Welcome to the Rice Purity Test. This test aims to gauge how “pure” or innocent you are based on your experiences and actions. Please answer the following questions honestly to get your Rice Purity Score.
This is not a bucket list. Please don’t use it like that.
The Rice Purity Test
The Rice Purity Test is a self-graded survey that assesses the taker’s supposed degree of innocence in worldly matters, usually related to sex, drugs, and other activities that are considered taboo or risky. It was created in the 1920s by students at Rice University, but has gained widespread popularity online in recent years.
History of the Rice Purity Test
The origins of the Rice Purity Test can be traced back to the 1920s at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Some students created a survey that was meant to judge how “pure” fellow students were in comparison. It started off as a lighthearted way for students to assess their own and their peers’ experiences and attitudes related to sex, drugs, and other topics that were taboo at the time.
The survey continued to be passed around privately at Rice for decades. An early version called the “Rice Purity Test” with 100 questions began circulating in the 1980s. It began spreading to other colleges and eventually made its way online in the early 2000s, where it went viral. The widespread adoption of social media in the 2010s amplified the test’s popularity and enabled people across the world to discover and take various versions of it.
Although it originated at Rice University, the test became popular across many college campuses in the United States. Versions were passed around not only at Ivy League schools on the east coast like Harvard and Yale, but also large state schools like the University of Texas, Michigan, and UC Berkeley. Part of the appeal was that it provided an anonymous way for students to gauge how their attitudes and experiences compared with their peers.
As the internet blossomed in the 2000s and 2010s, the Rice Purity Test found a new platform to reach an even wider audience. It spread through email chains, online forums, social media, and dedicated purity test websites. General interest in taboo topics related to sex and drugs also grew during this time period, further fueling interest in taking the test.
How the Rice Purity Test Works
The Rice Purity Test consists of a series of questions about potentially sensitive topics. The most common format has 100 questions, although some versions have more or less. The questions cover subjects like:
- Sexual experiences
- Use of drugs and alcohol
- Breaking rules or the law
- Financial choices
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Academic integrity
- Treatment of others
For each question, the taker indicates whether they have engaged in the activity. Their “purity score” starts at 100, and points are deducted for each question where the answer is yes. Therefore, a lower score indicates more life experiences, while a higher score means greater “purity” or innocence.
Here is a breakdown of the scoring:
- 100-80 = Very high score. The taker has had limited life experiences.
- 79-60 = Above average score. The taker has had some typical life experiences.
- 59-40 = Below average score. The taker has had many diverse life experiences.
- 39-20 = Low score. The taker has had a significant number of life experiences.
- 19-0 = Very low score. The taker has had a large range of life experiences.
However, there is no definitive grading scale since the test is not scientific. The distribution of scores can vary greatly depending on the cultural context and demographic taking the test. But in general, people tend to score in the 60-80 range on average.
The Rice Purity Test Online
Many websites host versions of the Rice Purity Test that people can take online. Some examples include:
These sites allow you to take the test anonymously in your web browser. After completing all the questions, your score is calculated and displayed. Many sites will then show you statistics comparing your score to averages from other people who have taken the test.
Taking the Rice Purity Test online is free, accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and can be done in just a few minutes. The instant results and ability to take the test privately make it easy to see why it became so popular online.
Uses and Impact of the Rice Purity Test
Both critics and supporters of the Rice Purity Test acknowledge that it can impact people and relationships in various ways. Here are some of the uses and effects of taking the test:
- Self-reflection – The test prompts personal reflection about one’s attitudes, experiences, priorities, and goals related to sex, drugs, academics, relationships, and other facets of life.
- Common ground – Comparing results can help establish openness and common ground between peers or partners about potentially sensitive topics.
- Ice-breaker – The lighthearted nature makes the test a popular ice-breaker at parties or in groups of new acquaintances.
- Privacy – The anonymous online format allows takers to be honest without fear of judgment about taboo or private experiences.
- Peer pressure – Some critics argue the test can subtly pressure people into partaking in activities they otherwise would not in order to conform.
