Fieldwork in Religion, Vol 7, No 2 (2012)

Exploring Acts of Agency within Christian Women’s Sexuality

Sonya Sharma
Issued Date: 22 Mar 2013


Conservative Protestantism’s message for sexuality is well known – sex is only for the context of heterosexual marriage. This teaching, bolstered by conservative constructions of femininity, motivates the author to explore acts of agency within Christian women’s sexuality. The author shows women between the ages of 18 and 25 negotiating competing ecclesial and secular discourses on sexuality. Drawing from 36 qualitative interviews in which 33 identified as heterosexual and 3 as lesbian, the author discusses women separating their sexuality and Christianity because they were experienced as conflictual, one woman’s sexuality that lead her back to church, and women choosing sexual abstinence until marriage. This article demonstrates that while women continue to face the dichotomy presented between their religion and sexuality, this conception is too simplistic to explain the multiplicity and complexity of women’s faith and sexual experiences.

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DOI: 10.1558/firn.v7i2.134


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