Book Review: The Purity Myth
The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti is a must-read for young women, and anyone who may ever be the parent of a young woman. The author explores the “Cult of Virginity” and the effects it has on today’s young women. In valuing women solely for their unpenetrated state, this movement does exactly what it purports to abhor: it turns them into sex objects.
This has far-reaching effects. One need only look towards teen pop-idols to see how Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers went from popular (and sexy) “purity” champions to suddenly becoming tabloid fodder when they dared to assert their own sexuality. The backlash against Britney and Miley was especially vicious as it became apparent that these young women were no longer “pure” young women who writhed on stage in revealing outfits, but were “girls gone wild” who writhed on stage in revealing outfits. The only difference between these two viewpoints? They were publicly living with their long-term boyfriends.
The Cult of Virginity has reached our lawmakers as well. Women’s rights are continually battered by the efforts of legislators to limit access to scientifically accurate sexual education, contraception, and abortion. They allow federal funding for “purity balls”, where girls as young as six pledge to their fathers that they will remain sexually abstinent until they marry a man that their father approves of. Legislators seem to feel that they must “protect” the poor young women from anything that might prevent these same women from choosing when they want to have sex or bear a child. Although The Purity Myth was written in 2009, we are still fighting the same battles, just three years later.
I don’t want to reveal all the details of The Purity Myth, but I would like to encourage you to purchase it via Amazon.com, and read it from cover to cover. If you purchase it via this link, you can also help support Nice Girls. The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women