Women Suffer The Myths Of The Hymen And The Virginity Test

It is more fable than fact that a woman’s virginity can be determined by observing her hymen. The organ looks like the petals of flowers with clefts and notches. Shutterstock / kubais

Elise Andrew 19 Dec 2014, 18:39

Mistaken assumption

The second aspect that is often checked is the tightness of the vagina. There is a widespread belief that a woman who is sexually untouched has a tight vaginal opening because of the intact hymen and that a man can discern that during intercourse.

This is a mistaken assumption. The tightness of the vagina is not caused by the hymen membrane but as a result of a contracted pelvic floor muscle. The more it is contracted, the narrower the vaginal canal is.

It is noteworthy that when a woman is feeling anxious, particularly when it comes to sex, she automatically tenses up her pelvic floor. Many doctors attribute this as the reason a virgin woman is often felt to be “narrow” by her partner.

To women who are looking to be “narrower”, doctors in the Netherlands advise them to practise contracting their pelvic muscle. This is akin to holding it in when nature calls but you simply cannot go yet.

The tensing up of the pelvic muscle was also what doctors prescribed to the woman who consulted them because she would be expected to undergo “the egg test”. The woman passed the test with flying colours.

More fable than fact

Any type of virginity test that relies on the observation of the hymen or of the tightness of the vagina is inconclusive, at best, or completely invalid. The belief that it is easier to discern the virgin state of a woman than a man is more of a fable than a scientific fact. Unfortunately, it is a fable that is still widely believed and practised to subjugate women.

No-one, neither a woman nor a man, should ever be compelled to endure such questioning, regardless of the reliability of the exam.

But it is worth pondering that as the testing tool at hand is highly unreliable, why would anyone even dare to entertain the imposition of such fallibility?

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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