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New Desires, New SelvesSex, Love, and Piety among Turkish Youth$
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Gul Ozyegin

Print publication date: 1937

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762349

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762349.001.0001

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Virginal Façades

Virginal Façades

Chapter:
(p.47) 1 Virginal Façades
Source:
New Desires, New Selves
Author(s):

Gul Ozyegin

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814762349.003.0002

Drawing on the narratives of Boğaziçi women, this chapter explores the changing and at times fraught attitudes towards virginity and romantic relationships among young women in Turkey. By and large, these women define their personal and romantic aspirations against the lives of their mothers, rejecting maternal selflessness and forging new ideals of egalitarian relationships with men who reflect and support their personal ambition. Rejecting earlier generations' insistence on virginity before marriage, this generation views the decision to engage in premarital sex as a personal choice and morality as a matter of internalized self-control, not adherence to strict external regulation. Yet as this chapter shows, this transition to "modern sexuality" is not without its tensions, especially for young women from modest class backgrounds and sexually prohibitive households. Engagement in premarital sex or serial dating is often a source of intense guilt for these women, and they go to great lengths conceal their sexual and romantic lives from their parents. Tragically, the shame of this secrecy leads many of these women into submissive relationships where enacting traditional models of female sacrifice allows them to "atone" for failing to be "good daughters."

Keywords:   Virginity, Façade, Maternal selflessness, Romantic relations, Marriage, Sexually prohibitive, Premarital sex

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