Why is the concept of virginity still so revered? It makes even less sense when you realise that historically, the concept and status of virginity has been fairly muddy. In the 14th Century, virginity was seen as much as a spiritual concept as a physical one - i. The symptoms included feeling faint, breathlessness and odd eating habits. The best cure? To have sex. Our idea of what virginity means has become less ambiguous - and arguably less nuanced since - even while our attitudes to sexuality and gender have been evolving.
‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis - UN
‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis - UN | UN News
A virginity test is the practice and process of determining whether a person, usually a female, is a virgin ; i. The test typically involves a check for the presence of an intact hymen , on the flawed assumption that it can only be torn as a result of sexual intercourse. Virginity testing is widely considered controversial, both because of its implications for the tested girls and women and because it is viewed as unethical. The process of virginity testing varies by region. In areas where medical doctors are available, the tests would often be given in a doctor's office. Another form of virginity testing involves testing for laxity of vaginal muscles with fingers the "two-finger test".
Virginity testing ‘sacred’ but not a science
A group of United Nations agencies has issued a joint statement calling for a ban on tests meant to assess the virginity of a girl or a woman, which is a common practice in at least 20 countries. The statement, which was issued during the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics FIGO in Rio de Janeiro, stresses that such tests are both unscientific, and a violation of human rights. The practice is a long-standing tradition documented in at least 20 countries, spanning all regions of the world.
When a KwaZulu-Natal municipality introduced an academic bursary for young women who can prove that they are virgins it caused an uproar earlier this year. The South African Human Rights Commission has reportedly now opened an investigation into the bursary. The practice of virginity testing has always been contentious, with several calls to ban it over the years.