Shaming the Rice Purity Test

Originally posted on November 5th, 2016 on Her Campus UCF.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, the Rice Purity Test has been taking the world by storm. Recently, students at Rice University put out a survey (you can find it here), that told participants how “pure” they were. This rating was based off of a 100 question checklist in which people would mark what they have and haven’t experienced. At the end, the score is tallied up, and you receive a number 0-100. The lower the number, the less pure you are. Simple concept, confusing results. The website reminds its users that it is not to be considered a bucket list, and that completion of all items on the list could “result in death.”

All in good fun, the statements range from the innocent, “Held hands romantically?” to the extreme “Engaged in bestiality?” (hey, no judgement). Because of the variety of the questions, scores range largely throughout results. Although some people use this to determine one’s “kinkiness,” the original purpose was that it was created to track one’s maturation during their first year at college.

It recently has sparked conversation nationwide between college aged kids and younger, and people have already found ways to shame people for their results. Due to the private nature of the test, most answers see not designed to be seen by others, yet when numbers don’t match up, they are usually followed by further interrogation.

And here’s why it’s wrong. Not only is it an inaccurate reading of experience, but it is downright wrong to assign someone a number and judge them based off of it. In this day and age, people are shamed for everything under the sun. One thing that is often a large deal for young adults our age is experience. Yet this test brings it to a new level.

After taking this with a group of friends, it came to my attention that this became a tense moment that felt like a competition between us. After finding our our results, we decided that they were not an accurate representation of us as people, and no one cares how much you have done in life.

It created a degrading sense of inequality, and just another excuse for people to bully each other for no apparent reason. The questions, although worded professionally, surround the topic of purity in order to create some type of label for it’s users.

Everyone has different experiences, and some are meant to stay private. It might seem fun to take a quiz to see how you rank, but keep in mind that the number reflects things that aren’t meant to be advertised.

Next time you take a quiz online, remember that you are more than what your answer says you are. No one can ever tell you more about yourself than you. Pure or un-pure, a score of 0 or 100, it doesn’t matter. You are who you are and no survey can judge you for your actions.xoxo,

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