1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Less Advertisements! Members see fewer ads and have the option to upgrade their account to ad free!

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Featured The Negative Impact of Purity Culture

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Tetra, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +129
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    Purity Culture Definition:
    Purity culture has an obsessive focus on virginity before marriage and on maintaining emotional purity that pervades fundamentalism and evangelicalism, made visible in purity balls, purity rings, purity pledges, and modesty teachings.

    It ties your worth as a person to your virginity, not who you are in Christ.

    NOTE: Remember, there is nothing wrong with being a virgin, but there is something wrong about making virginity an idol, and that's what purity culture does.

    joshua-harris.jpg

    As a millennial, the church was obsessed with purity culture during my childhood, you might remember books like I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris, who now himself admits it was a mistake.

    In a recent article by Ruth Graham:
    I just picked up a new book titled Damaged Goods by Dianna Anderson... looking forward to reading it.
    book.jpg

    Purity Culture had a negative impact on my life, on my marriage, and I'm a male. I can't even image the imagine the negative impact on women. :( Purity balls, rings and the like, in my opinion are super weird and sometimes gross.

    I am interested in responses from women on this one, and how purity culture impacted them?

     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  2. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon CF Ambassadors

    Messages:
    21,545
    Ratings:
    +5,961
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    I have not been into the use of such rings myself, but in broader context it will not be surprising when Bible believing Christians flee fornication and adultery, and look Godwardly to the truth of the need for purging from sins by the work of the Lord Jesus at the Cross (Hebrews 1), with one's conscience purged by the blood of Christ through the eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  3. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    17,250
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,125
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern Orthodox
    I think a measure of sanity is needed, and that can be difficult to achieve in a culture that is shifting under our very feet. As a result of culture, we don't have a solid example of how things ought to be done.

    Was purity culture damaging? Well, I won't argue - perhaps it was. Contrast it with the culture of growing up thinking that "everybody does it" and being ashamed to admit you're a virgin, and where virginity is thus a kind of black mark on a person, and generally people desire to rid themselves of it as quickly as possible. Without even understanding that a person has a RIGHT to say no to casual sex, and can value that choice in themselves and someone else. That there might be anyone else out there, or that it's even possible to remain a virgin? That mindset causes a lot of damage too, and I've seen many more come from that kind of thinking.

    Where IS the sane understanding that we have rights over our own bodies, that we have choices to make, that choices have consequences, that forgiveness is possible, that purity is possible? I'm sure I'm leaving out many important considerations, but those are just a few from those two perspectives.

    I wonder how small a percentage of people would even appreciate what I'm proposing - I suspect most are too far from what I envision to even appreciate or desire all aspects of it.
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Winner Winner x 6
    • List
  4. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +129
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    I was actually pleased to see a female write down her perspective, and do appreciate you taking the time to write it!! :)

    Thank you.
     
  5. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    17,250
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,125
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Youre welcome.

    I tried to think of myself, as the mother of a daughter (now grown so we've been through this), as a friend to young women who went through life along with me, and to a culture of young women who I encounter in the school system. So I wasn't thinking that's what you were looking for, but I tried to include as broad a female perspective as possible. I'm afraid I have very little insight into a male perspective.

    It is a worthwhile topic. I hadn't realized he had recanted on his book, but I've read at least the first one.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  6. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +129
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    I'm a father myself, and it's not easy trying to teach a young girl how to navigate in the world.

    Purity Culture for men I think looked a bit different. I remember it being very sex negative... almost like the worst thing I could do was have sex with someone. Even looking at a girl was instantly thought of as lusting after her. So we had men's meetings, accountability partners, etc. Everything about sex was shameful and discouraged. I was a virgin when I got married at 20, and I suppose I'm not afraid to write this, the first time we did have sex, I actually felt bad, like I did something wrong.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  7. Winken

    Winken Selig Vermittler

    Messages:
    2,783
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +1,129
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    Sexual pleasures are reserved for one man with one woman who are united in staying together forever, raising up their children accordingly. I'm still struggling with the idea that a governmental license is necessary. I think not.
     
