• Frank

    It’s not possible for anyone to truly put themselves in another’s shoes.

    Everyone has personal responsibility for how they present themselves and what they do with their body. God calls us to purity.

  • Larry

    So much of “purity culture” seems designed to play upon supporting the habits of sexual predators.

    -Victimized women are taught to consider themselves the wrongdoers when attacked. The predators are considered victims of the woman’s “wiles”.

    -A woman’s chastity being a commodity of her father, family and clergy as exemplified in those tasteless Father/Daughter dances.

    -A woman is not expected to have gratification in relations but must submit to her mate’s desires in such things.

    -Allegations of sexual abuse are to be ignored, minimized or given a knee-jerk response that it is a libelous attack on the perpetrator.

    A sexual predator has no better playground than a strictly religious environment.

  • Excellent post! Thanks!

    David Clohessy, Director, SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (7234 Arsenal Street, St. Louis MO 63143), 314 566 9790 cell (SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

  • Greg

    “Purity culture teaches that a person who has had sexual contact outside of heterosexual marriage is tainted (pre-chewed gum, a cup of soda that a group of people have spit in, and other inappropriate youth group metaphors.)”

    This “gum” analogy was in a recent NYT story about *Mormon* women. I’ve never heard it or “spit” in soda used in evangelical culture. Are there some specific examples other than Bill Gothard, a name I’d never heard? It seems to me the bigger problem is the social mockery of purity culture – the *expectation* that you *should experiment* sexually so you know you’re *compatible* with whoever you end up with, and that you’re weird or brainwashed if you want to stay a virgin. For every evangelical girl suffering under this culture, there are almost certainly two young women sexually active with their male professors – another example of abused authority that’s basically tolerated on campus.

  • Larry

    Purity culture deserves mockery. It has a nasty unintentional habit of promoting divorce, commodifies the youth of women, promotes poverty, and provides a playground for sexual predators.

    The culture you decry promotes the idea that women should seek education and employment opportunities in their youth rather than become breeding cows. That they understand their mates before settling down and marrying rather than give into hormonal/cultural pressure. That fathers should not treat daughters like personal property to be pawned off on suitors. That families have children when they want to and are ready to care for them. That both members of a marriage can find personal satisfaction in their intimate interactions.

    ” For every evangelical girl suffering under this culture, there are almost certainly two young women sexually active with their male professors”

    Professors usually get fired for such behavior. Pastors, priests and rabbis get a legion of apoloigists to defend them.

  • rebekkah

    Evil will always exploit the weak, even in naive, sometimes-erring Evangelical subcultures.

    However, foolish/ wrong/ excessive applications don’t mean an emphasis on purity is all bad. Evangelical girls, even with the baggage you mention, are so immensely better off than girls in cultures that couldn’t care less about protecting girls from preying men.

    Do you know many girls raised in “purity culture” who are now happy, healthy adults, or are the abuses you mention the norm?

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  • Lucie

    I hope the poor girl who was dating a guy that had trouble with her baggy pants because “they could be pulled down easily” had the brains to find herself another boyfriend, because even a burqua couldn’t save her – imagine the ease with which it could be pulled up!

  • Gary H

    Rebekkah, if by “purity culture” you mean teaching daughters that they are worth waiting for, then ya, it works. You don’t have to wear dresses to the ground or put a doily on your head to be pure. The point for young people is that we have been designed. God want’s us to reproduce and made sex wonderful so we’d want to reproduce. But a child needs a mommy and a daddy, therefore sex is for marriage. So simple. You don’t need to be part of a culture to believe that.

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