This week’s guest is Jenny McGrath. Jenny is a licensed mental health counselor, a somatic psychotherapist, and a movement educator specializing in religious trauma and sexual abuse. She believes “in the power of story and the wisdom of the body.”
Jenny’s work stems partly from her evangelical upbringing in Colorado Springs. She was steeped in the world of purity culture. Her work also comes from a broad understanding of the history of purity culture—women’s disembodiment, trauma, gender erasure, systemic racism and more.
Jenny guides and support others in their journeys to liberation and hope after years of harm and trauma. She is truly living out secular grace!
“A lot of times in psychology, we’re looked at as though we are ‘floating heads’…that’s not enough. We are deeply embodied beings.”
“I really wanted to be good…and I dedicated myself to it.”
“…started to unpack more of the systems—white supremacy and Christian supremacy—and how they impact the body.”
“…these insidious messages: Your body is dangerous. You are dangerous. Cover it up.”
“[Purity culture] for young women is this crazy-making experience. You are completely sexualized while being told, ‘Don’t be sexual.’”
“Young white women are really taught to be objects of sexuality. We aren’t taught to be subjects of sexuality.”
“I always view healing not as just individual, but I think especially as white-bodied folks, our healing needs to also look at how we’ve also been complicit in systems of harm.”
Embodied Sexuality Course
Purity Culture Research Collective
The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti
Virgin Nation by Sara Moslener
Shameless by Nadia Bolz Weber (progressive Christian perspective)
“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats