Whatever the formula, the book became the catalyst for the resurgence of courtship and is often cited as the foundational book for purity culture — a movement that uses biblical principles to encourage men and women to stay virgins before marriage.Since publication, the book has sold over a million copies, which is no small feat, considering that most Christian books only sell a few thousand.Purity culture also taught me that more than my mind and my talents, my body was my greatest gift.The insidious message of purity culture still clings fast in my marriage, and I often put it at the root of some of my deepest anxieties and fears.The number one suggestion: In church, being overweight feels like a sin.Nearly 20 years after publication, Harris has recently begun distancing himself from the book.
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His comments have touched on a wellspring of dissatisfaction with purity culture felt by generations of women and men raised on his words.
His almost-apologies and willingness to open a dialogue have inspired articles about the impact of the book and even a hashtag Kiss Shame Bye, which former adherents to purity culture use when revealing the deep harm caused by the ideology.
He was young after all, and there were others making the same arguments.
Maybe it was his youthful status, or his rising star as a pastor, or the hip fedora on the cover of the book.
I was taught that my holy calling was to open my legs for one and only one and bear him children.