Good Girls, Good Sex

Women Talk about Church and Sexuality

By Sonya Sharma  

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What happens when a woman’s identities as a Christian and as an embodied sexual woman collide? What impact does a conventional Christian view of sexuality have on women’s sexual lives? Through conversations with thirty-six Protestant women, Good Girls, Good Sex explores how both religious values and communities shape women’s sexual experiences and the role of social class and race in this shaping. In their stories, the women reflect on how they handle conflicts between their religious views and their sexual desires, and how they satisfy those desires while simultaneously negotiating a conservative Christian message and more liberal secular messages. Sonya Sharma finds that, although the idea of the “good girl” is a common thread throughout the narratives, many of the women challenged the notion of “no sex before marriage” and saw their sexuality and insights into their church community as a means to challenge systems of patriarchy that persist in these spaces.

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  • Good Girls, Good Sex
  • Women and Church Life
  • Accountability and Policing
  • Sexual Transgressions
  • Having the Sex They Want
  • “Watch the Women”
  • Notes
  • Appendix
  • References


  • Sonya Sharma

    Kingston University London

    Sonya Sharma is a lecturer in sociology. Her work focuses on feminist research within the sociology of religion.

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