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Virgin Nation: Sexual Purity and American Adolescence

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  6 reviews
First taking hold of the American cultural imagination in the 1990s, the sexual purity movement of contemporary evangelicalism has since received considerable attention from a wide range of media outlets, religious leaders, and feminist critics. Virgin Nation offers a history of this movement that goes beyond the Religious Right, demonstrating a link between sexual purity ...more
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published July 1st 2015 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 29th 2015)
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Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
ARC for review.

I wanted to read this book because I've always been disturbed/fascinated with the fundamentalist idea of virginity pledges and purity balls, especially the way in which young women are often treated as the property of their fathers until they are given away to their husbands (hopefully at an early age so they have plenty of time to pump out Duggar-like process of pushing out new recruits). However, don't get it twisted - this book is based in the author's doctoral dissertation, s
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

Moslener’s book traces the purity movement in America from its earliest forms to how it is known today. While I found Jessica Valenti’s book, The Purity Myth, to be more relevant, Moslener’s book is important because it is important to know history. To be frank, the history of the purity isn’t quite what you automatically would believe it to be. I found the section that detailed the connection to the suffrage movement to be the most interesting part. At times, the
Sarahc Caflisch
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking and curtain-raising. I got this book after reading this interview with the author ( and it made me like the author. The book does go on a bit, so if you don't have the time or commitment to read the whole thing and don't necessarily want to parse all the nuances of Puritans and purity, here's an excerpt:

Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amazing readable book that connects so many dots between Christian nationalism and purity culture. Moslener exposes how purity culture is a tool of the Evangelicals to indoctrinate each generation of youth with subtle ideas of Christian nationalism.
Rebecca Hecking
Very balanced and unbiased. This book isn't a casual read for the general reader. It's much more academic than I was expecting, and read like a text from grad school. Fascinating topic, though. The author looks all the way back to the 19th century to the "angel in the house" narrative, and traces it all the way through today. Interesting analysis of the social construction of sexual norms. ...more
Review forthcoming in Library Journal.
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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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