What is virginity testing? Why is it used and what are its potential effects

Virginity testing may be a controversial practice that aims to work out whether a woman has had a sexual activity or not. In some cultures, female virginity is very valued and expected for marriage or employment. Girls who have had sexual experiences could also be deemed “impure” and or undeserving of respect. Testing can also be conducted in women who are being evaluated for sexual abuse.

Virginity testing is practiced around the world, particularly in parts of Africa, Asia, and therefore the Middle East. it's also been found in Western countries like Canada, Spain, Sweden, and therefore the Netherlands. However, many doctors believe that virginity testing is unreliable, with serious repercussions for women subjected thereto.

Many virginity tests are done by the “two-finger” method.

The examiner (often a doctor, community leader, or member of law enforcement) places two fingers inside a girl’s vagina, checking for an intact hymen (tissue at the vaginal opening) and/or vaginal laxity (a “looseness” that would suggest sexual activity). Some people believe that the hymen may be a firm covering that's torn during first intercourse. They conclude that if a woman features a broken hymen, she must not be a virgin. But this isn’t true. Some girls are born without hymens, or with very small ones that wouldn’t be obvious during a virginity test.

Also, hymens can tear during a sort of ways. It can happen while a woman is riding a motorcycle or horse, playing sports, or inserting a tampon. Having a broken hymen doesn't mean a woman has had sexual activity. It’s also a myth that having a “loose” vagina means a woman isn't a virgin.

Every vagina is different. Vaginas are designed to be elastic. They relax during arousal to accommodate a penis. They tighten again after sex. But some are looser than others. Virginity testing is often a traumatic experience. During a 2017 study published in Reproductive Health, researchers discussed physical, psychological, and social harm which will result. Virginity testing is usually painful, and lots of girls feel violated, fearful, and anxious. it'd be experienced as a repetition of sexual abuse. they'll develop sexual problems later in life.

Poor results can have devastating effects. for instance, the authors describe the case of an Iranian woman who committed suicide after hearing her hymen wasn't intact, albeit she claimed that she was, indeed, a virgin. Girls who aren't deemed to be virgins could also be isolated from their families and communities, excluded from social events, and unable to marry because they're considered impure. they'll even be unable to carry jobs. Many experts are against virginity testing, arguing that the method is harmful to women and therefore the results aren't medically reliable