The Purity Myth

Jessica Valenti

How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

Author's Purpose

  • Inform
  • Persuade
  • Illogicality of being "pure"
  • Feminist view
  • "...deserve a model of morality that's based on ethics, not on their bodies" (14).
  • Social mores, laws and violence


A: -Government is too involved in women making choices about their bodies

-Women have right to their bodies, privacy and pursuit of happiness

-Government regulation only to make sure contraception or abortion is safe

B: -Too many doctors/pharmacists involved in rejecting women's decisions

-In the medical field, workers should let their personal views influence how they do their job, it is the patient's choice

C: -Women are as capable as men to make decisions about their own bodies

Chapter 5: Classroom Chasity

  • federally funded programs are teaching false or misleading info
  • schools should not be teaching biased info, all views should be taught
  • teach facts
  • prepare teens for reality, what to do in case you are ready for sex, instead of trying to scare them into not doing it

Rating of 4.5

  • feminist ideas
  • clear and entertaining attitude
  • logical people should be able to enjoy the book
  • extreme supporters of the purity may not like it because author does a good job of proving her points


  • pg 122 paragraph 2: government should not be involved in personal life & personal feelings shouldn't influence how thorough you do your job
  • pg 146 paragraph 2: everyone changes their minds

Social Issue

  • sexualization of young girls
  • young girls are more attractive because they represent a traditional view of women
  • traditional: women should be quiet, not as smart as men and dependent of men
  • encourages females to act like this, when they are smart and capable, just to get attention