Josh Duggar: How Purity Culture Created His Downfall

Josh Duggar: How Purity Culture Created His Downfall August 20, 2015
Image by Suzanne Titkemeyer
Image by Suzanne Titkemeyer

by Suzanne Titkemeyer

Late yesterday afternoon the news broke that it appears that Josh Duggar has had an account with the notorious website Ashley Madison. This account was active during the last two years he was employed by the Family Research Council and was only canceled when the news came out about his sexual molestation of his sisters. This is on the heels of all the other news that has come forward in the last four months about the sexual proclivities of Josh Duggar.

Recent revelations of misbehavior by Josh Duggar include the fact that he’s molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a young teen. Jim Holt, Arkansas politician, has claimed that Josh accessed pornography at the campaign headquarters. There have been rumors about Josh’s visits to strip clubs in Arkansas and Washington D.C.

Add in this latest news of two paid Ashley Madison accounts and an OkCupid account and it paints a picture of a man who is deeply troubled by sex. Troubled enough that he is intensely focused on sex, sexuality and sexual exploration. But how could he not be obsessed with sex considering he has been raised with the rape culture/purity culture model in his fundamentalist quiverfull family? That type of religion creates harmful ideas about sexuality.

For those of you not familiar with Ashley Madison let me explain it. It’s a website that people pay to join. The main purpose is to let people who have the desire to cheat on their spouses or significant others to find other like-minded individuals for secret infidelity. Until the recent hack of the website it was considered a fairly safe and discreet way to find the sex you crave that your spouse doesn’t provide. You could request certain activities with no judgment.

This morning Josh posted this mea culpa on his mother Michelle Duggar’s blog:

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.
I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.
I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust.
The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.
As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.
I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.
Josh Duggar”

Since seeing a pattern emerging out of the wreckage of Josh Duggar’s life I’ve almost started to feel sorry for him. His scandals merely illustrate the troubling reality of what happens when a set of extra Biblical religious beliefs repress normal human sexuality. Modesty culture hurts men too.

In his statement Josh is blaming what happened on pornography, which is not the entire truth. It’s the lifestyle his family lives, it is the poisonous belief system that women are solely responsible to keep men from lusting, it’s the teachings that sex is only for marriage and the reproduction of children, it’s his disgraceful parents groping and kissing each other in front of all the kids like hormone-addled teenagers while pushing the idea of all sexual thoughts, expressions or actions outside of the marriage bed are sin. What has led to his downfall is the natural result of a religion that treats sex like a disease.

How many times on the Duggar television show ’19 Kids & Counting’ have we witnessed the Duggar girls spotting a female dressed in something ‘immodest’ by Duggar standards and uttering the word, “Nike” so that the boys know to look at their shoes? This is part of what the Quiverfull Fundamentalist movement does, assume that men cannot operate sexual self control in the presence of naked flesh. They reduce men to an animal nature.

In real life you’re going to see people dressed in all sorts of ways you might find immodest, but you learn to advert your eyes or look if you must, without a cultural enforcer determining for you if the person is wearing immodest clothing. You learn to deal with the clothing of others without it causing you extreme lust.

In a culture that teaches all sexual thought is a sin, not something we are biologically hard-wired to do starting at puberty, there’s not only a heavy burden of guilt, but there’s usually a lack of real knowledge that leads to a curiosity about sex. If even thinking about sex is a sin it’s not likely that you’ll be able to ask questions and receive legitimate satisfying answers, so you repress, you sneak around trying to get the information. The more it’s forbidden, the more it becomes the topic that fills your mind, crowding out other thoughts.

It’s no secret that as much as two-thirds of all Christian men look at porn at least once a month according to statistics. Some statistics show that the heaviest internet pornography usage occurs in areas with a high concentration of fundamentalist religion. Why? Because it is forbidden.

The lack of any and all healthy sexual outlets, lack of access to information and constantly being told that anything involving sex is a sin is pushed in fundamentalism as the key to keeping your children pure and virginal until their wedding day. But it also creates men who are sexually weak. It creates guys like Von Ohlman and Biblical Gender Roles who spend all their time obsessing over how women owe them sex upon demand. It drives guys to internet pornography and a self-loathing cycle of porn and masturbation. The low-hanging forbidden fruit of sexuality becomes an obsession where it is vilified and banned.

Even the sexual acts Josh Duggar requested at both Ashley Madison and on his OkCupid profiles show a man with a very normal unkinky vanilla tastes. Showing that his unmet curiosity and sexual needs were the direct result of religious sexual repression.

