Time has a pretty glowing article about purity balls and their general awesomenessticity, as one might assume, I am inclined to agree with the assessment that there is something really off about these things.
I hesitate, however, to completely demonize the fathers that take part in these events. Outside of a wedding, there aren't many father/daughter sanctioned rituals in our society. Yet, with fathers and sons- there are seemingly infinite opportunities for both of them to bond. So in that regard, and as a newly minted father to a wonderful little girl, I can see why these fathers are trying to ritualize certain elements of the father-daughter relationship.
However, that doesn't mean that this way of celebrating the relationship isn't off the charts f-ing creepy. Here are some pictures of a recent event:
Um...yeah- that ain't right