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Discovering the Evangelical sexual marketplace: an ethnographic analysis of the development, exchange, and conversion of erotic capital in an Evangelical church Open Access


Other title
abstinence, sexuality, Evangelicalism, ethnography, erotic capital
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Willey, Robin D.
Supervisor and department
Kent, Stephen (Sociology)
Examining committee member and department
Northcott, Herbert (Sociology)
Braun, Willi (Religious Studies)
Department of Sociology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
This manuscript traces the development of sexual abstinence and virginity as a commodity and describes how this development has contributed to modern conceptions of sexual abstinence. Within this analysis, the author provides what demographic and statistical information is available on abstinence practice in North America as well as outlines some of the perspectives critical of abstinence and abstinence-only sex education. More importantly, the author argues that within many Evangelical churches a defined social space—a sexual marketplace—exists where individual agents exchange and convert this commodity, among others, to attract potential marital partners. Furthermore, the manuscript outlines the effects and implications of this marketplace on its participants. The author derives these conclusions from the ethnographic observations and interviews he conducted while attending an urban Canadian Pentecostal Church.
License granted by Robin Willey ( on 2010-09-29T23:23:54Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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