Straight White American Jesus

A podcast on religion and politics hosted by Daniel Miller and Bradley Onishi, ex-ministers who are now scholars of religion.

Purity Culture, National Security, and Racism

Brad speaks with Dr. Sara Moslener, author of Virgin Nation: Sexual Purity and American Adolescence from Oxford University Press. Dr. Moslener outlines the history of purity culture from the 19th century to the present, highlighting the eugenicist and racist ideologies that fueled it. One of the often overlooked tropes is how sexual purity was enforced through appeals to patriotism–as if keeping the borders of the body secure would help keep the nation’s borders impenetrable. They also discuss contemporary purity movements, such as Silver Ring Thing, that convince young people that living their best life is a matter of sexual chastity and giving away one’s virginity will ruin their life irrevocably. 

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