Sexual purity and its discontents in Mormonism

Authored by: Sara Moslener

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351181600-22

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Abstract

Sexual purity within the communities and institutions that comprise the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a deeply embedded and theologized principle that has grown out of longstanding church teachings on family and eternal salvation. Due to this, purity teachings are transmitted via formal church doctrine leaving church members to translate them into their lived faith practices. These translations have typically conformed to the purity teaching espoused by mainstream evangelicals, with an emphasis on modesty and the responsibilities of young women. However, a faithful opposition comprising people who identify themselves as Mormon feminists has asserted a new translation that reframes purity as a form of female empowerment and bodily integrity for both men and women.

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