NROP: Virginity – What it is made to mean today.

Virginity. What does it mean to you? What do you think of when you hear that word?

There is no doubt that for some that word carries more importance than it does for others. While some just want to “get it over with”, others consider losing it to be an event of monumental proportions.

The one and only Miley Cyrus decided to empower women by coming out and saying that virginity is a social construct. You can find that statement flash briefly in the video to her recent song entitled “Mother’s Daughter”. I am not really sure how the title relates to the song, but the lyrics are meant to be freeing and empowering, because “My body, my rules” and “Don’t mess with my freedom”.

Virginity is a social construct.” What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read these words? Call me old-fashioned, but to me, it seems like that statement is meant to trample some real values. It does not sound like it is meant to “free” anyone. On the contrary, it sounds like it is meant to attack and oppress some. Is it not possible to be free and empowered and still hold virginity in some sort of high regard? Is it just me, or is empowerment starting to mean promiscuity?

How does one lose their proverbial cherry? The answer seems to vary depending on who you ask. Some claim to be virgins because they did not have penetrative intercourse involving a penis and a vagina, even though they did perform other sexual acts. The answer is even harder to find in today’s day and age when homosexual interactions are more common. In the end, it seems like the answers are very personal.

That is one of the reasons why some feminists claim virginity to be a social construct. I have to admit that the fact that the definition of the word is somewhat diluted makes it harder to explain what it really is and why it is important. Jessica Valenti, in her book “The Purity Myth“, claims that having sex/ losing one’s virginity has no effect on a person’s personality. She also says that is has nothing to do with a person’s morality and set of ethics.

I strongly disagree with the above. Certain actions (here: sex) affect different people in different ways. Depending on how it happens and with whom it happens, actions can have a lasting impact on a person’s psyche. Why is child abuse so traumatizing? Why is rape? Sure, sex can be thought to mean nothing, but one has to prepare themselves. I think the reason for having sex is of great importance. Because everyone is so different and it is hard to measure non-tangible (i.e. emotional), long-lasting effects, not many studies on psychology after sex are being conducted. I can only attest to what I have heard from others first-hand.

An article entitled: “Influences on adolescent’s decision to postpone onset of sexual intercourse: a survival analysis of virginity among youth aged 13 to 18 years shows that losing one’s virginity at a younger age can have an adverse effect on one’s economic stability, level of education, health (STDs, inflammation, unwanted pregnancies), social isolation, marital disruption, etc.

It is true that a woman’s hymen can become damaged by unrelated actions (riding a bicycle). However, hymenorrhaphy (reconstruction of the hymen) is still somewhat popular in some parts of the world where proof of virginity is required. “Proof” is obtained either from a doctor, who is meant to inspect the hymen or on the wedding night when the white sheet is covered in blood.

It seems like there has always been more pressure put on females to remain virgins than on males, but the Quran, just like the Bible, forbids pre-marital sex for both – men and women.

Did you know that some people in Africa believe that having sex with a virgin will cure HIV/ AIDS?

There has always been some sort of controversy surrounding virginity. But if it is just a social construct, why is it such a hot topic? Why do people continue to argue whether promiscuity is good or bad? Why are they trying to convince us so desperately to believe that something so important has no impact on us? If virginity does not matter, why are some people (even celebrities) making purity pledges and start calling themselves born-again virgins?

Stay golden,

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56 thoughts on “NROP: Virginity – What it is made to mean today.

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  1. The way i see it is that when you decide to be intimate with someone, particularly for the first time, you are giving the gift of yourself. That is a big gift, and not everybody is worthy of that gift. I see you need to be selective on who the recipiant(s) is/are. We need to value ourselves more than we do, and to just “give it away” to anyone makes it lose its meaning and value.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you mentioning “value” is key. In today’s day and age people like to say that sex is like breathing – we do it and there are no consequences, but that is not true. Anyone can be broken and feel devalued after intercourse.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s quite funny how I shake (with anger and fear) when I hear what is said and see what is done nowadays. It reminds me of times when I was a kid when my grandparents would be in disbelief over what the youth was saying/ doing. But it’s worse now. No?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s look at Breakfast. For the chicken, it’s a daily chore, and for the pig, it’s a substantial sacrifice. When women have sex, they are risking pregnancy regardless of the precautions taken (substantial sacrifice). Pregnancy can result in an unwanted child (which damages the child) or an abortion which causes grief and guilt in the mother and death of the child (fetus, mass of cells, whatever…it still dies.) it is programmed into us to find a mate that will protect any progeny and protect us while we’re pregnant. If we share males, we reduce our likelihood of survival (in the primitive world) and so we seek a one on one relationship. If males reduce the females, they cannot guarantee the survival of their line, but they also cannot guarantee the survival of the impregnated females under their care. If they want their lines to continue, they should repeatedly impregnate one female and spread the offspring out by age rather than by the number of females impregnated (a daily, maybe hourly chore). Imagine 4 newborns in 1 house at the same time! Picture the poor guy on a mammoth hunt and falling asleep at his post!

