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

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

ISBN13: 9781580053143
ISBN10: 1580053149
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The United States is obsessed with virginity — from the media to schools to government agencies. In The Purity Myth, Jessica Valenti argues that the countrys 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-only 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 virgins until theyre 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.

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

cccleveland, May 11, 2013 (view all comments by cccleveland)
Excellent read that opens your mind to the extent in which virginity is being used to keep women "in their place".
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Christin, August 24, 2012 (view all comments by Christin)
This book lays out who a lot of the major players in the virginity business are and the content and character of abstinence-only education in schools, then goes on to show how the purity myth and its associated ideas about proper girlhood (because, really, they’re all about perpetual girlhood for ALL women) manifest in larger cultural attitudes, the legal system and the legislature and how this is all connected to rape and violence against women and hatred of femininity in general. It finally wraps up with a call to reclaim the language of morality and provides suggestions and resources for fighting against the purity myth and its associated misogyny.

And it’s very good that last chapter exists, because I was so furious by the time I got there, I was ready to start busting windows and setting things on fire because our culture is so irredemably messed up there’s nothing left to do but burn it to the ground and start over. Luckily the last chapter managed to dull that rage and return a bit of optimism.

My rage is actually an endorsement, since I wouldn’t be so angry if Valenti hadn’t managed to state her case so clearly and impart the seriousness of the predicament so effectively.

I’m glad I read this, but wow am I ever angry right now.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
JessDO, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by JessDO)
An important book for all women (and men) to read. Changes how we view women and sexuality.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781580053143
Author:
Valenti, Jessica
Publisher:
Seal Press (CA)
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Human Sexuality
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20091231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.00x5.40x.90 in. .60 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Sex and Power
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies

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