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Sexual Abstinence Education And The Reassertion Of The "Biblical" Patriarchal Family Unit In The Contemporary United States

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates how the issue of sexual abstinence before marriage is part of a fundamentalist and conservative Christian agenda which aims to reinforce the primacy of the heterosexual patriarchal family unit in the contemporary United States. Sexual abstinence in the US has become the focus of much national and international attention in recent years, given the emphasis laid on it by the G.W. Bush administrations. The chapter mainly focuses on texts and laws supported by the Bush administrations in order to underline the impact of religious beliefs on contemporary US public policies concerning gender, sexuality and the family. It relates the notion of State-prescribed abstinence to the concept of 'piety' as discussed by Saba Mahmood in the text included in this anthology, &t;Agency, Performativity, and the Feminist Subject&t;.

Keywords: Biblical patriarchal family unit; contemporary United States; G.W. Bush administrations; Saba Mahmood; sexual abstinence education



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