    One woman had a sign that she wanted sex because it felt good. So does a pudding bath. What a mess that would be! The emotional connection we have to each other is reflected in our sexual relations, not a by-product. Stimulating nerves is not the same as love, obviously. Stimulating nerves while IN LOVE is much more intense. It is an emotion that is difficult to clarify. The social construct is not virginity, it’s the idea that if you’ve had 2 dates, you must have sex. How many of the “comedy-of-errors” plays and the comedy shows and the dramas and the horror films have to do with this construct? Soap operas in the 60s were so messed up in relationship graphs that you couldn’t tell whose was whose! Just in case you didn’t know, these shows were based on operatic themes, though they didn’t sing. The main sponsors of these T.V. operas were soap companies–thus soap operas. Infidelity and promiscuity were rampant in those plotlines because it was a “forbidden fruit” and, like everything in humanity, if you forbid it, everyone wants it. So we buy a lot of soap.

    Virginity means now what it did before: dedication of two people to each other in a written and witnessed commitment, and THEN consummated in the bedchamber. (or the kitchen or the living room or the toilet in the jet on the way to the honeymoon!) For women, it is the least stressful way to enjoy a partner, and for the men, it is the guarantee that your line will continue and you don’t have to prowl around every night for a new partner that may or may not allow you into her bed.

    By the way, it is possible to rape a spouse, but if it’s love, why would you want to? Rape is an act of violence, not sex.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That African belief makes me want to cry.
    When I was in college, a girl in our dorm was devastated when her boyfriend dumped her. Some of us were trying to console her, and I told her I had been dumped, and I knew how painful it was. She shot back at me, “Did you have sex with that guy?” I said, “No…” and she glared at me and said, “Then you have NO idea how much it hurts. When you’ve given yourself to him, it’s MUCH worse!” I was grateful for what I’d been “missing” as a goody two-shoes.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. It is highly individual, as you say. I guess the important points for me are ‘being ready’ and, it goes without saying, being totally consenting. I wonder how many people (not just women) feel they ‘should’.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, I was dumbstruck by the two questions..

        “Why is child abuse so traumatizing? Why is rape? Sure, sex can be thought to mean nothing, but one has to prepare themselves. I think the reason for having sex is of great importance. ”

        I never imagined someone would ever ask why causing pain on another is traumatic. It was clear I come from a different world. But then again my world condones intentional cause of pain on children claiming it disciplines.

        That’s all.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The question was – i can’t think of the word – trying to show that sex is not a meaningless act and that people who devalue virginity aren’t being true to the world. It was rhetorical. Theres the word I meant.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. This is definitely a thought-provoking subject and a bit unfortunate that there is such a question as virginity and that it became such an important element to every person’s life, especially young. The concept in itself does invite us to think about the utility of such a word and what exactly it brings to our lives to class people into categories (virgin or not). Thanks for the interesting read! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am absolutely crazy about psychology. I like figuring out why things are the way they are.
      Like you said – it can mean different things to different people. However, to say it has zero effect on your psyche is a stretch.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If sex has zero effect on you, then I think there are other issues at hand that need to be dealt with. They could be mental issues, trauma issues, pain issues, medical issues, or any number of other things. But when you make a connection with someone, whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or any combination thereof, it is just that, a connection. Connection by definition will have some kind of effect on you. It has to, otherwise, you do not connect and you are just going through the motions, if even, and you are left with NOTHING.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh, hot topic. I’m not sure what to say. , I think people are causing a lot of fuss over freedom to choose because, sadly, religion, cultures, traditions, all urge/forbid a woman to lose her virginity to just anyone – hence losing it after marriage. But, isn’t marriage now a days just a signature on paper, and no longer a vow of commitment? Still, those religions, traditions and cultures aren’t putting pressure on the woman but the guy as well. They don’t have anything physical to lose, but they do have a first time too, right? Push forward after virginity is lost – a guy just met someone, his friends tell him this woman sleeps around a lot…. won’t he think twice before approaching her? Unless, of course, he’s looking for an easy lay. Who wants to be an easy lay? Same with the man. this wonderful guy approaches this woman and she things he’s wonderful and has all the good qualities. But then she hears he goes through women as if they’re disposable. Won’t she step away?
    Isn’t the act of sex something so intimate? Come on, you’re taking off your clothes, so it has to be intimate. Why share it with just anyone because it’s freeing? So is jumping off a plane, or going scuba diving, or climbing up a mountain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In the religion/culture I was raised in marriage is a commitment. The guy promises that if they divorce to provide for the women for a couple of years (part of the marital contract). The guy can’t divorce without the woman’s agreement. The act of sex has to be one of love, in which they’re both looking after each other and making each other happy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You pointed out a great difference between the more conservative and the more liberal ends of this subject. It seems that those who are fighting for the sexual freedom of women are focusing on their own happiness. While what you describe is meant for MUTUAL happiness.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t know. I just want everyone to be happy with each other and to live in peace and love, and serenity and joy. And take away all the stupid media and necessities and expectations. To live and let live. To love and let love. To be and let be. Sorry for ranting here…

