Episode 210: How Purity Culture Affected Men with Zachary Wagner

Hole In My Heart Podcast

Friday, December 1, 2023 - 55 minutes

Ya’ll. This episode. 

It could put language to some things some of us have been holding onto for too long. How? Author and scholar Zach Wagner, author of ‘Non-Toxic Masculinity,’ unpacks:

  • What is toxic masculinity?
  • How does it relate to Purity Culture?
  • How did Purity Culture affect both men and women?
  • How can men and women approach each other with a gospel lens instead of a sexual-threat lens?
  • How do we process the science (or is it even science?) that men are more visual than women?
  • How can men (and women) heal from what was taught?

If you wonder if you have been affected by Purity Culture in any way, this episode may be for you.


// Highlights: 

  • “It is not male to be sexual. It is human to be sexual.” —Zachary Wagner
  • “Purity culture was overly formulaic in its thinking about human sexuality and relationships. It’s just ‘Do this, do this, and do this, and you’ll get a good result.’ But that’s just not how life works in a broken world.” —Zachary Wagner
  • “What is toxic masculinity? The way I define it is that it is a way of living out your male embodiment that dehumanizes yourself and/or others.” —Zachary Wagner
  • “As well intentioned as these resources were [such as ‘Every Man’s Battle’], I fear that they sometimes created a self-fulfilling prophecy where a toxic version of masculinity from the broader culture (the stereotype that ‘men only think about one thing’) was … baptized and Christianized. It turned into, ‘That is how God made men.’ Not something that men should mature out of.” —Zachary Wagner
  • “I don’t think we should be telling young men, ‘Hey, you’re visual. That’s just how it goes!’ You should say, ‘Hey, if you find yourself visually sinning against other people, you need to stop treating them like objects and start treating them like humans.’” —Zachary Wagner

// Question of the Week:

Is there a time of day you seem to always look at the clock? What time is that? Why do you think you look at the clock at that time every day?


// Do the Next Thing:

  • Find Zachary’s book here
  • You can find all of his work here
  • He is also onTwitter/X and Instagram at @ZacharyCWagner
  • You can watch the episode here

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