Making Chastity Sexy

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Making Chastity Sexy:
The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns
Making Chastity Sexy.jpg
Author Christine Gardner
Country United States
Language English
Subject Evangelical sexual abstinence teachings
Publisher University of California Press
Awards Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award
ISBN 0520267273

Making Chastity Sexy: The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns is a 2011 book by Christine Gardner,[1] a professor at Wheaton College.[2] In it, Gardner states that sexual abstinence teachings by Evangelicals are currently "using sex to sell abstinence" by promising more satisfying sexual activity within marriage for those who abstain from premarital sex; she argues that this rhetoric reinforces selfish desires for gratification, sets people up for divorce and dissatisfaction with marriage, and simply adapts "secular forms for religious ends".[3]

The book investigates three Evangelical organizations that advocate sexual abstinence:[4] Silver Ring Thing, True Love Waits, and Pure Freedom.[5] In addition to these United States-based sexual abstinence organizations, the book studies one Africa-based sexual abstinence organization.[6] The image on the book cover depicts a female human abdomen exposed by a crop top and low-rise jeans; a navel piercing is encircled by a tattoo of the words "True Love Waits" in cursive.[7] In preparation for writing the book, Gardner spent five years doing research at chastity events in various locations in both the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.[8]

Frank Schaeffer called the book "important and perceptive in a profound way".[9] In 2012, Making Chastity Sexy won the Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award for a scholarly monograph or book in the field of communication studies.[10]


  1. ^ Christine J. Gardner (2011). Making Chastity Sexy: The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns. University of California Press. ISBN 0520267273. 
  2. ^ Amy Frykholm (May 21, 2012). "Can Sex Sell Abstinence?". Religion & Politics. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sarah Pulliam Bailey (November 18, 2011). "The Rhetoric of Chastity: Making Abstinence Sexy". Christianity Today. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ Tanda Gmiter (November 12, 2011). "Christianity Today interview: Evangelicals play up 'sexy abstinence' in purity campaigns". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ Hennie Weiss (March 27, 2012). "Review - Making Chastity Sexy". Metapsychology Online Reviews. 16 (13). Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Making Chastity Sexy: The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns". Sociology of Religion. 73 (1): 100. Spring 2012. doi:10.1093/socrel/srs020. 
  7. ^ Melissa L. Carrion (Fall 2012). "Making Chastity Sexy: The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns (review)". Rhetoric & Public Affairs. 15 (3): 558. 
  8. ^ Amy DeRogatis (December 2012). Church History. 81 (4): 1044. doi:10.1017/S0009640712002454.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Frank Schaeffer (August 3, 2012). ""Abstinence Only" Exposed as Subversive of Actual Evangelical Values". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award". National Communication Association. Retrieved March 21, 2013.