All this means to my mind that perhaps Josh Duggar didn’t have as much control of his mind and his actions as he thought he did. He’s a victim of his parents cult beliefs as much as anyone could be`. He needs help to develop healthy sexual boundaries and behaviors, but isn’t likely to get it in a high pressure fundamentalist Christian cult.

In typical fundamentalist good old rape culture and purity culture beliefs it is likely we’re going to see the religious cultural enforcers come down hard on poor Anna Duggar, blame her for her husband’s straying from the marriage. That’s another false belief in fundamentalism, that a man’s proclivity for pornography and infidelity is always the fault of the wife. But this is clearly not Anna’s fault at all. His obsessions go way back before their marriage, no matter how a Debi Pearl or Nancy Campbell would spin it as her failure. I am praying that Anna has the strength to survive the coming blame shifting. She did nothing to deserve any of this. My heart breaks for Anna right now, Anna and those children.


Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin of NLQ and also the wife of a man who had sense enough to recognize their church as a cult before dragging her out. She is a crazy old cat lady keeps busy with her grown children, her rescue animals, foster care animals and her love of all things art. Contrary to Fundy-Belief she’s usually smiling, laughing or smirking while swilling diet coke and dispensing sarcasm. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape


Read our hate mail at Jerks 4 Jesus

If this is your first time visiting NLQ please read our Welcome page and our Comment Policy!

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

"Got a madder-on after being told his lordsaviorghost-thing doesn't exist."

Open Thread COVID 19 – The ..."
"My bet is on "descend into chaos." I think about family businesses that cease to ..."

Open Thread COVID 19 – Rodrigues ..."
"True, there are some people who don't have the luxury of being able to ignore ..."

Open Thread COVID 19 – Rodrigues ..."
"Ugh. Yeah, that sounds like classic insurance defense, find some way to blame the victim ..."

Anna Duggar Deposition?

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • BridgetD

    I really, honestly, truly feel bad for this family, including Josh. I am still disgusted by his actions, but I pity him. He does not strike me as a bad person at heart, but a troubled man who never got the help that he needed, all of it because of his family’s faith. We can’t know how he would have turned out if he had been raised under a different system, but I still wonder…if his parents had trusted him enough to control his impulses earlier, would he have still had so much trouble after puberty? If his natural desires were not treated as something to be ashamed of, would he have been able to find another outlet, or would he still have molested his sisters? If he had done so and gotten the help he needed, would he have still cheated on his wife or still have been addicted to porn? I don’t know and can’t know.

    I particularly hope that Anna and the kids will be alright. As much pain as they’ve been put through these last few months, I can’t imagine how they’re feeling now. I’m very concerned about how they’ll get through it all.

  • “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever.”

    … no, he’s just one in a long, long line of sexually repressed people who have turned out to be expressing their sexuality in secret while telling the rest of us to suppress ours. Add him to the long list of priests, pastors, televangelists, politicians, and other public prudes who are private “perverts.”

    I hope his example will help the younger Duggars and youngsters in the TLC peanut-gallery to see how toxic this attitude is.

  • SAO

    I think it’s pretty clear that the Duggar’s purity culture both puts impossible demands on people and then focuses much more on appearance than reality. From the moment he tried to crawl off a blanket, Josh was taught to suppress his every desire, whether it was a natural one or not. The only way to get things he wanted that weren’t part of the approved Duggar program ™ was to sneak.

    At the same time, the Duggars put a lot of emphasis on surface appearances, so to be considered Godly, he just had to say the right things and act the right way at the right time. If he got caught, he went into the whole sincerely repent/drew closer to God routine.

    In short, he was trained into the combination of hypocritical piety and sneakiness that disgusts the world. I suspect he doesn’t know who he really is or wants and probably wouldn’t expect anyone to like the real him. He needs to grow up before he’s ready to have a real marriage.

  • Julia Childress

    I strongly agree with what you have said. If his parents had accepted the fact that sexual impulses during puberty are the product of biology, not lust. That self-gratification is not a sin. It’s a harmless means of discharging sexual energy. If the children were taught (age appropriately) the names and functions of male and female body parts. If they were able to ask sincere questions and get good answers – not “the Bible says so” or “what you’re feeling or doing is sinful.” If they were taught that men and women are equal in the eyes of God, and each has the right to decide what happens to his/her own body. Josh may never have gone down this road. Sad, that in Duggar world, a married couple can’t even decide to spice it up a little and do some sexual experimentation or have sex just for fun, without the potential for pregnancy. What a drag that is on a marriage. I think Josh has some serious problems that he needs to work on, but I lay the blame for this situation at the feet of Jim Bob and Michelle.

