The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

Front Cover
ReadHowYouWant.com, 2010 - Self-Help - 412 pages
11 Reviews
The United States is obsessed with virginity - from the media to schools to government agencies. This panic is ensuring that young women's ability to be moral agents is absolutely dependent on their sexuality. Jessica Valenti, executive editor of Feministing.com and author of Full Frontal Feminism and Yes Means Yes, addresses this poignant issue in her latest book, The Purity Myth. Valenti argues that the country's intense focus on chastity is extremely damaging to young women. Through in depth analysis of cultural stereotypes and media messages, Valenti reveals that powerful messages - ranging from abstinence curriculum to ''Girls Gone Wild'' commercials - place a young woman's worth entirely on her sexuality. Morals are therefore linked purely to sexual behavior, as opposed to values like honesty, kindness, and altruism. Valenti approaches the topic head-on, shedding light on chastity in a historical context, abstinence-only education, pornography, and public punishments for those who dare to have sex, among other critical issues. She also offers solutions that pave the way for a future without a damaging emphasis on virginity, including a call to rethink male sexuality and reframing the idea of ''losing it.'' With Valenti's usual balance of intelligence and wit, The Purity Myth presents a powerful and revolutionary argument that girls and women, even in this day and age, are overly valued for their sexuality, and that this needs to stop.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
7
4 stars
2
3 stars
1
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marthaearly - LibraryThing

Jessica Valenti is a clear and educated Feminist who does her research and is one of my favorite Feminist writers for the contemporary woman looking to understand how social and cultural standards and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Citizenjoyce - LibraryThing

This is a terrific book. Valenti starts right off in the introduction saying: Girls "going wild" aren't damaging a generation of women, the myth of sexual purity is. The lie of virginity - the idea ... Read full review

Contents

the cult of virginity
1
tainted love
34
forever young
62
the porn connection
90
classroom chastity
116
legislating sexuality
144
public punishments
177
beyond manliness
206
questions for discussion
274
notes
276
resources
305
acknowledgments
322
about the author
323
selected titles from seal press
325
Front Cover Flap
327
Back Cover Flap
328

sex morals and trusting women
229
postvirgin world
253
purity myth facts at a glance
271
Back Cover Material
329
Index
331
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Jessica Valenti is widely recognized as the most prominent young feminist in America. Valenti has written three books: Full Frontal Feminism, He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, and The Purity Myth. She is the founder of Feministing.com, the most read feminist publication online and off. Valenti's writing has appeared in publications including The Washington Post, The Nation, The Daily, The Guardian, The American Prospect, Ms. magazine, and Salon.com.

Bibliographic information