The Duggars, and Sex Abuse Within Purity Culture
Ever since I saw the police report and confession from Josh Duggar, eldest of the TV famous Duggar family, detailing the sexual abuse he carried out on young girls, I’ve felt disgust radiating throughout my entire body. Angry, violent disgust, the kind that made me want to throw my computer across the room. I tried writing some coherent thoughts about these allegations, and how the Duggars’ indocrtination of purity culture directly lead to the abuse and cover-up that occred, but I couldn’t. Instead I ended up writing a thousand words about my own experiences with purity culture, and how it almost ruined my life.
But these allegations aren’t about me. So since I can’t bring myself to clearly express my thoughts on exactly why this tragedy should not surprise anyone, I thought I’d let my friends and people I admire do it for me.
If you haven’t read the below posts, you should. They have helped me understand why “purity” is something I no longer believe in, support, or will teach my kids (if I have them.)
Aside from virginity, there’s the fact that Purity Culture teaches shame more than anything else. Purity Culture also encourages “forgiveness” for abusers more than punishment. But if abusers are “welcome at the table,” then those they abused are not.
Lest you think this story is uncommon, know that abuse within Purity Culture is not rare. Everytime I see a woman in the church share her story of sexual abuse (and the cover-up that followed) I see comments flood in with similiar stories.
Purity Culture needs to stop. It needs to cease to be taught in churches, and unlearned by those who have believed in it.
If it doesn’t, stories like this will continue to be common.
Christians, we can do better. We NEED to do better.