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Abstract

While some studies have examined the attitudes and perceptions of women with regard to their sexuality, none have investigated evangelical, female college students. This study explored attitudes and perceptions among eight evangelical Christian college women attending an evangelical university in the Western United States. Qualitative interviews were conducted and transcripts analyzed to determine underlying themes. Themes that emerged were (a) shame, (b) (c) fear, (d) ambivalence, (e) ignorance, (f ) lack of sexual subjectivity and agency, (g) presence of sexual subjectivity and agency, (h) same-sex attraction, (i) female sexuality as God-given and natural, and (j) the importance of open dialogue regarding female sexuality. Results indicate a need for counselors and the evangelical community to contemplate renewed understandings of female sexuality including a re-examination of biblical interpretations on this topic. The potential positive role of Christian psychotherapists, pastors, professors and mentors with respect to the development of healthy sexuality for young women is discussed.

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