I think it’s safe to say that most teenagers feel pressure to have sex. They're exposed to it through popular culture as well as real life, with movies like Juno and celebrities like Jamie Lynn Spears. Many teenagers (though the number is declining) have had sex, but many haven’t. Now, many celebrities have come out to say that they want to be virgins until they are married.
Some of the most popular are the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff, Demi Lovato (Camp Rock), Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place), and Jordin Sparks (American Idol). The Jonas Brothers, whose new album is climbing the charts, are among the most famous. Their father used to be a minister, and religion significantly influences their lives. All three boys are virgins and plan to stay that way until they are married.
Joe Jonas, one of the singers, who turned nineteen on Friday, referred to the rings as "promises to ourselves and to God that we'll stay pure till marriage.” His brother, Nick, the youngest, who sings as well, added, “I got mine made at Disney World. It's pretty awesome." Joe’s and Nick’s big brother Kevin got his done at Tiffany’s.
Nick’s purported girlfriend (both reps deny the relationship) Selena Gomez (pictured in Glendale, California promoting teen involvement in the presidential election) also joined the boys and said about the ring, "It's something I made a promise to myself about." Selena’s best friend (and the Jonas Brothers’ costar in Camp Rock) Demi Lovato has also made the pledge.
After rumors of pregnancy, Nick Jonas’ ex, Miley Cyrus, got a ring to debunk the rumors. "It's given me the street cred to say that would be impossible, because I'm living my life the way I believe is right and that is to stay pure."
Although the purity ring is personal, Hilary Duff tells US Magazine that it’s hard to be a virgin. "It's harder having a boyfriend who's older because people just assume. But [virginity] is definitely something I like about myself. It doesn't mean I haven't thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in."
"It's hard everyday, but I made a promise to myself," Jordin Sparks, the American Idol winner two seasons ago, said. "Temptation is always there… It's all about making the right choice and not putting yourself in that situation."
Purity rings are a serious thing and it’s great that many celebrities are setting a good example. Of course, Britney Spears had a purity ring and look where she turned up. So it is really unclear if these celebrities are being honest or if it just a publicity scam. Regardless, they do have a positive influence on real people; my twin sister just bought one from Amazon. Ultimately, it’s every person’s own choice, but it’s refreshing to see so many young stars with purity rings.