Virginity of a woman is basically the characteristics defined for women that categorize the eligibility to get married as per our so-called ‘society norms’.
Yes, virginity plays a very important role in India.
It is a concept that directly mocks the virtue of Indian women. Interestingly, a Caste Panchayat in a Maharashtra village (Nashik to be precise) even allowed a young man to end his marriage with his wife because she failed the virginity test.
No, they didn’t take her Agni Pariksha but a white sheet test!
Why is everyone so obsessed with a woman’s virginity? Although the hymen is only a useless vestigial tissue.
Yet this little piece of the membrane has taken on huge societal, religious and moral significance.
Religion, as usual, is also largely to be blamed.
By the time the most famous Virgin came around – the Virgin Mary,
very popular at this time of year — there was so much negative press about sexuality that really, how the mother of Jesus could be anything but virginal?
A story about how Mary was sleeping around on Joseph and got pregnant with the savior of the world wouldn’t exactly be the story of Christmas Eve sermons now would it?
But most girls couldn’t use the Holy Spirit as an alibi so, rather than risk pregnancy out of wedlock, they had to wait until marriage to have sex.
Once virginity was established as a requirement for marriage, proving a young girl’s virginity became more important. Checking the sheets after the wedding night for bloodstains has always been the popular method, one that is still practiced even today, despite the fact that plenty of women don’t even bleed the first time they have sex.
(It’s not the bleeding which always pleases our society sometimes it makes people go mad, read the related blog on period “Dear Vagina, will you stop bleeding for the sake of the society?” )
According to Dr. Mahindra Vatsa, gynecologist and sex counselor, this kind of mentality is large because of our traditional values that are still strongly embedded in us.
“One of the most common questions I get, till date, is ‘How do I know that my bride or girlfriend is a virgin?’
The only answer that I have to such questions is that there is no way to know,” says Dr. Watsa.
According to him, it’s just the man’s and his families inflated ego that results in such unrealistic demands. How then, does our traditional culture not hamper couples from engaging in pre-marital sex? “Once a couple is engaged, it’s like a license for marriage so they feel they can do anything,” he opines.
“It’s actually not such a big deal. However, I still get men who complain to me saying that the wife did not bleed on the first night and hence, they suspect that she’s not a virgin. The truth is that the presence of the hymen which ruptures (resulting in the bleeding) is not a sure shot sign of virginity. Some women are born without it, there are those for whom it is so elastic that it never ruptures while for some it is so fragile that a slightly intense activity may have ruptured it without them even realizing it.”
“It is just not possible to access whether a girl is a virgin or not by just examining her except when and if she’s been through a pregnancy or if she admits to having sexual intercourse,” says sexologist Dr. Rajan Bhonsle.
A woman’s hymen can be ruptured by non-sexual activities like intense sports, dancing, sitting astride on two wheelers, etc. It is not necessary for a virgin to bleed the first time she has sex. In fact, if one goes by the statistics, only 42 percent of women do so. With the current advances in medical technology, a plastic surgeon can quite easily reconstruct a layer of tissue to resemble the hymen
(the procedure is called Hymenoplasty).
Imagine if male virginity was under the same scrutiny and boys were constantly preached at to save themselves for marriage.
And how would they prove it?
For men, however, there’s a positive correlation between how much sex they had and the worth knowing that society deems them to have.
Men are socially rewarded for having sex, and women are socially punished;
–He’s a stud, and she’s a slut.
This is what is known as the sexual double standard and virginity has a lot to do with its context.
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