          Love, light and glitter 🌟🎇🌟🎇

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Not a rant at all. And even if it was, I’d welcome it. That is what my blog is for – for expressing yourself.

            I think sometimes people are not happy with themselves deep down, which in turn makes them unhappy with others.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I also disagree with virginity being a social construct. In my opinion, virginity is something sacred. Having sexual intercourse is the pinnacle of physical and sometimes emotional intimacy between partners. It’s the point where both partners have decided to give their bodies to the other. With a virgin, there’s a sense of innocence that is still there. When that is lost, it can never be replaced. Ever. The decision should not come lightly to give oneself to another so easily, but in today’s society (the western world as I can’t speak for all parts of the world) it seems as if it’s no longer a big deal, and rather encouraged now.

    Virginity is not the social construct. The IDEA that having multiple sexual partners is encouraged, having to “put out” on a date, or even a relationship, or the rush to lose one’s virginity for social status or to “grow up” IS the social construct. It’s the norm in today’s society, and we see it everywhere. Being a virgin is now usually met with ridicule among younger people, but in actuality it is the strength of that person’s resolve in today’s society. If a person chooses to remain a virgin for any reason, they should be encouraged and praised rather than put down or pressured to “get it over with.” What used to be right is now becoming wrong, and what was wrong is now becoming right. How far will we take it? The issue is not sex, as it has been around since the dawn humankind, but rather our values that we seem to be letting go of.

    There’s more I could say on the topic of sex, but I wanted to keep to the point of virginity. As always, a great and thought-provoking piece!!

    N

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by, taking a read and sharing your point of view. You are spot on when you mention specific values that are under attack. That’s why I pointed out how virginity is not just an isolated thing with no consequences. Sure, one cannot judge if a person is “good” or “bad” just on the basis of their sex life, but one can surely draw some correlations between that and their values.

      And again, like with any equality/ discrimination case – it is not about being equal or having the same opportunities. It is about promoting YOUR lifestyle and demeaning the choices that oppose your preference.

      What disturbs me is how much influence these “celebrities” have on other people. They are called “influencers” for a reason…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No problem, I enjoy your NROP pieces. I agree, it is quite disturbing how much influence they posses. I see it every day amongst people I socialize with. That kind of influence has always been around though, from the Kings of Old and great conquerors. Today, it is pop singers, and actors. It’s a different day and age.

        Liked by 2 people

            1. Maybe we should just reset the board and start playing for the territories again. A Monopoly game. Hmm… not sure if that would be a good idea, but it would surely distract people from the stupid and irrelevant things in life.

              Liked by 2 people

  8. In the most simple terms, a woman’s womb dictates her actual value in the simplest terms. A male’s ability to provide and protect is what determines their value. That is why young women and older more established men hold the highest values.

    Interesting enough, the creator of Sex and the City recently came out admitting that she regrets not having children and choosing her career over a family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting indeed.
      I guess we have free will for a reason. We decide what we decide.
      And in those instances, I wonder. Maybe that woman actually did the right thing? What if she had a kid who grew up to be a serial killer? Are we not better off without that kid?

      Liked by 1 person

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Rachael Ritchey

Worlds of Fiction

from famine to feast

recovery and growth, things that interest me, occasional deep-thoughts, and semi-regular poetry

Skeptical Heartism

Views from a skeptical heart

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