Kissing purity culture goodbye (and the pursuit of a better sexual ethic for our kids?)

Spiritual Misfits Podcast

Sep 3 2022 • 1 hr 1 min

Did you grow up within ‘purity culture’?

If you’re unsure, here are some signs that maybe you did:

  • You or your friends had a crack at ‘kissing dating goodbye.’
  • God’s love seemed entirely contingent upon your sexual abstinence
  • You got the impression that boys/men were unable to control their sexual desires, and girls/women were entirely responsible for any ‘sexual immorality.’
  • Sex outside of marriage felt like the worst and most shameful thing you could possibly do…
  • …after getting married though, a flip would switch and sex would suddenly be an amazing gift from God!

The epicentre of purity culture was evangelical America in the 90s. But it certainly made its way to Australian shores.

In this week’s episode of the podcast, Hannah and I reflect on our own experiences of purity culture and the ‘hangover’ left in its wake.

Towards the end of the episode we turn our attention towards the question of what we would like to pass on to our own kids when it comes to understanding sexuality and spirituality. Is there a Christian sexual ethic that ditches the shame while still treating our sexuality with care and sensitivity?

We don’t claim to have an answer to this question. But we at least want to talk about it!

We reference several books in this episode that are worth reading if you want a deeper dive after this discussion:

Pure, Linda Kay Klein
Jesus and John Wayne, Kristin Kobes Du Mez
After Evangelicalism, David Gushee
The Deeply Formed Life, Rich Villodas