  • Julia Childress

    My fear is that Jim Bob and Michelle will double-down on the religion and repression. Jim Bob seems to be a real narcissist, and I just can’t see him acknowledging that their religion is anything but right.

  • Julia Childress

    Excellent post, Suzanne.

  • Aimee Shulman

    They’re probably going to throw Josh (and Anna) to the wolves and throw a massive pity party for themselves pretending that none of this had anything to do with how terribly they screwed up raising their son.

  • Julia Childress

    Exactly. I’m waiting for their repentance of their own wrong-doing and request for forgiveness. Never gonna happen.

  • LicoriceAllsort

    There have been several edits to the statement as the day has gone on. Documented here in this Twitter post and comments.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I know it kept disappearing and reappearing as I was writing. Should have known they’d edit it.

  • katiehippie

    Maybe Josh will have an epiphany and realize all the BS he’s been indoctrinated with and figure out what he wants his life to be.

  • B.A.

    We can only hope.

  • Anonyme

    Josh has really been bringing down Jim Bob and Michelle’s house of cards. JB & M sound really desperate to salvage what little credibility they have left, although there is, sadly, a number of slavering die-hard fans.

    Note how Josh is the first one mentioned in their prayer requests. Not Anna, the actual victim. And I say victim because it was a cruel and hurtful thing to do to her.

  • C Ellison

    Very good article. Jim Bob and Michelle are so immersed in this cult of extreme fundamental religion – they are a prime example of the sickness and dysfunction of it all. I blame them for raising their children in such a ignorant, repressive, paranoid home. Josh Dugger has been paraded around his entire life as the ‘good boy’, he never had a normal boyhood, and he was brainwashed by his own parents. One look at Michelle Dugger and anyone can see – this chick is way down the rabbit hole in this cult.

  • Kathleen

    I agree, this is an excellent post. It would be great if the family would read it along with all the comments. It makes so much sense!
    Can you send this to them Suzanne? It would be interesting if they would reply.

  • Joyce

    Hello! Oldest son. Patriarch in training. Who is Anna?

  • Lisa Menaster

    There has never been an episode of 19KAC where the girls said Nike when an immodest women was around. They mentioned the Nike thing in one episode, but they have never shown it happening.

  • Joyce

    “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever.”

    That line bothers me too. Hmm, Josh, you’re one of many. I know, you want so much to be special, so now you’re clinging to “biggest ever.” Nope. You’re just yet another in a large group

    Apology statements / PR is difficult. If he put himself among all the other sanctimonious Christians caught in scandals, it would appear to be minimizing. Also not good. But then, if you stick to the truth and think it through, you can probably find the right thing to say. You might not come out smelling like roses, but it’s better in the long run.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I saw it in some of the early early specials I believe. Haven’t watched any of the later ones. It’s still creepy and wrong.

  • Allyson Bossie

    His list of preferences was honestly boring to the point I would fall asleep. So very sad, they created this. Also, his poor wife may NOT be satisfying him, but how can he even teach her when the very word sex is a dirty word? She had zero way of knowing even what sex was much less how to do more than her best. I remember having zero clue. NONE. Fortunately, my wasband was raised in the same cult, but 6 years older than me, so he was able to show me some times and was patient.

    Minus the molestation , their story is so familiar my stomach aches for Anna. Not because she doesn’t have choices at this point. But because shes doesn’t even know they exist. Even if she did, she will stay for a life of heartbreak while she must smile while serving those damned sandwiches.

  • Allyson Bossie

    Those fake tears on their show when they talked about Joshy’s molesting their daughters? Double that a trillion times over while she screams and carries on off the cameras at how he ruined her income. There are pictures of her that tabloids shot while she was unaware that you can TELL she was just screaming and ranting in, but that camera comes on it is all smiles and fake tears

  • Poster Girl

    I said this on a friend’s post yesterday. I have never, ever heard of the phrase “pornography addiction” outside of evangelical/fundamentalist circles. In the real world, including religious Catholics and even Mormons I know, it’s just porn. Religious people still consider it a sin, but it’s not an “addiction.”

    Nor do I know any secular people who appear to be “struggling” with this so-called addiction.

  • BlueVibe

    They have four small kids: His wife can hardly be blamed for not being a thrill a minute in bed, even if she knew all the tricks. With his upbringing and extracurricular activities, I don’t imagine he’s killing himself to lighten her workload, either.

