We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $40.50

216 pp.
6.125" x 9.25"


Publication date:
October 2014

Imprint: OUP US

Saving Sex

Sexuality and Salvation in American Evangelicalism

Amy DeRogatis

When it comes to evangelicals and sex, it seems, whatever the question, the answer is "no." In Saving Sex, Amy DeRogatis argues that this could not be further from the truth. Demolishing the myth of evangelicals as anti-sex, she shows that American evangelicals claim that fabulous sex - in the right context - is viewed as a divinely-sanctioned, spiritual act.

For decades, evangelical sex education has been a thriving industry. Evangelical couples have sought advice from Christian psychologists and marriage counselors, purchased millions of copies of faith-based "sexual guidebooks," and consulted magazines, pamphlets, websites, blogs, and podcasts on a vast array of sexual topics, including human anatomy, STDs - sometimes known as "Sexually Transmitted Demons" - varieties of sexual pleasure, role-play, and sex toys, all from a decidedly biblical angle. DeRogatis discusses a wide range of evidence, from purity literature for young evangelicals to sex manuals for married couples to "deliverance manuals," which instruct believers in how to expel demons that enter the body through sexual sin. Evangelicals have at times attempted to co-opt the language of female empowerment, emphasizing mutual consent and female sexual pleasure while insisting that the key to marital sexual happiness depends on maintaining traditional gender roles based on the literal interpretation of scripture.

Saving Sex is a long-overdue exploration of evangelicals' surprising and often-misunderstood beliefs about sex - who can do what, when, and why - and of the many ways in which they try to bring those beliefs to bear on American culture.

Readership : General readers; students and scholars of American religious history, religion and sexuality, religion and popular culture, women's studies, American studies, American popular culture, religion and the media, evangelicalism, sexuality in American history.

1. Sex and the Single Evangelical
2. Sex, Marriage, and Salvation
3. Demons, STDs, and God's Healing Sperm
4. Sex on the Margins
5. Sexual Healing

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Amy DeRogatis is Associate Professor of Religion and American Culture in the Department of Religious Studies at Michigan State University. She is the author of Moral Geography: Maps, Missionaries, and the American Frontier.

Making Sense - Margot Northey and Joan McKibbin
Sex and the Soul - Donna Freitas
Foreword by Lauren Winner
Forbidden Fruit - Mark D. Regnerus

Special Features

  • Shows that, contrary to popular belief, evangelical Christians are not "anti-sex".
  • Examines a diverse array of sexual manuals and guidebooks, pamphlets, websites, and podcasts.