The Rice Purity Test, a popularmeasure of an individual's perceived level of purity or innocence, has been alongstanding tradition among college students for many years. This test hasbeen used to gauge and compare one's experiences and lifestyle choices, withthe ultimate goal of determining a numerical "Rice Purity Score." Inthis article, we'll explore the history and evolution of the Rice Purity Test,its significance, and whether it remains relevant in 2023.

The Origin and History ofthe Rice Purity Test

The Rice Purity Test was first createdat Rice University in Houston, Texas, hence its name. It was intended as asocial experiment and a source of amusement for students. The concept wassimple: to create a list of 100 questions, each representing an action orexperience that might be considered morally or socially significant.Test-takers would answer these questions with a "yes" or"no" based on their personal experiences. The results would betallied, and the higher one's score, the purer or more innocent they wereperceived to be.

The test was initially circulated as aprinted questionnaire, which made it relatively inaccessible to the widerpublic. However, the rise of the internet in the late 20th century changedthat. The Rice Purity Test was digitized and became readily available online,where it quickly gained popularity and spread to colleges and universitiesacross the United States.

The Significance of theRice Purity Score

The Rice Purity Test has held a uniqueplace in the lives of college students for several reasons:

Social Comparison

One of the primary reasons for takingthe Rice Purity Test is social comparison. College is a time when young adultsare exploring their identities, values, and boundaries. The test provides a wayfor individuals to compare their experiences with those of their peers, givingthem a sense of where they stand on the spectrum of purity or innocence.

Humor and Light-heartedness

The test is often taken with a senseof humor and light-heartedness. Many questions on the test are extreme orcomical, and answering them in the affirmative can be seen as a humorousacknowledgment of the often exaggerated or unrealistic nature of the questionsthemselves.

Initiation Rite

The Rice Purity Test has also beenused as an initiation rite in some college circles. New students are encouragedto take the test as a way to bond with their peers and gain a sense ofbelonging within their social groups. It can serve as an icebreaker, helpingindividuals open up about their experiences in a non-judgmental environment.


For some, taking the Rice Purity Testis an opportunity for self-reflection. The questions prompt individuals toconsider their past actions and choices, which can lead to personal insightsand self-awareness. It encourages individuals to reflect on the decisionsthey've made and their consequences.

The Evolution of the RicePurity Test

Over the years, the Rice Purity Testhas undergone several changes and adaptations to keep up with the evolvingcultural and social landscape. Here are some key aspects of its evolution:

Online Accessibility

As mentioned earlier, the Rice PurityTest's digitization allowed for easy access and widespread distribution. Onlineversions made it even more popular and accessible, as anyone with internetaccess could take the test. Additionally, online platforms and social mediahave made it easier for people to share their scores and engage in discussionsabout the test.


Online versions of the test oftenallow for customization. Some websites and apps offer the option to select thespecific questions you want to answer, creating a more personalized experience.This feature allows individuals to tailor the test to their preferences andexperiences.

Cultural Relevance

The questions on the Rice Purity Testhave been modified and updated to reflect changing social norms and behaviors.Some questions that were once relevant may no longer be, while new questionshave been added to address contemporary issues. The evolving questions havehelped the test maintain its cultural relevance.

Scoring Variations

Initially, the Rice Purity Test used asimple scoring system where each "yes" answer added one point to yourscore. The higher your score, the less pure or innocent you were perceived tobe. However, variations have emerged that invert this scoring system. In theseversions, each "no" answer adds one point to your score, making ahigher score indicative of greater purity.

Critiques and Controversies

The Rice Purity Test has not beenwithout its share of critiques and controversies:

Subjectivity and Judgment

One common criticism of the test isthat it relies on subjective judgment. What one person considers an innocent orpure action, another may view differently. This subjectivity can lead to unfaircomparisons and judgment among individuals taking the test.

Reinforcement ofStereotypes

The Rice Purity Test's questions caninadvertently reinforce stereotypes about purity and innocence. Some questionsmay perpetuate traditional gender norms, as well as societal expectationsregarding behavior and experiences.

Pressure and Peer Influence

In some social circles, there can bepeer pressure to attain a low score on the Rice Purity Test, which mightencourage individuals to exaggerate their experiences or engage in behaviorsthey would not otherwise consider. This pressure can be detrimental to personalwell-being.

Incomplete Assessment

The Rice Purity Test is a narrow andlimited assessment of a person's experiences and character. It only focuses ona specific set of activities and behaviors, ignoring other important aspects ofan individual's life, such as their values, beliefs, and personal growth.

The Rice Purity Test in2023: Is It Still Relevant?

In 2023, the Rice Purity Test remainsa well-known and frequently taken quiz among college students and young adults.Its popularity endures, but the question of its relevance in today's society isworth examining. Let's explore whether the Rice Purity Test continues to servea purpose in the current cultural and social context.

Tool for Self-reflection

While the Rice Purity Test may not bea comprehensive assessment of an individual's character, it can still serve asa tool for self-reflection. Taking the test encourages people to think abouttheir past choices and actions, which can lead to valuable insights about theirpersonal growth and values. In this sense, the test can be relevant as a meansof self-examination.

Social Comparison

The desire for social comparisonremains a common human inclination, especially among young adults. The RicePurity Test provides a structured way for individuals to engage in thiscomparison, which can help them gain a sense of where they stand in relation totheir peers. However, it's important for individuals to remember that the testis subjective and not a definitive measure of their worth or character.

Adaptability to ChangingNorms

The test's adaptability to changingsocial norms is another factor that contributes to its ongoing relevance. Asquestions are updated and modified to reflect contemporary behaviors andattitudes, the Rice Purity Test can remain current and relatable to theexperiences of today's young adults.

Humor and Bonding

The light-hearted and humorous natureof the test still makes it an appealing activity for many. The exaggeration andabsurdity of some questions can be entertaining and serve as a form of bondingamong friends. It provides a shared experience and can be an enjoyable socialactivity.

A Starting Point forDiscussions

The Rice Purity Test can also serve asa starting point for important discussions. It prompts conversations aboutsocietal expectations, personal boundaries, and peer pressure. When takenseriously, these discussions can lead to a deeper understanding of one's valuesand beliefs.

A Reminder of Individuality

As the test is subject to individualinterpretation, it serves as a reminder of the uniqueness of each person'sexperiences and choices. It underscores the fact that there is noone-size-fits-all definition of purity or innocence, and people should not bejudged solely based on a numerical score.

Opportunities forCustomization

The ability to customize the RicePurity Test allows individuals to make it more relevant to their ownexperiences. They can select questions that align with their values andpreferences, creating a personalized version of the test that better reflectstheir lives.


The Rice Purity Test, with its originsdating back to Rice University, has had a long and enduring history as ameasure of personal purity and innocence test. In 2023, it remains a relevant andpopular quiz among college students and young adults. While it has facedcriticisms for its subjectivity and potential to reinforce stereotypes, itcontinues to offer value in the form of self-reflection, social comparison,adaptability to changing norms, humor and bonding, and opportunities forcustomization.

As long as individuals taking the RicePurity Test approach it with a sense of fun and self-awareness, it can serve asa lighthearted activity that promotes self-exploration and encourages opendiscussions about personal values and experiences. In the end, the Rice PurityTest may have evolved over the years, but it continues to find its place in thelives of those who seek a moment of self-reflection and connection with theirpeers.