In addition to her Golden Globe–winning portrayal of Jane Villanueva in the CW's hit show Jane the Virgin, actress Gina Rodriguez has pushed for racial and gender equality off-camera. And now, per her forthcoming interview with Bust, Rodriguez is addressing the stigma surrounding masturbation, which is arguably more pronounced for young women.
When asked about purity culture, which serves as the backdrop of Jane the Virgin, the Puerto Rican actress admits that she was "definitely raised with that" in her hometown of Chicago, Illinois. "In all honesty, I used to feel guilty for masturbating. Oh my god, this extreme guilt! And that lasted way too long. Or maybe I masturbated too much!"
Aside from disparaging this normal aspect of sexual health, purity culture can also send the message that a woman's virginity is her most valued attribute. This, in turn, can send the harmful message that your self-worth as a young woman is determined by your appearance or sexuality.
Like many other women, Rodriguez can, fortunately, look back on those feelings of shame and recognize them as a by-product of this culture. "It's okay to look back in retrospect and be like, it wasn't good that I felt bad about touching myself," she adds. "And it isn't bad that I want to share my love with my boyfriend. I'm 32 years old, I'm an adult, I can do that!"
Read more of Gina Rodriguez's candid interview on Bust, and share your thoughts in the comments.