Furthermore, taking a virginity pledge will often encourage other types of sexual behavior.

Actress Afshan Azad (left), seen here with Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint, was beaten and threatened with death in 2010 by her father and brother for dating a non-Muslim.

Over the last few years, however, the media has published a flurry of articles about Hindu honor killings in India, the only non-Muslim-majority country where these murders are still rampant.[2] Apologists for Muslim culture and civilization rushed to herald the upsurge in Hindu (and Sikh) honor killings as evidence that the practice is "a universal problem, not an Islamic issue."[3] While India is indeed a striking exception to Islam's near monopoly on contemporary honor killings, the following preliminary statistical survey shows Hindu honor killings in India to be different in form and commission from those of Muslims in neighboring Pakistan.

The democratically elected government of India has taken important, if long overdue, steps to combat the practice of honor killing, and some progress has been made.

Not so in Pakistan where officials at all levels of government are either unable or unwilling to cope with honor killings.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his girlfriend, the singer Ciara, recently announced plans to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. After all, sexual purity is a commitment that is historically expected of, associated with – even demanded of – women.

However, sexual abstinence is not something assumed of men, especially men like Russell Wilson.

Wilson, an accomplished, attractive athlete, embodies contemporary ideals of masculinity, which include style, wealth and, yes, sexual prowess.

So how does a man like Russell Wilson navigate a commitment to abstinence while upholding ideals of masculinity?

I was curious about how men maintain pledges in light of these statistics, and also balance them with expectations about masculinity.

So in 2008, I began researching a support group of 15 men at an Evangelical church in the Southwest.

Yet the way they navigate this seeming contradiction actually allows them to exert their masculinity in line with the demands of Guyland.