New Series on Rape and Sexual Assault in Christian Dating Books: “You Are Not Your Own”

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If you’re a regular reader from my old address at SarahOverTheMoon.com, or if you follow me on social media (and if you don’t, check out my Facebook page and Twitter account!), you’ve probably heard me about a research project that I’ve been working on since January for my undergraduate capstone. I’ve been reading Christian dating books and analyzing the messages that they send (or fail to send) about rape, sexual assault, and consent. My project is called “You Are Not Your Own: Rape, Sexual Assault, and Consent in Evangelical Christian Dating Books.”   

For this particular project I read and analyzed four famous and infamous evangelical Christian dating books: I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris; When God Writes Your Love Story, by Eric and Leslie Ludy; Dateable, by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco; and Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll.

I’ve had many people reach out to me over the past few months asking if I was going to make my findings available for everyone to read. The answer to that is yes!

Now that I’ve finally finished my research (though I’m currently working on polishing it up a bit so I can submit it to an undergraduate academic journal), I’m announcing a new series on my blog about my findings. I’m naming it “You Are Not Your Own” after the title of my paper.

In this series(which may be a long one since my paper was nearly 40 pages), I’ll be blogging through the important findings that I came across in my research. I’m going to start by sharing what I learned from doing my literature review–the background research that I did before I started reading the actual dating books themselves. That background information is important, not only for understanding these dating books, but also for thinking about other trends in Christian culture. After that, I’ll be sharing what I found in the Christian dating books themselves.

At some point in this series I’ll be issuing a call for guest posts. I will give more information at that point, but if you read any of the dating books listed above, or any other Christian dating books, and think you’d be interested in writing about how they’ve affected you–for better or for worse–email me at moonsn11@gmail.com or send me a tweet at @SarahNMoon.

I should have my first post in this series up some time this week. I’m really excited to start talking about this.

 

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  • http://mittenatheist.blogspot.com/ Kari Lynn

    Will zombie Mark Driscoll be making an appearance? ;P

    • sarahoverthemoon

      quite possibly!

      • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

        And bunnies! Mustn’t forget the bunnies…

  • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

    I feel like I should now read “I Kissed Dating Good-Bye.” I actually wrote a blog post on it in the early days of my blog, at the suggestion of a blog reader. I couldn’t find it in my local library, so my blog is based on reading 100+ summaries/reviews of it. I’ll be interested to hear your take on it, and on the other books. I’ve had Mark Driscoll’s sermons sent to me before too. I have very mixed feelings about his messages.

    http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/2011/09/dating-sex-marriage.html

  • Pingback: New blog series on Patheos! |

  • http://www.facebook.com/belovedfailure Linda Yoon

    I’m looking forward to it!

  • http://lanahobbs.wordpress.com/ lana hobbs

    I’m looking forward to this series. I embraced the purity movement as a way to please god and avoid all kinds of sin and pain and future marriage problems. my husband and i had a no-touch courtship….
    but purity teachings affected me deeply and in ways i am still realizing (as while you are in the culture, any hurt is attributed to you just being too sinful, basically, because the teachings are god’s teachings and therefore full of life and freedom…) i would love if people would start recognizing the damage and the lies/false promises of purity culture and stop pushing their sons and daughters into it.

  • Andrea_Videographer

    Very excited about this work!!

  • http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah | the smitten word

    i can’t wait to read this. congrats on the move to patheos–and graduation!

  • fancystephanie

    I can’t wait to read this series! My mother read us all of the Ludy’s books in high school. She even got one of their music CD’s. *shudder* I can’t decide which was more traumatizing – the book, or the songs about waiting until marriage for your first kiss!

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  • http://www.travismamone.net/ Travis Mamone

    Normally literature reviews make me want to claw my eyeballs out . . . but in this case I’d be happy to read yours!

  • Pingback: New Series on Rape and Sexual Assault in Christian Dating Books … | ChristianBookBarn.com

  • Katrina Benge

    You might want to consider including the asinine Debi Pearl’s books in with your article. She repeatedly makes it sound ok to be abused. If the rape/beatings/abuse get ‘to much to handle’ one should speak to one’s pastor about it. I find that to be the most egregiously bad advice in her books, but there isn’t a chapter that doesn’t have something demeaning and/or unbiblical.

    • sarahoverthemoon

      Yeah, the Pearl’s books are awful. I researched some more widespread, popular books (Pearl’s books seem like they’re only popular among more fringe groups) but have really appreciated Libby Anne’s critiques at Love, Joy, Feminism.

  • Alice

    This is a very important topic, especially since abuse is so seldom mentioned in the Christian community.

    Joshua Harris recently disclosed that he is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, so if his book has negative messages for survivors, that is really sad.

  • http://www.candacebarnett.com Candace Barnett

    I’m looking forward to reading about your findings on this.

  • http://adderall-apocalypse.blogspot.com/ Adderall Apocalypse

    “I KISSED DATING GOODBYE” RUINED MY LIFE!!! (only slightly kidding. >_> )


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