virginity sexuality women health


Virginity: an Age-Old Cultural Tool to Control Women’s Sexuality

It has far been oversimplified, the sexual bifurcation of people, with women being the focal point of all socio-cultural narrative in a traditional culture especially in the Indian context. One of them is whether she is a virgin or a non-virgin. An act of sex that probably lasts for not more than five minutes can have a moral impact on a girl. ‘Losing’ virginity by a woman is often considered the point of womanly maturity irrespective of her intellectual growth or emotional evolution. Conventionally, virginity is considered sacred and has been a problematic tool to evaluate a woman’s morality. Naturally, it begs for a deeper social, cultural and scientific investigation. 

A Common understanding of Virginity- the Hymen

It is commonly believed that ‘all women’ are born with a skin membrane in the genitals called hymen which breaks at the first intercourse resulting in blood oozing out of the vagina marking the end of virginity in a girl. The blood, therefore, is considered the ultimate testimony of virginity. Before we even begin to demystify this belief construct, it is remarkable to notice how virginity has often only been associated with women. However, while we are at it, there is no given method or practice to test the virginity of a man. 

Not all women are born with a hymen 

No, not all girls are born with a hymen. On the other hand, those born with one are prone to have their hymen worn off as they grow older.  Therefore the presence of hymen does not indicate that the woman is a virgin. Talking about the hymen, Dr Nina Dolvik Brochman in her Ted Talk says, “The hymen has been used as a powerful tool in the effort to control women’s sexuality in about every culture, religion and historical decade.” 

Heterosexuality and Homosexuality

As per the belief passed down from thousands of years, breaking virginity is a state of having intercourse among heterosexual people. It begs to question the inclusion of intimacy among couples with different sexual orientations. In that case, are all homosexual couples virgins? By the hetero-normative equation, all other forms of intimacy like oral sex, masturbation, intimacy among same sex partners means nothing. Therefore, it can be argued that virginity is simply a false idea perpetuated to control a woman’s sexuality. 

Commonly used terminologies

Some of the commonly used terminologies like ‘deflowering a girl’, ‘popping the cherry’, ‘red spot on a white bed sheet’ are used to indicate the breaking of a woman’s virginity. In many traditions, newly wedded brides are expected to bleed on their first night to prove their purity. There have been cases of assault on women if they fail to bleed on their first night. Often, there are no qualms about calling a woman, ‘damaged goods’ who have had sex in the past. This goes on to show how women and her sexuality have been commoditized as something that exists only to either please men or bear children. 

In conclusion, the widely propagated idea that for a girl to prove she is good, all that is considered is whether or not has she had sex. Indisputably, such beliefs and practices deny women an identity that has to invariably do with her achievements, hard work and intellect.

Share and Enjoy !

0 0





INFANO is a website which mainly focuses on women health like how to improve fertility, their sex life, pregnancy and disorders and disease related to women hygiene. We are qualified a bunch of professionals from healthcare industry who provides you with the latest articles and post which are written by our professional content writer. These writers have vast knowledge in this field as they provide us with real life stories and facts which are shared by women about their experiences which they face. As we can see now women are struggling in their personal and professional life regarding issues related to health, mental sickness, harassment, molestation etc. We try our best to eradicate the social taboos and bust the myths which society believes and force women to follow. To help women to get out of these difficulties we have come with INFANO, where our main goal is to help women to break the shackles of the society and come out brave and empowered.

1 thought on “Virginity: an Age-Old Cultural Tool to Control Women’s Sexuality”

Leave a Comment


Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.


Switching to a Menstrual Cup? This Lady Will Tell You How to Ace It!

Switching to a Menstrual Cup? This Lady Will Tell You How to Ace It!

I always shuddered at the idea of using a menstrual cup!  For someone like me who has PCOS, super irregular menstrual cycle and unpredictably heavy ...

Foods to Avoid and Choose in PCOS

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) typically causes a rise in insulin in the blood. Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver and muscle ...

Did You Know That The World Could Have Been 3 Billion Fewer People? Here’s How!

Did you know that if every woman had access to secondary education, the world would have been 3 billion fewer people?! Okay, do you know ...

Meet Niketa And Poovayya, Teenagers Providing Sanitary Kits To Migrant Women Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

After the Centre enforced the nationwide lockdown on March 25, two Bangalore based teenagers were firstly excited at the thought of board exams getting postponed. ...

Digital schooling a cause of tribulation for children and a load for mothers

“Digital schooling in the Internet age means teaching tomorrow skills today.” Digital schooling: where about! Integrating technology in digital education is a complex issue taking ...

Here’s why COVID-19 Crisis Could result in more Child Marriages & Female Genital Mutilation

UNFPA claimed that an additional 13 million girls could be married off and two million more could undergo FGM in the next decade, beyond what ...