all about property rights and proof of paternity.

The bit about little girls wanting to marry their daddies was rather terrifying, too.

11 years ago

I guess what this documentary is conveying is that the only way in which a woman can be happy or fulfilled is if she remains sexually inactive until marriage (I dread at using the word pure, as I believe that purity should not be equated in any way with abstinence). So a woman is fallen and rejected if she enjoys her sexuality, and mind you that's for her own well being.

I understand that we live in an overly sexualized society, but this only reinforces the importance of sex rather than accepting it as a normal part of life and educating ourselves about it as much as possible.

I am also troubled by how much meaning the father is given. For most of the families it seems that the father is viewed as this infallible God like figure, or at least as the person that knows best.

Also, from the time you are a toddler you are told that you HAVE to marry, HAVE to make babies, and of course that you HAVE to be straight. This is disturbing on so many levels, so I'm just going to stop rambling :)

11 years ago

that guy Ken is so creepy

11 years ago

That guy Ken kind of freaks me out

11 years ago

Such obvious brainwashing of these children by their parents...absolutely ridiculous.

11 years ago

Why one shouldn't wait until marriage:

1. With two virgins, the wedding night's gonna be dissappointing...

2. It's important to explore your sexuality, cause it's part of who you are. If you get married before you've gotten to know yourself, and your partner, sexually, do you really know each other well enough?

3. If you wanna have sex, but want to "save yourself", you'll probably get married sooner, if not you'll have to deal with a lot of sexual frustration. Sex isn't a big commitment, but marriage is and a regular break-up is a lot easier than a divorce. The point is: have sex, but use protection. No-one wants a shotgun wedding.

4. If your virginity is a gift, you can always re-wrap it. If Jesus fed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish, surely your gift can bring joy to more than one person.

5. Sex is fun.

Explore your sexuality responsibly, in a way you feel comfortable with. There are reasons why you shouldn't wait until marriage, but it's your choice. I'm simply presenting my arguments.

I could comment on the outdated views on women and sex the abstinence movement represents, or on the incestuous vibes, but I feel they have been adressed in other comments.