  • ChrisFromNewEngland

    It goes back further to the teachings of Bill Gothard and others of their genophobic ilk.

    There’s currently a series dedicated to using the Bible to eviscerate the similar teachings of Joshua Harris on a Christian website that I frequent. If we can prevent other Christian men from viewing their God-given sexuality as a source of non-stop tribulation, mission accomplished.

  • zardeenah

    You would think that if any religious group in the world would know what happens when you forbid people to do something, it would be Christians. We don’t call it forbidden fruit for nothing!

  • Julia Childress

    I would be interested in that series’ name or web address. I think it is so important for Christians to step up and (I like your word) eviscerate this doctrine. If you want to read something really scary, look into the teachings of Roussas John Rushdooney. He is deceased now, but much of the current patriarchy/dominionist teachings have their source in his “Christian” philosophy. Truly, he is the American Taliban, or even worse and whether they know it or not, the Duggars and their ilk are following along the road that he constructed. I don’t think the politicians who publicly welcome and support the Christian Right fully realize that they truly plan to take over the secular government.

  • stevienix

    Cult leaders are always narcissist, and I read somewhere that he conducts church on his property? ugh

  • Julia Childress

    They are Independent Fundamentalist Baptist. It sounds as though over the years they have attended an actual church and also home churches. One thing many IFB members want to avoid is church youth groups. Too many temptations by the opposite sex. When members’ children become youth-group age, they will sometimes start a church in their own home, or start going to another member’s home. That way it’s a fairly small group of like-minded people and the young people can be watched over by the moral police. I also heard, but don’t know if this is fact, that they started an actual church that was sort of an “invitation only” church. They have said that Ben saw Jessa in church, so they must have been going somewhere at that time.

  • guest

    I hope this scandal and the end of the show will lead to the children waking up and questioning Whether they actually want the life they spent all those years acting out in front of the cameras.

  • guest

    Very well put, SAO.

  • I think the teaching that forbids masturbation is as much to blame as anything else. It’s hard not to think about sex a lot when you have unresolved sexual tension. And then feeling shamed and guilty every time those feelings happen– that’s sure to mess up anyone’s brain.

  • stevienix

    How crazy is that? Thanks for the info I thought I read that somewhere. I also remember a tweet or post that Derek wrote that pretty much said how much he had admired his father and it was right after the molestation stuff came out and seemed as though without saying anything he was saying something about JimBoobs parenting. I think (hope) that is why they went abroad, and ended up taking Joy Anna back with them.. Hopefully fundies or not- that the men that these girls marry have some shred of how messed up all this is. Imagine not being able to hug your gf, who has already been fondled by her brother? THey can’t be that ignorant to see the hypocracy in the teaching verses the action. Derek seems to be a decent guy just hope they stay away and that they don’t teach their kids that all this is ok. I don’t maybe I am naive but if the girls who escape polygamy can see the truth somewhere they can to. And I really hope Jana escapes because that situation is just sad. She is a beautiful girl why is she not courting? Don’t want to lose their back up mommy? If she is back up, does that mean she is back up (if you catch what I am insinuating). so sad..

  • stevienix

    While that is sad, as an adult he knew right from wrong. I would think masturbation would be the lesser of two evils so to speak. ugh the whole thing is sickening.

  • stevienix

    Someone has to be writing this for them, you know they actually believe the debbil made him do it. ugh… God gave us choice for a reason.. The whole thing is just so twisted to me. None of this is the devils fault, its Joshys and his parents. Josh is 27 I don’t think you can even blame the parents anymore, no matter how messed up their beliefs are. I was raised in a racist family, and I knew as a small child how messed up that was and would tell them to not speak that way in front of me. But of course I was exposed to school, but still I knew very small that there beliefs were wrong and that I would never teach my kids those awful values.

  • guest

    I agree.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I’ll be honest: While I really hope I’m wrong, I won’t be too surprised if the next scandal to be revealed is about Jim Bob. There are some really creepy vibes in that family.

  • disqus_QG4coygfJp

    Whatever – an addiction is an addiction, no matter if you’re raised in a liberal “do whatever makes you happy” family, or a super strict, fundamentalist culture.
    Once you are exposed, if you have that addictive gene or personality or whatever it is – it is very hard to break.
    Why do we understand this about drug addicts but not sex addicts?
    What he did to those girls was reprehensible and there is no excuse for it. Stop trying to make his upbringing the excuse.

