Rape Culture, Purity Culture, and Coercive Control in Teen Girl Bibles

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Caroline Blyth
Rape Culture, Religion and the Bible
  • New York: 
    Routledge
    , February
     2021.
     108 pages.
     $20.65.
     E-Book.
    ISBN
    9780429282959.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Claire L. Sahlin forthcoming.

Description

In this fascinating book, Caroline Blyth takes a close look at Bibles marketed to teen girls and asks how these might perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes that lie at the heart of rape culture.

The author considers the devotionals, commentaries, and advice sections placed throughout these Bibles, which offer teen girl readers life advice on topics such as friendships, body image, and how to navigate romantic relationships. Within these discussions, there is a strong emphasis on modesty, purity, and sexual passivity as markers of young women’s ‘godliness’. Yet, as the author argues, these gendered ideals are prescribed to readers using rape-supportive discourses and the tactics of coercive control. Moreover, the placement of these various editorial inserts within the pages of sacred scripture gives them considerable power to reinforce deeply harmful ideologies about gender, sexuality, and sexual violence. Given the seeming popularity of these Bibles among Christian teen girls, the need to dismantle their damaging rhetoric is especially urgent.

This book will be of particular interest to those studying the Bible, religion, gender, and theology, as well as the general reader.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Caroline Blyth is Senior Lecturer and Assistant Dean of Equity at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

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