The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women [NOOK Book]

Overview


The United States is obsessed with virginity ? from the media to schools to government agencies. In The Purity Myth Jessica Valenti argues that the country?s 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 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...
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The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

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Overview


The United States is obsessed with virginity — from the media to schools to government agencies. In The Purity Myth Jessica Valenti argues that the country’s 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 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 virgin until they’re 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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786744664
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/24/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 147,202
  • File size: 404 KB

Meet the Author


Jessica Valenti is the founder and Executive Editor of Feministing.com and the author of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminist Matters. She has a Masters degree in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University and has worked with national and international women’s organizations, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. She is also a co-founder of the REAL hot 100, a campaign that aims to change the perception of younger women in the media, and a contributing author to We Don’t Need Another Wave and Single State of the Union.

In addition to Feministing, Jessica also blogs for NARAL Pro-Choice America, the UN Foundation, Salon’s The Blog Report, The Guardian (UK) and Guernica Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Ms. magazine, Bitch, Alternet, Salon, and The Guardian (UK).

Jessica recently received a 2007 Choice USA Generation award for her commitment to reproductive rights issues and was featured as one of ELLE magazine’s IntELLEgentsia. Jessica has been quoted extensively in print and has spoken on numerous radio programs including NPR, Air America Radio’s The Majority Report, BBC Scotland, BBC Northern Ireland, and various shows on Sirius satellite. Most recently, Jessica was a guest on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Jessica is also a frequent public speaker, her past engagements have included the National Council for Research on Women’s annual Power Matters conference, The Center for New Words’ Women Action and the Media Conference at MIT, the annual conference for the National Organization for Women and keynotes at colleges across the country.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 9

1 The cult of virginity 17

2 Tainted love 41

3 Forever young 61

4 The porn connection 81

5 Classroom chastity 101

6 Legislating sexuality 121

7 Public punishments 145

8 Beyond manliness 167

9 Sex, morals, and trusting women 185

10 Post-virgin World 203

Purity myth facts at a glance 217

Questions for discussion 221

Notes 223

Resources 239

Index 251

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(7)

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(4)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was engaging and intellectual.

    "The Purity Myth" was not the first book I ready by Jessica Valenti, but it has quickly become my favorite. It includes thorough and well-documented research to support her claims that abstinence-only-until-marriage model of prescribed sexuality for women is actually hurting the women it claims to protect. While her message is controversial, Valenti is careful not to malign the individual choices of particular women, but rather she is pointing out a cultural message which she claims is designed to control and restrict the rights of women (particularly young women).

    Valenti's style is witty and easy to read while being academic and intellectual -- regardless of whether or not the reader agrees with her position, Valenti's intelligence and honesty are clearly conveyed. I enjoyed reading this book immensely and highly recommend it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    A Book Every Woman Should Read!

    This book was wonderful and scary at the same time. Every woman between the ages of 8 and 80 should read this book and think really hard about women's roles in America.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    All Females Should Read This Book

    This book was excellent. It was a really smart look at how the sexualization of women from both mainstream society and the Puritanical virginity Nazi's create a situation where girls and women simply can't win. And, unlike most other books I have read criticizing the Religious Right, JV offers a well thought-out solution to the situation where all parties would benefit.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Purity Myth

    Wow! this book really outlines what I had been thinking for a long time - that there is too much of an obsession with purity - a very interesting book to read even if you may not agree with all of it

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    By far one of my favorite books of all time!!! I believe that bo

    By far one of my favorite books of all time!!! I believe that both women AND men should read this! Quite insightful to the scary world that young women have to live in and how our society (even though we don't really realize we are doing it) not just allows, but encourages it to exist this way. Definitely recommend that anyone read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Love it

    Perfect amd straight forward. Valenti is amazing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Okay

    A good overview of the push for patriarchy with compelling ancedotes throughout. I wish there were more bookd like it and that she spent more time pointing out the problems with books like female chauvinist pigs. Overall, I found her writing style and the substance of the book lacking depth. She did at times convey passion especially through the ancredotes of women. I reccomend as a overview as well as for the stories of wonen affected by the purity myth.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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