    There are good people and bad, who make good decisions and bad. No matter what race, religion, job, public standing… it’s not an upbringing issue, but a heart issue.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Sex addiction is a sketchy thing and there’s not a lot of scientific evidence to support that it is a real addiction. A compulsion or obsession, sure. Addiction that you cannot stop or you’ll be having horrible withdrawal symptoms? Hmm, not so much. Not an addiction IMHO.

    And you seriously mistake what I said. I am not excusing what he did or approving of it or explaining it away. I’m trying to help those not involved in the CPM to understand how extreme suppression of NORMAL human sexuality can lead to exactly this type of outcome. I’ve seen it again and again in CPM with its high rates of pornography usage and higher than secular divorce rates. It’s dangerous theology that ruins lives.

  • Katherine Stephanis

    The thing is, growing up as he did, he probably has a *very* warped sense of right and wrong. I mean he has the very basics figured out- basically the 10 commandments (though even there- he’ll think that not serving idols is of an equal level with not murdering, and hey, rape isn’t on that list!), but beyond things like don’t murder, don’t steal, etc, he’s stuck with fundiegelical values to work with, and they’re *messed up*

  • Katherine Stephanis

    I only wish he could have been expressing his sexuality in a way that didn’t hurt anyone. I mean if it’d turned out that he was into swinging, or had an open marriage, or literally anything that didn’t involve violating other humans in one way or another. I could forgive him being kinky but respectful of others, but no, he had to hurt other people to get his jollies.

  • RustbeltRick

    “It’s not an upbringing issue” is totally false. Upbringing is often a huge factor in substance abuse situations, and it is also a factor for those who find themselves sexually addicted in adulthood. If you find yourself addicted to anything as an adult (gambling, sex, drugs), you would be wise to do the hard work of re-examining your upbringing and seeing what false beliefs developed as a result.

  • RustbeltRick

    I’ve seen many non-religious people talk about porn and sex addictions. The actor David Duchovny identified himself as a sex addict. Secular college students have talked about wanting help for porn addictions. While the religious are more likely to talk about it, the belief that porn (like gambling or drugs) can be addicting is not limited to the religious.

  • Astrin Ymris

    How is a “heart issue” not caused by upbringing?

  • Astrin Ymris

    They said they did, and it’s consistent with the rest of their expressed beliefs. Why would you doubt that they did it?

    It’s possible that they received so much mockery for this that they either 1) stopped doing it, or 2) stopped talking about on television.

  • Astrin Ymris

    The fact that some people call themselves “sex addicts” doesn’t mean sex addiction is a real phenomena.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    “Heart Issue” is Fundamentalist Christianese for blaming anyone they don’t agree with.

  • Astrin Ymris

    So… it doesn’t really mean anything but “I don’t like what you said, therefore it’s wrong”?

  • pegleggreg

    Josh is never going to change. He will do his family and church a big favor if he divorces his wife and just melts into the woods in Idaho

  • jess-squared

    Porn addiction can be a real thing. I was briefly married. I was able to get it annulled because we never had sex. (He was a whole host of other things besides a non-sex partner, so I would’ve divorced him regardless, but it was the lack of sex that enabled me to get it annulled.)

    I say that porn addiction is a real thing because one of the things my ex would do, instead of have sex with me, was beg me to make porn videos for him. He kept saying if only I would take pictures or make him videos maybe he could someday, somehow have sex with me.

    The reading I’ve done links heavy porn use to an inability to connect with another person. Sex becomes nothing but self-pleasure and those too deep into porn are interested only in what will make them feel good, and that’s where the addiction comes in. (Much like a cutter can become addicted to the endorphins released by cutting.) They become addicted to that good feeling at the expense of normal, healthy relationships. They actively choose porn over sex with a live person. This seems to be what my ex wanted – he didn’t want *me* per se, he just simply wanted new masturbation material.

    (I was waiting to have sex. I’m adopted, and my biological mother was also adopted, so this made me paranoid about getting pregnant before I was able to support a kid. I was also sexually assaulted as a teenager and didn’t want to have sex with anyone that saw me as a sex object vs an actual person. Not having sex before marriage was, in hindsight, a mistake.)

  • Robin Ludvig Isomaa

    Is it just me or does Duggar’s infidelity and pornography feel less interesting? I mean, it’s kinda hard to top “molesting one’s underage sisters”…

    Joking aside, these horrible beliefs about male sexuality are not just found in fundamentalist religion. As a man, I am expected to struggle to hold back my urge to howl at the moon every time I see an attractive woman, but I don’t. I am not overcome with lust whenever I see an uncovered patch of skin. Actually, I’m never overcome with lust in normal life. I can recognize someone as attractive without thinking that I would like to sleep with that person. I am a sexual being, but that does not mean that all of my life revolves around sex. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. In fact, I thinnk this is how most people actually feel. If you get hard every time you see an attractive person, you have a medical issue. And if you think that other people should avoid wearing things that wouls sexually arouse you, there’s something even deeper wrong with you.