- Shaming – Low scores being seen as admirable can potentially shame or ostracize those who have had more diverse life experiences.
- Assumptions – The limited questions promote generalizations or assumptions about people’s full experiences and depth of character.
Given both the potential benefits and risks, it is important for those sharing or taking the test to do so in a responsible way that avoids judgment and promotes openness.
Examples of Rice Purity Test Questions
To give you a better sense of the content, here are some example questions from versions of the Rice Purity Test:
- Have you ever passionately kissed someone?
- Have you ever skinny dipped?
- Have you ever sexted someone?
- Have you ever sent a nude photo?
- Have you ever watched porn?
- Have you ever been arrested?
- Have you ever done drugs?
- Have you ever cheated on an exam?
- Have you ever lied to your parents about your activities?
- Have you ever had a one-night stand?
As you can see, the questions cover a wide range of potentially sensitive topics. The level of sensitivity and how common or accepted the activities are can vary greatly between generations and cultures.
Other sample questions include:
- Have you ever been in a physical fight?
- Have you ever gambled?
- Have you ever stolen something?
- Have you ever driven drunk or high?
- Have you ever vandalized property?
- Have you ever taken someone’s virginity?
- Have you ever had unprotected sex?
- Have you ever masturbated?
- Have you ever had an STD?
- Have you ever been unfaithful in a relationship?
The questions run the gamut from relatively benign to intimate. Different versions of the test may use alternate phrasing or cover additional topics, but sex, drugs, and rule-breaking of various sorts are common themes throughout the surveys.
Criticism and Controversy
The Rice Purity Test has generated some controversy over the years. Critics argue that it:
- Promotes puritanical attitudes about sex and drugs
- Shames people for normal life experiences
- Reinforces double standards for women’s sexuality
- Violates privacy by asking sensitive personal questions
- Encourages peer pressure around sexual activity
- Treats complex life experiences lightly or oversimplifies them
Many critics view the test as outdated, especially in its labeling of people who have had diverse life experiences as less “pure.” They argue terminology like “purity” is religiously charged and not an appropriate way to view healthy sexuality or individuality. There are also concerns the test reinforces harmful gender stereotypes related to sexual innocence and experience.
However, defenders of the test say it should be taken lightheartedly. They argue it can:
- Spark honest conversations about social pressures and taboos
- Help people reflect on their experiences without judgment
- Create connections through shared stories and perspectives
- Provide an anonymous outlet to discuss sensitive topics
They suggest that between consenting adults, the test offers a fun way to satisfy curiosity and explore boundaries. Although, there are still debates around whether the format pressures people to share more than they would otherwise want to about private matters.
Using the Rice Purity Test Responsibly
If you decide to take or share a Rice Purity Test, here are some tips for doing so responsibly:
- Take it in good fun, not to seriously judge yourself or others.
- Be honest, but only share what you are comfortable with.
- Respect people’s privacy – don’t pressure anyone to take it.
- Use it to better understand your own and others’ experiences.
- Avoid using it to shame or degrade others.
- Keep in mind that “purity” is subjective and personal.
- Consider your motivations and whether participation is fully consensual.
- Keep results anonymous or confidential rather than publicly broadcasting them.
With an open, mature, and thoughtful approach, the Rice Purity Test can lead to meaningful dialogues about social conventions, personal histories, relationships, and the collective consciousness. But it also has risks if used irresponsibly, so discretion is advised.
The Future of the Rice Purity Test
While the Rice Purity Test originated decades ago, it continues to have an online presence and modern relevance. Some analysts argue that in the age of social media oversharing and internet anonymity, the desire for self-reflection and comparisons with others persists. The rise of modern hookup culture also creates curiosity about sexual statistics and experiences.
However, others contend that the test promotes an outdated, flawed concept of “purity” that has limited place in today’s society. The backlash regarding assumptions, privacy concerns, and simplification of complex topics raises doubts about the test’s ability to adapt. Only time will tell whether the iconic Rice Purity Test remains a cultural fixture or eventually fades into obscurity.