The Purity Myth The Virginity Movement's War Against Women



Date of Publication
June, 2012

This documentary is an adaptation of Jessica Valenti's 2009 bestselling book "The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women." The documentary, which Valenti co-wrote the documentary with director Jeremy Earp, brings to life her argument by allowing the audience to see the pop-culture examples of the American media's problematical portrayal of women's sexuality.

The book and documentary both build upon Valenti's concept of the "purity myth," which she defines as idea that women's societal value is based upon their sexuality. Valenti states in the documentary, "Women are still led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs, literally".

This concept that women's morality is tied to sexual purity is reinforced through traditions such as "purity balls" and often preached as a part of abstinence only sex education for youth. Yet young women also are inundated with social messages that place value on being found sexually desirable by men. These messages still promote an ideal of women's value being determined by their sexuality, just on the other extreme.

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