  • Suzanne, this is the best article I have read so far on this. You strike a nice balance, elucidating without harsh judgement and remaining empathetic. I am ever one for the ironic blowback of attempting to control things, so this line gives me a thrill:

    “The more it’s forbidden, the more it becomes the topic that fills your mind, crowding out other thoughts.”

  • Wisenheimer

    I want to see the entire clan disappear completely. I personally think they have too many problems in their own house to be telling others how to live. I especially do not approve of the idea of them having another reality show based on their family’s beliefs and guidelines. They simply need to go away and fix their own fences.

  • ChrisFromNewEngland

    This isn’t about “discipline”; this is about extra-Biblical legalism designed to cause emotional and mental repression that leads to distorted sexuality.

  • SAO

    First of all, Josh Duggar has a pattern of behavior that I would not call “mistakes;” he’s repeatedly lied and cheated, only showing repentance when caught.

    Second, 4 other children were molested in their sleep. How can they be doing well in a culture that emphasizes physical and mental “purity?” Because being groped by a pervert doesn’t count if you didn’t know about it? But, obviously, they did know about it. It’s impossible for me to parse anything that makes sense. So of the 13 Duggar kids who’ve reached puberty, 5 have what I’d call serious issues — that’s 40%.

    Further, on HA and NLQ, there are legions of people who’ve written about how they were damaged by the purity culture. Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and raped speaks about how she didn’t try to escape because she’d been told if she lost her virginity before marriage, she’d be a “used piece of chewing gum.”

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Oh please! Trotting out that old fallacy that Christians are having better sex! They are ‘self-reporting’ they are having better sex because that’s another one of those hoary tropes being taught in the church, not because they are actually having better sex. They are taught to say that regardless of how awful or awesome it is.

    Please do not call me ‘blinded’ and cite something more factual than The Daily Beast.

    But please answer this question for me. Why is it whenever evangelical Christians are upset over something someone says about purity culture you guys immediately go for comparing something to pedophilia or bestiality? What does you mind automatically go to something gross and awful instead of reason and legitimate facts and statistics?

  • ChrisFromNewEngland

    I’m a twice-born Christian myself, Chet, so I know full-well that God requires us to keep our desires in check. That goes without saying. If you look closely at some of the teachings of people like Joshua Harris and Bill Gothard, you may notice that they have a tendency to “go the extra mile” when it comes to relationships and sexuality.

    It’s rather clear to me and others who’ve experienced this brand of spiritual abuse that their motives are dragging others down into their social ineptitude and repression the way the Judaizing “dogs” of Philippians did.

  • SAO

    1) That single people have less sex than married people should be no surprise to anyone.
    2) The report said “religious affiliation” is associated with higher rates of orgasm, not that being devout was. 80% of Americans claim a religious affiliation. Less than 20% actually attend church services regularly (Pew). That means the majority of the religiously affiliated answering the survey are not devout by any definition.
    3) There are some questions about the way that the samples were taken in the survey, that are believed to have skewed the data to some degree (NIH).
    4) Why do you think it is liberals who are “assaulting the sacred?” Didn’t Josh Duggar “assault the sacred” in treating sex like a commodity to be bought?

  • Nea

    You do realize that the last guy to publicly announce that Christians have “better sex” and now irrevocably connected with that line was soon outed for snorting meth off a male escort’s ass?

    Wow. Coming into an old thread to quote adulterous bisexual defrocked minister Haggard’s line about the superiority of Christian sexual discipline. Wow. Is defending Schaap’s youth ministry outreach coming next, or Phillips’ employee management? So many disgraced sexual predators touting their “better” Christian sexual discipline — you’re spoilt for choice!

  • Saraquill

    She’s the creator and star of an HBO show, who put out a memoir where she details violating her baby sister, while said sister was still in diapers. Dunham painted the experiences as “tee hee!”

  • Saraquill

    About six, I think.

  • Saraquill

    There was a hullabaloo shortly after the book hit the market. Dunham’s reaction was “What are you worked up about?”

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Chet, Warning. Please read our comment policy before posting again. You’ve been borderline abusing it since you got here. We like to keep this place recovery-friendly for people leaving abusive evangelical churches and by telling someone that they have reading comprehension issues you’re violating that.

