Monday, October 22, 2007

Chastity? Purity? Is There a Better Term?

Sunnyday, an e-friend of mine mine from the Philippines who blogs at This Is Not a Job for Superheroes, recently sent me a link to a good article—well, really more of an interview—between (husband) Greg and (wife) Lora Tan Garcia, the latter of whom recently wrote a book on chastity titled Keep Love Real.

Here's a snippet from the interview with Lora:

[Q:] Going back to difficulties with chastity for women, what is their struggle?

[A:] I think all women believe in chastity, especially Filipinas. It just hasn’t been offered in a nice package yet. They believe you have to be a liberated woman to find a man because of media. TV characters don’t get STDs. So, I guess they conform because they think that it is what works. Also, chastity is such a biblical term, so it turns people off.

[Q:] So what do you want to name it then?

[A:] Wala! I have been searching and “purity” sounds so holy. I guess that is why I wrote the book as an attempt to help my friends since chastity is the forgotten virtue...

This is an issue I have talked about with many others who also speak to kids about sex, dating, relationships, abstinence, etc.—what to call the topic under which we address these issues?

I know many people who agree with Lora that "chastity" unfortunately has somewhat of a negative connotation.

But is "purity" an improvement? I'm not so sure, as it's not a term that resonates with teenage guys.

Personally, I'm still inclined to favor, albeit not without some reservations, the term "chastity".


sunnyday said...

Hi John,

The interview is great, and I've never heard of anyone tackle the issue of chastity so candidly. The Spam portion is funny, isn't it?

I'll be going to the November Int'l Congress. Are you, or anyone from Generations for Life? It should be most interesting.

Thanks for mentioning my blog, which I've yet to update =)


John Jansen said...

I think just about anything regarding Spam is funny, probably because it brings to mind the classic Monty Python Spam sketch—which, I'm embarrassed to say, I never realized heretofore was the specific origin of the term "spam" as it refers to junk e-mail, etc.

Alas, none of us will be able to make it to the conference next month. Do let me know how it goes.