Grace College history professor, Jared Burkholder, has written a guest post at patheos.com about the purity movement of the 1980s and 1990s. A portion of that post appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Before “true love waits” there was Josh McDowell and Petra
Those of us who experienced the evangelical youth group subculture of the 1980s and 90s are now in mid-life, and some of my fellow mid-lifers are reflecting back on the “purity movement” that began in those years. The conversation has been led largely by women who are reflecting on the gendered messages to girls within the purity movement. But what about gendered messages to boys?
For context, see Linda Kay Klein’s new memoir, Pure. Based on a host of interviews, Klein probes the culture of shame and the skewed notions of gender and modesty that have gone along with the movement. Writing as a devout Christian, she describes her struggles with her own “curvy” teenage self and the way women’s bodies were viewed as a threat to male piety. Through their modesty and self-control, women were responsible for keeping the sexual urges of men in check throughout adolescence and dating. Her experiences were shared among those she interviewed. A number also found it difficult to disentangle the shame attached to sexual pleasure after they were married. (For more, see this interview with Klein on NPR’s Fresh Air.)
So what about the boys?
Click here to read the complete article.