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Of Cherokee and Irish descent, Tessi Muskrat Rickabaugh is a Counseling Psychology PhD student and researcher studying the healing of trauma that occurs at the intersection of gender and religion. Tessi's research project is the first large-scale mixed-methods research project examining the impacts of purity culture teachings, with a special emphasis on women and sexual and gender minority adults. Tessi has collected a data set of surveys and in-depth interviews with persons who have experienced purity culture teachings. Preliminary analyses has yielded several themes including persistent fear of sexual activity and of religious or social censure, social isolation, shame regarding sexual desire, and a lack of knowledge related to reproductive anatomy.

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