What They’re Reading: Laura Holt Reviews The Purity Myth

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Book recommendations from experts in the fields of sexuality, gender, health, science and relationships

Purity Myth

Photo: Laura Holt

Laura Holt recommends Jessica Valenti's "The Purity Myth"

Laura Holt is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at IU, currently completing her dissertation on Female Sexual Satisfaction and Sexual Orientation in association with the Kinsey Institute.  

Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth should be read by anyone who is a woman or knows a woman or has heard of women. She does an excellent, well-resourced job of dragging the tired old stories about the importance of virtuous girls into the 21st century and exposes them for the patriarchy-driven load of crap they are. This extremely readable book demonstrates how sexualizing purity and childhood innocence inhibits healthy sexual development in women and men.  Valenti also explores the cultural effects of this approach, from slut-shaming to lawmakers’ view women as incapable of making decisions about their own bodies and sexuality.


Bianca Jarvis

Bianca Jarvis is an MPH student at Indiana University, and the executive editor at MsBehaved.com: "a sex-positive, body-positive, queer-friendly, gender-inclusive lifestyle site with a fierce femme sensibility." Her research interests include health disparities in gender-variant populations, body-diverse wellness, and sexual health and pleasure.
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