Abstract

Abstract:

This article describes and analyzes the harm and damage rhetoric that is an important part of the conservative Christian sexual purity movement in the United States. Despite the rhetorical focus on the danger associated with sexual interaction prior to heterosexual marriage, there is no evidence that sexual purity teachings produce meaningful public health outcomes or changes in sexual behavior. One way to make sense of the movement's endurance is to understand the attention to harm and damage as a means of subject formation. Girls are rhetorically constructed as vulnerable and in need of protection and should thus orient themselves to receive guidance and protection from the church, father, and nation-state. The harm and damage rhetoric is so pervasive that feminist interventions into sexuality education in the United States can fall prey to reliance on adolescent girls as a site of injury and vulnerability. This can be countered by understanding adolescent girls themselves as not only helpful but also essential to the development of sexual ethics and theologies that are not dependent on notions of purity.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3913
Print ISSN
8755-4178
Pages
pp. 5-22
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-18
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.