Evangelical Purity Culture Led Me to a Lifetime of Shame

Former born-again Christian Linda Kay Klein traces the psychological effects of purity culture on women in her new memoir, 'Pure.'
Image: Rlmabie/Wikimedia Commons
Image: Rlmabie/Wikimedia Commons

When Linda Kay Klein decided to leave her church in the early 2000s she had no idea how her experience would impact her. But she soon found that years of being told to be pure and virginal by the organization had a psychological impact. When she would have sexual experiences afterward, she would feel anxious, guilty, and shameful, and do things like scratch herself until she bled.

Klein realized that she was not alone. And her book, Pure, is an unflinching look at the physical and mental trauma and aftermath of faith-based purity culture. She joined VICE's daily podcast to talk about her own experience, and what her research has revealed.

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