CT Women

Don't Miss

Don't Blame Evangelicals for the Cult of the Virgin

As the saying goes, we didn’t start the fire.
Don't Blame Evangelicals for the Cult of the Virgin
Constantin Hölscher / Public domain

Even in the midst of a sexual revolution, of a generation drawn to open relationships, hookup culture, and "polyamory," virginity still enthralls.

Yet another beautiful young woman is auctioning hers off. The cable show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding juxtaposes a cultural expectation to maintain virginity until marriage with a flashy celebration on the day-of. Feminist defenses of virginity crop up on edgy websites. A burgeoning academic field is devoted to "virginity studies." Even the "first kiss" video that recently went viral is but a variation on the "first time" theme.

In the midst of this, younger evangelicals question the church's message to encourage Christians to maintain "purity" until marriage. They have a point: some of our efforts cross the line between encouraging chastity and venerating virginity. But as the examples above show, making an idol out of virginity is a problem that's much bigger than evangelicalism.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
Already a CT subscriber?
or your full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.

Information about CT Women
CT Women exists to highlight writing by Christian women. We cover trends, ideas, and leaders that shape how women are living out the gospel in our time. Learn more by meeting our advisors and editors.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

In the Archives

This article is available to CT subscribers only. To continue reading, please subscribe. You'll get immediate access to this article and the entire Christianity Today archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?
or to continue reading.