The term virgin originally referred to women who have not indulged in sexual activities. However, the meaning is evolving. The concept of virginity has traditionally involved chastity, particularly to women, where she is considered to be a virgin if she is refraining from sex.
Although it is believed that virginity is lost when someone has engaged in consensual or non-consensual sexual intercourse. Here sexual intercourse is referred to vaginal sex when the vagina is penetrated by the penis. But what about other sexual activities, like Oral Sex, Anal Sex, and other forms of non-penetrative sexual activities? If we believe that virginity can break only through vaginal sex then we are surely excluding other communities say for lesbians, gays, and other sexually oriented people who probably do not like vaginal sex. Does that mean they will remain virgin forever?
In medical terms, virginity has its own definition. If the hymen is broken, women are not considered virgin, which is done by a test called the Virginity test. This test is done in many cultures that want evidence of a bride’s virginity before her marriage. If a woman is not tested as a virgin, she will confront lots of criticism, violence from society and also be treated as something called “untouchable”.
If we considered the established concept of virginity, this means that women lose their virginity if someone rapes them. This is deeply problematic and needs to be eradicated as a concept. If we see through medical terms also, hymens get broken if someone raped a person. So, this implies that a woman is not a virgin. Although hymens get broken through physical activities, as well. For this reason, the UN Human Rights, UN Women, and the World Health Organization stated that virginity testing must end in October 2018.
This argument somehow proved that virginity is itself a myth. There are no scientific proofs of virginity as well. Every individual has their own definition of virginity. Heterosexuals believe vaginal sex as a result of losing virginity, while gay man believes anal sex as an act of resulting of losing virginity. According to some gays and lesbians, oral sex is a way of losing virginity. Meanwhile, there are some people for whom the meaning of virginity is trivial. Hence, virginity is simply a social construct meant to curtail the sexual freedom of women and other suppressed genders.
Jessica Valenti, a feminist writer and author of “The Purity Myth”, says that the concept of virginity is controversial because there are many individual definitions of virginity loss and that valuing virginity has placed a woman’s morality “between her legs.” This concept of virginity was made to suppress women which are still going on and it needs to end.
Visuals by: Rahul Haloi, Article by Sabir Hussain, The North-Eastern Chronicle.