First Look at ‘The Purity Myth’ Documentary

by Casey Krosser


All you have to do is watch Jersey Shore, or most reality TV shows really, to see that commercial culture screams that a woman’s most important value is her sexuality.  And there’s rarely a healthy middle ground when sexuality is so constantly focused on.  Either she’s a shamed slut for having too much sex, or she’s a virginal prude.  We see this repeatedly, and don’t often stop to think how damaging these moral double standards really are.  Jessica Valenti, feminist writer and creator of, tackled the virgin/ whore binary in her book The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women.  Now the book has been adapted into a documentary film.

The film may be even more effective in its message than the book, as you’ll now be able to see all the visuals paired next to each other.  Valenti will show that both sides of extremes, hyper-sexualized women in the media as well as conservatives who promote abstinence, place the same sex-as-worth emphasis on women.  Valenti will also offer hope for getting out of this moral double standard and focusing more on the values of courage, intelligence, honesty, and integrity.  The same values that have always been considered respectable for men throughout history.  She hopes for a future where they’ll be less emphasis on sex, without a push for virginity either.  It’s sure to be a combination hilarious, insightful, and rage-inducing film.

The film will be released on DVD November 30th and it’s produced through the Media Education Foundation.  The Media Education Foundation also produced the feminist documentary Killing Us Softly, which is about the damaging effect of modern advertising images of women.  

The Purity Myth teaser trailer has some racy images paired next to the virginal images of women.  All the nudity is censored, but I’d still call it NSFW.


The Purity Myth Trailer from Media Education Foundation on Vimeo.






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