    Actually, screw warning you since you clearly have no respect for anyone here and are nasty in your replies. Welcome to ban and have fun posting at Matt Walsh’s blog, anti-immigration sites/boards and all those huge number of gaming sites you frequent.

  • RoundRocker

    It’s also not surprising that Josh sought sexual outlets outside marriage for “very normal unkinky vanilla tastes”. To many fundamentalists, anything outside of straight missionary sex for procreation is “kinky” and no decent man would ask his virginal wife to participate in such things. It would soil her, shock her. But maybe if he had asked her for the things he wanted, he would have found her equally curious and willing to experiment.

  • JamieHaman

    That’s probably true. Unfortunately, not necessarily so. She may have refused, whether in word, or deed, due to her own upbringing.
    I think you hit the nail on the head, when you say “no decent man…” and “virginal wife”.
    I feel sorry for both of them, no one should have the proof of her husband’s cheating all over the net, nor should he feel he has to do that, to learn.
    I blame Josh’s parents.

  • JamieHaman

    Big difference between a 6 year old and a 14 year old no? Did she go on to do this to 4 other little girls too? No?
    Try again.

  • JamieHaman

    Margaret Atwood certainly recognised it. Read the Handmaid’s Tale for that future.
    What’s horrible for me, was to realize, that it’s a great future, if you are a man. Lousy lousy lousy if you are a woman.

  • RoundRocker

    I agree, it’s not necessarily so. If she was brought up with the same sexually repressive ideals as Josh, she might have refused because “good girls” don’t do things like that. There’s also the possibility that Josh has a “Madonna/whore complex” (Men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the
    whore) while they cannot desire the respected partner (the Madonna). Whatever the case, Anna and the kids are the ones I feel sorry for. I have a smidgen of sympathy for Josh, who had no choice in how his psyche was twisted by the sick “religious morals” he was raised with. I don’t know how far back in family history this sickness goes, but the important question is, when will it stop? You can teach abstinence until marriage without stunting and warping children’s sexual development.

  • JamieHaman

    The Madonna/whore complex is an excellent point, one I certainly did not think of either.
    You’ve given me some new reasons to feel sorry for both, and their kids. No one should know those things about their parents either. I don’t think it matters how far back, but it matters going forward. I hope since he’schecked into a rehab, she will get real counseling for herself, and her kids, not some crazy christian submit to all crap counseling.
    How does a person teach abstinence before marriage without stunting or warping a kid? That’s one I’d really like to learn.

  • RoundRocker

    I hope they are both getting real rehab, too, from real psychologists.
    I said they could teach abstinence, that doesn’t mean they have to follow it. Kinda like when someone says “The rules say I have to tell you this, but…” wink wink. If lack of penetration is the “gold standard” of virginity, there are other ways to have a healthy sexual outlet. Kids shouldn’t be raised being told that all sexual thoughts and deeds are evil and dirty until you’re married; then it becomes something beautiful and wonderful. That’s twisted. Kids need to know that sexual thoughts and curiosity and release are normal and healthy and how to handle those feelings without shame.

  • RoundRocker

    Excellent point that it may be an obsession or compulsion, but not addiction based on the scientific definition of the word. Still, to some addiction sounds more palatable than obsession or compulsion. To the layman, it implies something you can’t control. The layman fails to realize obsessions and compulsions are equally difficult to control.


    And at 17 it only matters when a “religious” person does this these people dont care about other people raping or molesting I think Josh needs some serious mental help but dont necessarily think i would blame the parents. Some people have the worst childhoods and end up being amazing people Josh was and is old enought to do better i just would love to know how he could have protested and made speeches against porn, homosexuality etc whilst being a slave to the life style

  • JamieHaman

    lol, Then I guess I did it more or less right. Mostly less on the abstinence, mostly right on the feelings without shame.

  • Steven

    Oh thats real grown up. Blame the religious belief instead of yourself!

    I am a 24 year old virgin i am not ashamed. I don’t have any out of controll urge to molest someone, rape, cheat on my wife, watch allot pornography etc. I am tired of people blaming God. That dude has a wife him cheating, pornography, molestation of his sister’s is a poor excuse and for y’all to defend him is pathetic!

    He has a desease alright its called a mental problem. Not God’s fault not his families its his fault.

