Gendered Messaging in the Evangelical Purity Movement: My guest post at the Anxious Bench

Klein pureI’ve been a fan of the Anxious Bench for years so I’m excited to have this piece picked up by the editors there. The topic is outside the usual cluster of themes I write about here and I may be overextending myself. But consider it a conversation starter if nothing else. Basically, I use my interest in 1980s evangelical youth culture as a spring board for considering what gendered messaging may have been packaged in the “purity movement.” Others, such as Linda Kay Klein, have raised this question in relation to young women, but this piece reflects on messaging to teenage boys. Here’s a taste:

In a complementarian world where youth pastors, retreat speakers (and most rock bands) were men, it begs the question of gender messaging. Future marital rewards implied that wives were there to provide pleasure for men. As Klein has written, young men were told that although their wives might be lambs during the day, they would turn into tigers at night. Shades of this objectification theology can be seen in Paige Patterson’s comments that teenage boys were simply displaying their God-given and “biblical” urges when they ogled attractive girls, when pastors brag about their “smoking hot wife,” and more recently, in the comments of Mark Driscoll. Even amid evangelical authors with healthier perspectives, good sex is a hot topic—so much so that one wonders if the idea that God rewards abstinence with mind-blowing sex is more prevalent now than in the past …

You can read the entire piece here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s