'Pure' Sheds Light On Sexual Shaming In Evangelical Purity Movement

Linda Kay Klein grew up a devout Evangelical Christian. She broke up with her high school boyfriend after being convinced the joy she felt around him made her impure.
"Pure," by Linda Kay Klein. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Linda Kay Klein grew up a devout Evangelical Christian in the Midwest. She broke up with her high school boyfriend after being convinced the joy and excitement she felt around him made her impure and dirty. She and her friends were taught that girls were not only responsible for maintaining their own purity, but also that of the boys and men they interacted with.

As an adult, Klein interviewed hundreds of women who had similar experiences — some still suffering from anxiety, depression and an inability to have normal romantic and sexual relationships.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Klein (@LindaKayKlein) about her book “Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free,” which shares those interviews and explores research around sexual shaming.

Book Excerpt: ‘Pure’

by Linda Kay Klein

Growing up, my mom and I were an evangelical Christian community of two. Though we were technically Episcopalian, everything Mom learned about evangelical Christianity from her friends or the Christian radio station, In the process, I formed a very real, albeit roughly made, relationship with God, and a deep love for the Christian faith.

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