The United States is obsessed with virginity from the media to schools to government agencies. In The Purity Myth Jessica Valenti argues that the country’s intense focus on chastity is damaging to young women. Through in-depth cultural and social analysis, Valenti reveals that powerful messaging on both extremes ranging from abstinence curriculum to Girls Gone Wild infomercials place a young woman’s worth entirely on her sexuality. Morals are therefore linked purely to sexual behavior, rather than values like honesty, kindness, and altruism. Valenti sheds light on the value and hypocrisy around the notion that girls remain virgin until they're married by putting into context the historical question of purity, modern abstinence-only education, pornography, and public punishments for those who dare to have sex. The Purity Myth presents a revolutionary argument that girls and women are overly valued for their sexuality, as well as solutions for a future without a damaging emphasis on virginity.
©2010 Jessica Valenti (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Valenti's discusses and critiques the so called Purity/Chastidy movement using a feminist analytical framework. As with her blogs and articles, here Valeni is insightful, sharp, funny, strident, and occationally and not inappropriately given to snark. Though the text is enjoyable to read, it is neither comprehensive in scope nor rigorous in its investigation. Finally, Valenti's interpretation of Chastidy/purity as a social movement is uninspired- it seems to me what she is in need of here is a penetrating gaze.
Virgin by Hanne Blank provides a more thorough-and serious- inquiry into the status of virginity across time and cultures. highly reccommended
Great food for thought on a topic that needs more talking about. The performance is pretty well delivered, but the vocal drag is kind of distracting.
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