Performance, Entrapment, & Princesses in Father-Daughter Purity Balls

PPPThis image, taken by photographer David Magnusson, was captured at a father-daughter purity ball in the US. It’s beautiful photography, but the subject…well, it’s creepy, right? Makes you feel kinda uncomfortable. This image is only the half of it. Father-daughter purity balls are rife with tensions and an eeriness that is difficult to describe…

Emergence of the Father-Daughter Purity Ball

The existence of purity culture as an independent arena of ethical formation, religious teaching, and spiritual testing is nothing new to the American evangelical church. However, the shift to purity-focused events as a sight of public spiritual and behavioral commitment to abstinence occurred only a few short decades ago, in 1993, with the founding of True Love Waits, an organization promoting abstinence education and dedication. With the founding of this organization arose an entirely new method of promoting purity in the form of pledges. Continue reading “Performance, Entrapment, & Princesses in Father-Daughter Purity Balls”


Self Determination Theory: Major Tenets and Practical Applications 

According to 2012 drop-out rates, 20% of high school students will drop out of school or not complete high school in the normal four-year course (Stetser & Stillwell, 2014). With drop-out rates this high, students’ intentions to persist in school are an immediately relevant area of interest. When evaluating this interest, it is important to acknowledge students’ express intentions, as this is a key predictor of behavior (Vallerand, Fortier, & Guay, 1997); students do what they say they will do. A student’s intentions to persist in school are directly related to the level of and extent to which said student’s motivation regarding education is internalized or regulated (Khalkhali, Sharifi, & Nikyar, 2013). Thus it is important for teachers and school administrators to be aware of the student’s form and source of motivation when attempting to guide the student’s intentions.

Motivation, understood as something that causes one to act specifically in regard to the expenditure of effort to accomplish results (Gillet, Berjot, Vallerand, & Amoura, 2012a), can be recognized according to certain behaviors. These include paying attention in class, beginning tasks immediately, completing tasks, volunteering answers, and the appearance of relative happiness, contentment, or eagerness in the classroom (Williams & Williams, 2011). The absence of motivation often leads to frustration or discontentment, and can encumber productivity and wellbeing (Legault, Green-Demers, & Pelletier, 2006). Motivation gradually decreases in the period beginning preschool through high school (Skinner & Belmont, 1993), reaching a steady low at the approximate age of 15. Students then gain the legal ability to choose to drop out at age 16 (Gillet, Vallerand, & Lafrenière, 2012b). This overlap is why it is so crucial to understand students’ motivation and how to influence it. Students who choose to dropout have internalized a motivational orientation that is not self-determined, according to the parameters of Self-Determination Theory (SDT, Vallerand et al., 1997). In this regard, teachers and school administrators need also be aware of whether or not their methods of influencing students’ motivation facilitates self-determined or external motivation. This is indirectly affected in all social contexts in which an individual functions through the fulfillment of certain psychological needs (Sas-Nowosielskil, 2008). According to SDT, these needs are perceived competence, relatedness, and autonomy (Gillet et al., 2012a). Continue reading “Self Determination Theory: Major Tenets and Practical Applications “