The Purity Myth Analysis

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior Pages: 6 (1321 words) Published: February 15, 2018


If someone was assigned to compile a video of clips that would make me cringe, they would come up with something similar to The Purity Myth. The clips used were reminders of the oppressive, heteronormative, misogynistic system that I grew up in. The film itself provides ample examples of the ways in which women’s sexualities are policed, the idealization of virginity, the shortcomings of abstinence only sex education, and the arguments against women’s reproductive health. I have never been envious of women, who are subjected to seemingly exhausting inconsistent expectations, and this film cemented that opinion.
The Purity Myth critiques the way that female sexuality is commodified. It shows that a woman’s worth is not defined by her character...

Expectations about having sex are very different for men and women. If a woman were to have sex it would be a direct reflection of her character, which is an issue that boils down to women being seen as objects or conquests. If a man has already ‘had her’ she is therefore used and becomes less value to a future life partner. Men who regularly have premarital sex are seen in a positive light, this uphold notions that male promiscuity is not only natural, but also a virtue. This can be see reinforced in the media where men are praised for sleeping with women, as if it’s a positive reflection of their character. Female virginity is no longer a label, it’s an idealized identity that can be used to marginalize. It is a precious quality that must be defended while male virginity is a laughing matter. Even procedures like hymenoplasty, which claim to be “empowering to women”, are done for male pleasure and aesthetics. Women pay money and go through pain to recreate an arbitrary characteristic that is not a definite sign of virginity. So much importance has been placed on a woman’s hymen, which is strange considering they can be broken in numerous ways and that some women are born...

My largest issue with this topic is the way that it demonizes sex as impure or unnatural. Young people are taught that premarital sex is wrong, but this begs the question what is defined as sex? Is it simply vaginal-penile sex? Are lesbians and homosexual men then virgins? Is masturbation an equitable sin to premarital sex? Abstinence only prevention does not have a universal answer to these questions. This form of sexual education reeks of traditional Christian values which many people do not prescribe to. The Purity Myth highlights the political reasons behind abstinence only sex education. This type of education promotes traditional gender roles and attempts to restore the gender order which keeps women submissive. Taxpayers are paying for abstinence centered sexual education, which is rooted in Christianity. Essentially the separation of church and state is being ignored. Science has proved that teaching abstinence only sex education is ineffective because it highlights the moral and health dangers of vaginal sex, while ignoring the risks of oral and anal sex. Young adults then begin to search for sex alternatives which they view as less risky and are not adequately taught about other forms of sex. Abstinence only sex education is also very heteronormative. It lacks any comprehensive teaching about physical homosexual relationships. As a...
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