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(Tom Le Gro/The Washington Post) So many women in my life cracked under the untenable pressure, often giving up on God all together.Others were forced into marriages with men who hit them and hid their abuse behind another message of the church borne from purity culture, that God hates divorce.And then you oppress yourself and call it holiness.” Others are also tapping into this need for change as well.

He was what we, as young evangelicals, wanted to be.

And so we strove passionately to attain the ideal of premarital purity he laid out for us.

On the surface, I am a purity-culture success story: I am a heterosexual woman, a virgin until marriage, now with two small children and a husband I deeply love. [Pope Francis has an unusually positive view of sex] Purity culture taught me that I ought to be passed down from father to husband, more an inheritance than a human.

I was taught that men are my cover and my shield, when for the most part they have been the ones causing damage through molestation, rape and abuse.

a book that was in part a warning about the harm that relationships before marriage could cause.

Harris evoked images of men at the altar bringing all their past partners with them into the marriage to reinforce the point that love and sex before marriage took pieces of your heart and made you less.And even before Harris began rethinking his youthful magnum opus, writers like Dianna Anderson, author of “Damaged Goods” and websites like the No Shame Movement have taken purity culture to task for inciting shame and excluding victims of rape, and people who are not cisgendered or white.The previously static idea of what constitutes purity is beginning to crack, and through those cracks, voices and ideas are beginning to be heard that were formerly shut out of conversations on God and sexuality.His comments have touched on a wellspring of dissatisfaction with purity culture felt by generations of women and men raised on his words.His almost-apologies and willingness to open a dialogue have inspired articles about the impact of the book and even a hashtag #Kiss Shame Bye, which former adherents to purity culture use when revealing the deep harm caused by the ideology.The Josh Duggar allegations of molestation are about more than just hypocrisy, says The Post's Alexandra Petri.