Let's rethink "virginity"

Virginity. It’s something we, as a culture and society, obsess over.

Historically, virginity was tied predominantly to women. Through biblical texts and societal perpetuation, the “virgin” was defined as a woman who had yet to have sex, as proven by her “unbroken” hymen. It was a sign of “purity.” For many societies, a women’s virginity was seen as a necessity in marriage. Without it, they are damaged goods and a disgrace to their family.

The blatant pursuit of “the virgin” may have gone out of style, but the stigma surrounding virginity has continued to live on.  As a society, we teach girls to protect their virginity from very early on. It’s almost described as something that gives you more value, like a commodity that could be lost. It is spoken of as if it’s a tangible thing to be “given” or “taken” freely.

‘The Crysalis’ by Petrina Hicks

This way of thinking has shamed girls into believing that there is a loss in value from exploring their sexuality. The concept of virginity has also perpetuated violence and discrimination against girls who do decide to have sex. Additionally, it is centered around the idea that there is one definition of sex, which is exclusionary of the queer community.

However, “virginity" is just conceptual. It is a social construct. When we have sex for the first time we do not actually lose anything. It does not change our identity, it is not life-altering and it does not affect our worth. It is simply a new experience. 

If we eliminate the idea of virginity, our culture will be able to foster much healthier ideas about sexuality. In reality no one can take your worth away from you. You lose your keys, not your virginity.