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If Virginity Is Merely A Physical State, Why Are People So Obsessed With It?

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By Nimisha Jain:

As the generations come and go, so do the beliefs and principles. But there are a few which find themselves cemented on the surface of the society and stay there fresh and undying. One such perception is about sex and virginity. Sssshhh…how can these words even be uttered? How can these be talked about? The interrogations seem to be vague because very often, these subjects are discussed and debated upon and therefore it genuinely appears that there exists no more shyness in this respect. But is this picture a vivid depiction of the reality? Certainly not. Society still has the same perception as it had 100 years ago. It is still reluctant when it comes to changes. It’s still obsessed with virginity and that too on a biased scale.


The dictionary defines a virgin as someone who has never had a sexual intercourse but the definition put forward by the people is absolutely unalike. It means a pure and innocent soul. And it is the latter one which sets the standards of respect and dignity for the individuals. These standards are based on the distinguishing elements of virginity and chastity. Chastity, which is an act of having an intercourse with the one a person is married to, is regarded as the most sacred and divine act. On the other hand, the same act for an unmarried takes the form of a dirty and shameless one. Aren’t the opinions disappointing? And the disappointment reaches its height when such a limit to freedom is focussed to one section of the society- women. This isn’t just an opinion but a fact.

The books on ‘virginity retains purity’ are read aloud to girls on a regular basis but the same remain out of syllabus for boys. History suggests that men have never been questioned on their visits to brothels and on their relations with concubines. But in the same era, women, when unmarried, were behind the veils protecting their virginity or waiting for their husbands (after marriage) to make them complete. The times have changed and veils have disappeared but the notion remains unchanged. And the most insane part of this discrimination boils down to the ignorance towards rationality in this respect.

Even today, the society is reluctant to re-marriages of women and acceptance of rape victims, both of which the people relate to purity. Though chastity is the purest of all, this attribute gets violated when a married woman is considered for remarriage. Though the worst nightmare of rape wasn’t a choice of the girl, she is still boycotted, for an obvious reason- she is no more a virgin. Isn’t the thread that the society has been tying between virginity and purity of complete worthlessness?

Is virginity above every other virtue of a being? Is it a just criterion of judging a person? I am totally in disagreement! The society considers it of utmost importance and it couldn’t be blamed entirely for this attitude. After all, this is what every generation is taught by the preceding one. But it’s here where are we losing our brains and wisdom. Why isn’t anyone giving a thought towards the origin of such a notion? Let’s go back and explore history. From the ancient times, when men and women were equal and marriage wasn’t a concept, having sex was one’s choice whose only determinant was the willingness of the two involved. As time flew, separation in work gave rise to the roles of men and women, further giving rise to women’s dependence on men and thus the concept of marriage.

The authoritative attitude of man allowed him to treat his wife as only his property and therefore emerged the coin with two sides- chastity and virginity. But with the changing times, even the direction of change has reversed. We are moving towards the path of equality and independence while leaving behind the contradictory notions which are a hindrance to this journey. The prevailing perception towards virginity is one such hindrance. Let’s drop it!

Let’s accept the fact that nothing is absolute- neither the time nor the ideologies. Both are complements and move together. A transformation in one will surely produce a related modification in the other. The concept of virginity, therefore, deserves a re-consideration. Let’s not be the blind followers of the bygone societies but be the sensible ones to address the new time with new thoughts, new ideologies and a new attitude towards virginity.

You must be to comment.
  1. harish

    So what do you think about men losing their virginity?

    1. nimisha

      Men have an equal to right to enjoy the same freedom. The sole reason for the article to focus on women was to highlight the higher degree of confinement that the society lays on them.

    2. harish

      Thanks for your reply. What I’m trying to point out is that women in general put a very high price on their virginity, not in terms of money but in terms of what they expect in return for sex. Very often it is marriage and a lifetime of companionship. I wish to question that.

      This made sense in the olden days, when contraceptives/abortions were not widely available and women did not earn money to support the child. But now, I believe a woman should be free (and should freely exercise the right if they wish to) to have sex in exchange for sex and not “love” or “care” from the man. Those are also desirable too no doubt, but it should be in exchange of “love” and “care” from and for the man, not for sex.

      But my view has been criticized as “objectifying the woman as a means for male satisfaction”. I wish to challenge this, since the underlying assumption is that women don’t enjoy sex and just do it to keep their man. This is patently false and medical science has shown that women experience sexual pleasure in the same manner as men, although the society prefers they don’t.

      Which is why I asked the question about male virginity. Men in general have not been taught to be sentimental about their virginity. Maybe it’s time women started having sex for reciprocal pleasure and intimacy, and without such enormous strings attached. For one, men wouldn’t be so much inclined to pornography (and often prostitutes too) if women (and the society in general) stops placing such a huge premium on female virginity

      (And please don’t bring in rape into the above paragraph. We are talking about consensual sex not rape. )

  2. sachin kumar

    If all women wd become a slut then what is d need to get married n who ll b responsible towards children .For ur kind information women always talk about virginity cuz dey r losing dre virginity n they want to b accepted but most of d men lose dre virginity after marriage ,wont it b injustice for d men who hv been protecting dre virginity n waiting for d marriage, can u imagine d trauma of a person who is a virgin but his wife is a slut . 99% of women r non virgins . only few percent of men who r rich r non virgins its a fact .A few men only visit brothel ,most of men sublimate dre sexual energy in creative works.N no body can stop a woman ,they can easily pretend dat dey r going to her friends place but in reality dey end up sleeping wd some rich guy who can splurge lots of money on dre makeup n other things .Women r astute n cunning dey can easily decieve any one…………

    1. keval

      Sachin, have you read the title of this article? It’s “why are people so obsessed with virginity?”
      Why don’t you tell me reason behind it! I am very curious to know why virginity of a girl matters to you?

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