Religious North Americans, and evangelical Christians in particular, have historically held a strong moral stance against pornography, masturbation, and pre-marital sexual intercourse, all of which are said to violate God’s design for sex to be limited to heterosexual marriage. Although awareness of female sexuality is growing among evangelicals, a cyclical relationship of naivete produced by silence has perpetuated ignorance of sexual behaviors being practiced by females at rates similar to males. Drawing on script theory from symbolic interactionism, this article considers the psychological implications of the evangelical construction of female sexuality on the individual as she navigates her sexual development. Findings suggest that religious messages and attitudes regarding female sexuality have induced physical trauma, fear, guilt, and body and sexual shame, thus producing an impaired sense of self while diminishing sexual pleasure, and increasing feelings of separation and alienation from God.
female sexuality, evangelicalism, psychological distress, sexual social scripts, social construction of sexuality