What Not to Say: Teaching Our Children Purity Without Purity Culture

I am honored to be published in Fathom magazine’s Issue 39 on the theme of Purity. My article, “What Not to Say: Teaching Our Children Purity Without Purity Culture” builds on my research on the myths of purity culture to encourage parents to develop a new way to teach our children purity.

My biggest hope is that my little girl will one day choose the value of purity after thoughtful consideration and a desire not to please me, but to obey and follow God.

Check out the introduction of my article below, then visit Fathom magazine to read my full article along with other contributions by Rachel Joy Welcher, K.J. Ramsey, Mary DeMuth, and other writers I admire.


Many of us remember getting “the talk” from our parents when we were teenagers. My parents gave me a James Dobson book about adolescence, sent me away to read it, and told me to let them know if I had any questions. I didn’t.

More than two decades later, I am now a licensed psychologist and the mother of a toddler. I want to teach my daughter a healthy, God-honoring view of her sexuality, one that is free of the shame and false promises perpetuated by purity culture. Like many of us that grew up in purity culture, I still want to instill biblical sexual morals in my child—including the belief in abstinence before marriage and sexual faithfulness after marriage.

But how do we teach our children purity without the myths of purity culture?

Many of my generation who were influenced by purity culture are now raising children of our own. Before we can teach our children about sexuality, we must be clear about our own beliefs and hang-ups. I believe we first need to pay attention to which purity culture myths affected us and banish all the myths when we talk with our children.


Read my full article, “What Not to Say: Teaching Our Children Purity Without Purity Culture” in Fathom magazine!

To learn more, check out my article “5 Ways to Teach Your Kids Shame-free Sexuality“.

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