This is who I am: a phenomenological analysis of female purity pledgers' sense of identity and sexual agency

K-REx Repository

Show simple item record Hanna, Katrina N. 2016-04-22T21:07:57Z 2016-04-22T21:07:57Z 2016-05-01 en_US
dc.description.abstract At the turn of the 21st century, an ideological movement defined by many as the modesty movement helped push sexual abstinence as a controversial yet significant public issue in the United States. Concerned with a "hyper-sexualized" culture, modesty advocates urged young women to make a pledge to remain pure until marriage. Following the the growth of the movement, feminist scholars have been critical of the movement and the potentially detrimental consequences of purity pledges on young women's identity, sexuality, and sexual agency. This study takes a step back from this critical view of purity pledges and listens to young women's lived experience of making a purity pledge and living a life of purity. Specifically, this study asks how purity pledgers understand and enact purity and how they perceive their sexuality and sexual agency. To answer these questions, qualitative interviews were conducted with nine young women who at some point in their life made a purity pledge. A thematic analysis revealed three major themes: 1) living a pure life is situated within multifaceted perspectives on purity, 2) living a life of purity consists of negotiating multiple "selves," and 3) living a life of purity grants and reinforces a sense of agency. A composite description illustrates that religious messages, parents, peers, and sex education classes continue to influence their understanding of purity and sexuality. This project concludes with a discussion of theoretical implications surrounding the idea of a "crystallized self" and practical implications of this study on an organizational, familial, and personal level. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Purity en_US
dc.subject Purity pledge en_US
dc.subject Sexuality en_US
dc.subject Sexual agency en_US
dc.subject Identity en_US
dc.subject Crystallized self en_US
dc.title This is who I am: a phenomenological analysis of female purity pledgers' sense of identity and sexual agency en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Master of Arts en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department Department of Communication Studies en_US
dc.description.advisor Soo-Hye Han en_US 2016 en_US May en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search K-REx

Advanced Search


My Account


Center for the

Advancement of Digital


118 Hale Library

Manhattan KS 66506

(785) 532-7444