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10/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Purity Movement: Perspectives From Britain And Bill Maher (VIDEO)

In a Times of London piece this weekend, Jane Treays offered a British perspective on America's increasingly popular 'purity movement':

During my 10 days in Colorado Springs, I couldn't help but register the sweetness of the girls, the complete lack of teenage truculence. There's no straining at the parental leash, no desire to escape and experiment; they are, in short, a delight. Jane Austen is their cultural heroine, with films such as Sense and Sensibility endorsed as an ideal family-viewing choice. Everywhere I turned, I found sentimentality and scant curiosity about the world.

The innocence of the parents was more alarming. An army doctor, who had two daughters on his arm, told me that the HIV virus was so powerful, it could penetrate a con- dom. I said the British government had based its entire antiAids ad campaign on the assumption it couldn't. A few days later, after doing some research on the internet, he rang to say he'd been wrong.

To cynical Brits, the intensity of the relationship between the girls and their fathers can be unsettling. It is too trite, however, to label such relationships quasi-incestuous: these fathers are motivated wholly by a desire to remain a strong, controlling influence in their

Keep reading.

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Watch what Bill Maher has to say about the practice:

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Watch this local news report on Reno's first purity ball:

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Read more about the rising "purity" trend and what makes it so popular.

What do you think of the purity movement? Tell us below.