Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free

Linda Kay Klein. Touchstone, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5011-2481-5
In her contentious debut book, Klein explores how purity culture within evangelical Christianity causes girls and young women to feel shame about sex and sexuality. In accessible prose, she shares intimate stories from her childhood in the Midwest—her failed attempts to have sex with a boyfriend, her difficult relationship with her body—to illustrate how evangelical purity culture had a traumatic effect on her. In addition to her personal experiences, Klein includes a history of the evangelical purity movement and shares extensive anecdotal evidence about sex and shame within purity culture from interviews she conducted, including a particularly heart-wrenching account of a girl overburdened by the blame of her family after she is raped while intoxicated. Though Klein’s research provides a snapshot of a narrow group of women (many of whom are from her youth group), she draws in additional relevant literature, such as I Thought It Was Just Me by Brené Brown, to help bolster her argument about the negative long-term effects of sexual shame on women within evangelical Christianity. This scathing condemnation of purity culture and all that goes with it will surely cause debate within evangelical circles. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018
Release date: 08/14/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-6572-6
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