Wives in training: gender and Christian purity culture


I recently came across one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read in my life.  The author describes her experience of sexual abuse by her stepfather in a Fundamentalist Baptist family.  He did not penetrate her in the sense that we often think of sexual abuse occurring.  This abuse was physical only to the extent that he would touch her in a sexual way while “never [doing] anything to compromise [her] virginity.”  Furthermore, she explains how, as girls, we are raised to be “apprentice wives” through our relationships with our fathers:

I learned how to cook my step-father’s favorite foods, to anticipate his needs and to wait on him better than professional servers in five-star restaurants. It was my job to wake up two hours early to make him a hot breakfast, and I was the one who made sure that his glass of iced tea was never…

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