Girls should be guardians of virtue for boys.
This is something about which I feel passionately, largely because I have two sons and four daughters - and I believe deeply that such a concept is insidious and dangerous, both for girls and for boys. It is wrong on multiple levels, but I want to highlight in this post three reasons I abhor it so strongly:
1) It completely misrepresents virtue and what it is meant to and can be.
Virtue is not another word for chastity. Virtue, in its archaic form, meant " an effective, active, or inherent power or force; the quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness" (from dictionary.com) It actually derives from the Old French word for "maleness" and is found in words that begin with "vir" - like "virility". Thus, "a virtuous woman" is not always a virgin; she is a strong, effective, active, powerful, moral, righteous woman. A virgin simply is one manifestation of a virtuous woman, and not being a virgin does not negate virtue. For example, rape does not diminish or rob a woman of her virtue, and equating virginity with virtue distorts virtue and causes emotional damage to further complicate an already traumatic event.
Proverbs 31:10 ("Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.") is quoted often with regard to the worth of a virtuous woman, but the next 20 verses generally are ignored - and those verses explain what verse 10 means. I highly recommend reading them. Due solely to length concerns, I will not include the entire passage, but I will summarize them and what they say about a virtuous woman - bolding the things that might surprise some people and setting the description in quotes to stress the highlighting. (I also want to stress that I believe a virtuous woman doesn't have to do everything in the following list - that these things are examples of what a virtuous woman does.)
A virtuous woman is trustworthy, treats her husband (if married) well, works with her hands, rises early, feeds her household, purchases land, plants food, becomes physically strong, serves the poor, makes clothing and other materials, sells merchandise, is strong (again) and honorable, speaks wisely and kindly, is active, is praised, fears the Lord, is blessed.
A virtuous woman is a strong, active, independent, honored person - not a virgin who simply must guard her virginity for the benefit of men. Women no longer are considered the property of men, and we need to eliminate any hint of that former structure from our vocabulary, even if we generally are unaware of the connotations. We need to educate our girls and boys about this ancient foundation and teach them to let go of the "guardian of virtue for men" idea once and for all.
2) Virtue is not "guarded"; it is "exercised"and "developed" and "strengthened".
That is important, and being merely a guardian of virginity robs girls of developing into the strong, active, independent, honored women they are meant to be.
3) Both virtue and chastity should be the responsibility of the individuals who possess them.
Boys and girls together, mutually, should protect their own chastity and exercise / develop / strengthen their own virtue (and help others do the same) - so that, ultimately, virtuous women can marry virtuous men and raise virtuous children to become virtuous adults, in a never-ending cycle of eternal virtue and progression. Telling girls to guard virtue for boys does more than rob those girls; it also robs those boys in a very real and powerful way.