Virginity As A Social Construct

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Virginity is a social construct created to make individuals, particularly women feel bad about having premarital sex. It shames them into feeling poorly about their sexual experience and scares them into not experimenting with their partners or bodies.

“Sexual abstinence is the practice of voluntarily refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity. Common reasons to deliberately abstain from the physical expression of sexual desire include religious or philosophical reasons, material reasons such as preventing an undesired pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Disease, psycho-sociological reasons such as clinical depression, social anxiety disorder, negative past experiences, or to conform to legal injunctions”. (Sexual Abstinence) Our society, especially those in charge of educating our youth about sex present an abstinence- only approach to the subject and typically only present heterosexuality as the societal normalcy. This is because the US government funds three different programs the Adolescent Family Life Act, The Special Project of Regional and National Significance-Community Based Abstinence Education, and Title V of the Social Security Act. All but three states cannot afford to refuse these programs which present sex as a post-marital strictly heterosexual act. (Virginity Lost: An Intimate Portrait of First Sexual Experiences, 180)

Additionally,” many religious and ethical systems prescribe sexual activities between a person and anyone other than a spouse of that person, including most denominational variations of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as have, historically, many legal systems and societal norms. In such contexts, sexual abstinence was and is prescribed for unmarried individuals for the purpose of chastity.” (Sexual Abstinence) This idea of abstinence is promoted to the followers of the religion but it is especially strict in regards to women as the women’s hymen is broken through penetration.

The taboo presented around sex further stigmatizes it. Sex is stigmatized as something bad or dirty instead of natural and healthy. This view is so deeply ingrained into our society that it is repeated from one generation to the next. It oppresses individuals as it excludes many people who do not fit into the gender binary,” the system that forces all people into one of two strictly defined gender categories: man and woman regardless of how they identify in terms of sex or gender” (“Dismantling the Gender Binary System.”), religious practitioners, especially women, and all those who enjoy premarital sex. The social divide promotes a ritual like degradation of anyone outside of social normalcy, promotes homophobia, the dislike or prejudice of homosexuals (“Definition of Homophobia in English), and strikes fear into those who are yet to experience intercourse for the first time.

Those who lost their virginities before getting married proved to not suffer the stigmatized emotional trauma and did not suffer ill effects. Yet the individuals who were waiting to give their virginity to their partner on their wedding night were devastated and felt deprived of sexual agency or the ability to sexually recognize themselves. Those that chose to keep their virginities were heavily influenced by the education they received from their parents, schools and religions. Additionally, individuals who lost their virginities around the age of sixteen or seventeen were more likely to practice safe sex, not contract a sexually transmitted infection, not have a fear of sexual experimentation, and not have an unplanned pregnancy placing them higher on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Scale. Whereas those who lost their virginity after marriage seemed to lose the opportunity of growing intellectually and emotionally. (Virginity Lost: An Intimate Portrait of First Sexual Experiences) The stigmatized fear does not allow individuals to connect as emotionally without intercourse as it has been proven to help couples bond.

In summary enjoy sex if you so please, and recognize that virginity is a social construct.

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