How Young Evangelical Women Are Navigating a Sex-Positive Internet

On a Friday afternoon in late July, Bethany Beal and Kristen Clark stepped onstage inside an empty convention center in San Antonio, Texas, to kick off the first day of their annual summer conference. If not for the pandemic, the seats would have been filled with approximately 600 teenaged girls and their mothers, all hoping to grow as women in the eyes of Christ.

The event, which began five years ago under the title “Radical Purity,” is an extension of the sisters’ highly visible online ministry Girl Defined, a collection of blog posts, videos, and instructional books aiming to provide mentorship to young Christian women. The name refers to Beal and Clark’s foundational message—that one must work against the odds to be “a God-defined girl in a culture-defined world.”

Their ministry doesn’t say exactly what it means by “culture,” but those who follow Girl Defined understand the subtext. The pursuit

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