    What normally sane people can actually say that this man is the victim because of religion? So its okay for him to act like out of control sex obsessed crazy person? When did that become normal? I know rape isn’t normal. How dare you blame religion. There’s many people that commit evil like rape for molesting children who aren’t Christians nor had any Christian influence you better watch your mouth and who you put blame on. And you better start blaming evil for what it is

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Please read our comment rules page before you post again as you’ve already violated several of our policies. This is a place for people recovering from spiritual abuse and when people show up out of the blue and start accusing people of being immature or trying to proselytize their flavor of religion it creates an unsafe environment for those in recovery. Please abide by our rules or you will be banned.

  • BlameTheFed

    Steven didn’t do anything wrong or make anyone feel “unsafe” (a ridiculous liberal idea designed to stifle free speech). He simply expressed his personal opinion that Josh Duggar himself is responsible for his sins, not his family and not religion. It seems like you just don’t welcome differing opinions.

  • BlameTheFed

    What a beautiful story. You and your wife are blessed. Yes, purity is sacred, and sex is meant to be holy! That is why it is so powerful and why evil people are always trying to corrupt it into something ugly. Sex was created by God. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Sexual union is the closest you can get to another person. Why would such intimacy not be sacred? Your body is a total gift of love–just as Christ, in love, gave his body on the cross to save us and give us eternal life. The marital embrace is a small foreshadowing of the heavenly bliss that we all long for and which awaits us in union with God in heaven someday.

    Sex is is meant to be shared only in a loving, committed marriage. Without this promise of security that comes from being truly loved, we become spiritually degraded as we are used as disposable “sex objects” by people who don’t love us. I have always sensed this, even when I did not really believe in God. This is why I have never had casual sex despite much pressure to do so. I knew that it would be a degrading, humiliating experience. While no one is perfect and we all make mistakes (myself included), we should try to love God and ourselves enough to strive for purity of heart and love over lust.

  • BlameTheFed

    Why couldn’t sex, or porn, be the subject of someone’s addiction? Any human behavior or use of a substance that becomes an out-of-control habit or obsession can become an addiction –drugs, alcoholic drinking, pain killers, coffee, dieting, work, exercise, handwashing, vomiting, gambling, hoarding– you name it. And yes, even sex. All of these can be addictions.

    I don’t think saying someone is addicted gives them an excuse for harming others. Being an alcoholic is not an excuse for abusing your children or driving drunk. And allowing yourself to become a sex addict is not an excuse for molesting your sisters or cheating on your wife. Becoming addicted was the result of your own bad choices, so you bear responsibility.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Welcome to ban.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Actually this is not a debate board and the rules are whatever is deemed fit. I have never and will never allow people who cannot show respect for the other commenters.

  • Steven

    Forgive me if I overstepped my boundaries. And I know that nobody is perfect. But I do not endorse, nor will I be endorsing such disgusting behavior like the person that this article is about. People are entitled to their point and to be honest you are breaking one of the Bill of Rights of the United States of America called freedom of speech. So if you want to be tough and banned me do what you have to do. But then I will give you Plus you are business a bad review to everybody I can and talk about the law breaking that you are committing. Because if this website & comments feed can be used in the United States regions, then you must obey the Bill of Rights. You can’t make a law/policy preventing freedom of speech when there’s already a law/policy/right that says we all have the right to express freely with our speech whenever we want. That person exercised in his article his freedom of speech. So why can’t I?

    Are you going to give me a double standard and choose to be a hypocrite? I respect the fact you want to be appropriate. But it was uncalled for ,for this man or woman to ridicule religion and or blame religion ( possibly Christianity since Christianity is the primary target by secular society )for the disgusting evil wicked deeds that have come down on society. There’s people in this world who live completely without religion and they still commit heinous atrocities. So how can you blame religion in those circumstances? You cannot . According to my Bible, I have the right as a Christian to judge people’s conduct and to rebuke them.

    I don’t have the right to judge hypocritically nor do I have the right from the Bible to judge by someone’s appearance. No, I just spoke what is written in the bible and I suggest you research that information. People misunderstand the Christians purpose on judgement/ judging others. I recommend subject judging others and the bible itself. The topic of judging others written in the Bible was not just one line said by Jesus telling people Matthew 7:1 ” do not Judge, or you too will be Judged”. That’s a verse taken out of context by people who have an agenda to distort the biblical scriptures. Lastly it is ironically hilarious in a disgusting way that people use Plus advocate the term free thinking, my experience according to people who are ungodly or on the liberal side show me that I can be a free thinker as long as I think their way. But if I don’t think their way I suffer verbal persecution . That is pretty uneducated of an attitude to put on to other people.

    Have a wonderful day,
    Sincerely Steven