  8. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    17,250
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,125
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Governmental licenses were not necessary in all places at all times. In some instances it is the Church that marries, for example.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  9. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    17,250
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,125
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern Orthodox
    I didn't think of it from that point of view. So even "done right" that kind of thinking results in problematic attitudes and feelings ...
     
  10. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 Cubs win! Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    29,623
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +6,017
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Catholic
    I didn't get much of the purity culture, based on things the OP is talking about. The closest was my Jr High sex ed class that taught us abstinence only and said condoms don't protect against all STDs. Other than that, it was just assumed that you don't have sex until you're married. That was certainly the expectation.
     
  11. Archie the Preacher

    Archie the Preacher Apostle to the Intellectual Skeptics

    Messages:
    2,597
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +554
    Marital Status:
    Celibate
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    "Purity" for men and women both, is what God demands. There are long standing proscriptions for pre- and extra-marital sex, and homosexuality.

    On the other hand, I know God forgives all such sins if the wrong is confessed to God, repented and forgiveness of God is asked.

    So I think it's possible for "Purity Culture", when it tracks, identifies and shames individuals and makes them feel 'unclean' and 'outcast' does harm to those so treated.

    I don't think very many of the purity promoters go that far. I've known one or two who have; but they're happily rare in my experience.
     
  12. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +129
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    Yes, I suppose that's what I'm getting at. I just don't wish my children to feel the way I did.
     
  13. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    17,250
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,125
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Worse yet, can you imagine the effects on children who lose their "purity" through molestation? They should have very sensitive handling ...
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • List
  14. JackRT

    JackRT I'm on the left.

    Messages:
    3,732
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +3,507
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    United Church of Canada
    It was not until the eleventh century that the church insisted that all Christians be married by the church. Historically marriage is a covenant between two people. It is more recent that church and/or state have insisted that they witness and legitimize the union. Neither the church or the state marries the couple --- they marry each other.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  15. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 Cubs win! Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    29,623
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +6,017
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Catholic
    While it is true the couple performs the sacrament of matrimony on themselves, a priest is required to witness it, or a dispensation given to be married in some other way. Secret marriages are forbidden due to the issues they used to cause.
     
  16. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +129
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    This is something you can look into though, and quite tragic. Due to the fact purity culture ties a woman's worth to her virginity, if a woman is assaulted, it can cause them to then feel worthless. I'm trying to be careful in my writing, but this is something you can in fact Google, and many woman have wrote about their experiences, and have denounced purity culture on this basis.
     
  17. JackRT

    JackRT I'm on the left.

    Messages:
    3,732
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +3,507
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    United Church of Canada
    Yes, after the eleventh century. It could legitimately be argued that this was another layer in church control of every aspect of society. In the centuries following it got to the point that even the couples sex lives were strictly controlled through the confessional.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  18. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 Cubs win! Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    29,623
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +6,017
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Catholic
    Since marriage is a public declaration of coupling, it makes sense to outlaw secret marriages and have them be done in public for all to see. Even in modern legal systems, very few states still allow common law marriages because they cause all sorts of problems with inheritance, taxation, benefits, etc.
     
  19. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    Messages:
    17,250
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,125
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Even outside the specific teachings attributed to the movement you're talking about, it can be a problem. Ironically in some cases right alongside the idea of "free love".

    I want to be careful and sensitive in what I say as well, but ...

    Well, simply we live in a fallen and sinful world, and we are subject to all kinds of problems.

    Lord have mercy.
     
  20. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +129
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    One thing I forgot to mention in my original post, is that purity culture also is about the oppression of women, or the promotion that woman are property.

    In a purity ball, it's a pact to her father she will be "pure" until her wedding night, where the father will then pass ownership of the daughter over to another man.