Humanity has trafficked in the concept of money since the days when establishing the relative value of five sheep’s bladders of undiluted wine and thirteen slightly stale loaves of spelt-flour bread became too much of a crapshoot. At some point, metal, salt, cattle or pretty shells became the universal indicator of worth. In those very times of yore, the value a family derived from its daughters was in their virginity, which meant marriageability and a dowry. The actual formula was Marriageability = Brains + (Beauty x Age)Virginity. Virginity was an assumed asset, brains – a potential liability. Beauty and age mattered, but a scary old maid (by definition, and in fact, a virgin) was worth more to our forefathers than a hot-to-trot young widow.

These days, it is harder and harder to find virgins. The age at which virginity is lost is more or less a constant through the ages, but holy matrimony now happens later and later in life. Society squints and scowls at virginity; beauty is the ultimate prize. Virginity is worth just about as much as brains once were – not much – and what is not in demand, quickly withers. At the same time, today’s societies are suffering through a global economic decline, which, some say, is due to the fact that money is virtual, no longer backed by anything tangible, instead created at will in electronic form, as zeroes on a flickering screen, by private corporations unconcerned with the public good.

And so, an idea is born.

Speaking in market terms, the value of virginity has fallen to historic lows, and is due for a rebound. Investing in virginity would not only right today’s lax moral standards, but could also shore up the economy. After all, virginity is a tangible, verifiable good, and a virtue to boot. And so, in conjunction with her debutante’s ball, quinceañera or sweet sixteen, a virgin girl files for an Initial Public Offering, with shares in her undeflowered state then traded on the secondary market, perhaps the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Research analysts at major brokerages cover her the way they currently cover companies in the manufacturing, high-tech or healthcare sectors, reporting on fundamentals, such as personal hygiene, preference for strenuous exercise, and dating activity. Grave hazards to share value, such as sleepovers at the boyfriend’s house or visits to hymen-replacing surgeons, are monitored, duly reported and included in 10K reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her family holds a controlling block of shares in their daughter’s virtue, deriving clear value as well as intangibles, such as reputational benefits and lower health & life insurance premiums. A pre-planned exit strategy covers the entrance into her life of a man meant to introduce her to the joys of womanhood.

In time, the dollar could become backed by the combined virtue of the daughters of America, with the euro, pound, and other currencies following suit. (Thanks to the virtualization and globalization of today’s markets, some godless society entirely lacking in morals could tether the value of its currency to, say, the weighted-average virginity indicator of a simple and pious community living in the woods – perhaps the Amish – radically increasing the purchasing power of the money its sin-mired citizens surely use to perpetrate acts of unspeakable perversion at every turn.) In short, truth and virtue would be popular and profitable, and purity and innocence would once again rule all of Creation.

Let the virgins of the world unite for a stronger currency and a better tomorrow!