The Purity Movement & Collateral Damage

May 15, 2014

After hearing a critical presentation on popular Evangelical purity movements by professors Melanie Springer Mock and Kendra Weddle, university student, Heather DeRosa, posted an assessment in her school’s on-line newspaper. The message DeRosa picked up from her years in church youth group was that if she remained a virgin, God would reward her with a Mr. Right, who was also “pure,” and would do so when the time was right. And if she didn’t, then she was somehow damaged goods, to both God and her future partner.

There is nothing wrong with advocating for a patient sexuality, but DeRosa asks if telling young women (and men) that they are valued for their sexual purity (or lack thereof) is consistent with the message of Christ. Is creating a shame and guilt culture around sexuality a healthy way to understand how God sees and pursues us? DeRosa says no, and instead of teaching young women to focus on waiting for the partner of their dreams, she believes that they ought to be taught to value themselves as strong, individual, and powerful women, and not on the basis of their sexual purity.

Read DeRosa’s reflection here.

posted by Corbin Lambeth

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