A person who engages in such acts without having engaged in vaginal intercourse is often regarded among heterosexuals and researchers as "technically a virgin". Concept[ edit ] The concept of virginity has significance only in a particular social, cultural and moral context. Some call themselves born-again virgins. Maid Marian , the love interest of the legendary outlaw Robin Hood in English folklore. The Bible required a man who seduced or raped a virgin to pay her bride price to her father and marry the girl. As in Latin, the English word is also often used with wider reference, by relaxing the age, gender or sexual criteria. Sexual initiation at an earlier age has been associated with: In the past, within most societies a woman's options for marriage were largely dependent upon her status as a virgin. According to Hanne Blank , "virginity reflects no known biological imperative and grants no demonstrable evolutionary advantage.
In those cultures, female virginity is closely interwoven with personal or even family honor, especially those known as shame societies , in which the loss of virginity before marriage is a matter of deep shame. The Bible required a man who seduced or raped a virgin to pay her bride price to her father and marry the girl. Maid Marian , the love interest of the legendary outlaw Robin Hood in English folklore. However, the data for anal sex without vaginal sex reported by males did not reflect this directly. By extension from its primary sense, the idea that a virgin has a sexual "blank slate",  unchanged by any past intimate connection or experience,  can imply that the person is of unadulterated purity. This has traditionally been tested by the presence of an intact hymen ,  which was verified by either a physical examination usually by a physician, who provided a "certificate of virginity" or by a "proof of blood," which refers to vaginal bleeding that results from the tearing of the hymen after the first sanctioned sexual contact. In the past, within most societies a woman's options for marriage were largely dependent upon her status as a virgin. These medical consequences consist of an increase in STDs, cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, fertility and unwanted pregnancies. Carpenter, many men and women discussed how they felt virginity could not be taken through rape. And if you're a gay woman, then you're supposed to have oral sex, because that's what gay women do. There is a common belief that some women are born without a hymen,   but some doubt has been cast on this by a recent study. Some medical procedures occasionally may require a woman's hymen to be opened hymenotomy. The German word for "virgin" is Jungfrau. When used of men, it does not carry a strong association of "never-married" status. Virginity test Some cultures require proof of a bride's virginity before her marriage. Concept[ edit ] The concept of virginity has significance only in a particular social, cultural and moral context. Those women who were not virgins experienced a dramatic decrease in opportunities for a socially advantageous marriage, and in some instances the premarital loss of virginity eliminated their chances of marriage entirely. For example, a slip while riding a bicycle may, on occasion, result in the bicycle's saddle-horn entering the introitus just far enough to break the hymen. In a peer-reviewed study by sociologists Peter Bearman and Hannah Brueckner, which looked at virginity pledgers five years after their pledge, they found that the pledgers have similar proportions of sexually transmitted diseases STDs and at least as high proportions of anal and oral sex as those who have not made a virginity pledge, and deduced that there was substitution of oral and anal sex for vaginal sex among the pledgers. It is, however, dated and rarely used. Etymology[ edit ] The word virgin comes via Old French virgine from the root form of Latin virgo , genitive virgin-is, meaning literally "maiden" or " virgin "—a sexually intact young woman  or "sexually inexperienced woman". In one study, scholars Wenger and Berger found that male virginity is understood to be real by society, but it has been ignored by sociological studies. Many women possess such thin, fragile hymens, easily stretched and already perforated at birth, that the hymen can be broken in childhood without the girl even being aware of it, often through athletic activities. And so those become, like markers, for when virginity is lost. The traditional view is that virginity is only lost through vaginal penetration by the penis, consensual or non-consensual, and that acts of oral sex , anal sex , mutual masturbation or other forms of non-penetrative sex do not result in loss of virginity.
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