SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free

Touchstone. Sept. 2018. 352p. bibliog. ISBN 9781501124815. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501124839. MEMOIR
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OrangeReviewStarAccording to debut author Klein, the Christianity of her youth was actively weaponized against female sexuality. Woefully misinformed (some might say uninformed) about the most basic aspects of human biology, the author anxiously took numerous pregnancy tests while on the pill and still a virgin. Eventually, Klein discovered she wasn't alone, which led her on a 12-year journey to connect with other women—some still evangelical, some decidedly not—in order to document the realities of gender-based sexual shaming. Using interviews and evidence-based scholarship, Klein demonstrates the pervasive and often long-term suffering evangelical girls and women experience that causes them to question whether a healthy, sexually active individual can ever attain the love of Christ, let alone eternal salvation.
VERDICT A potent account of purity culture that deserves our attention.

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