Recent controversial statements made by T.I. have people questioning the validity of the medical practice of ‘virginity testing’ and whether or not it can tell if a woman is still a virgin purely based on how intact her hymen is.
After an interview with rapper, T.I. admitted that he takes his daughter, Deyjah, 18, to the gynecologist every year to check if her hymen is still intact. When asked why, he explained that if his daughter’s hymen is “intact” then she must still be a virgin. His confession ultimately sparked controversy and conversation as to whether or not virginity tests were ethically sound and scientifically proven to tell whether or a woman is a virgin.
The virginity test or the “two-finger test” is administered by a doctor in which they insert their fingers into a woman’s vagina and check whether or not a woman’s hymen is stretched or lacerated. The hymen is a thin layer of tissue near the vaginal opening that is prone to eventually break.
However, scientists have reported that while the hymen can break or tear during sexual intercourse, it is not linked to virginity. A woman’s hymen can break in a number of ways at any age such as, riding a horse or bicycle, inserting a tampon too far up the vaginal opening, taking gymnastics classes and even masturbating. Studies have shown that some women aren’t even born with one.
University student, Roberta, 20, claimed that the virginity test could be medically beneficial for women stating: “I know that women can break their hymen in different ways, but I guess if a woman thought she might have broken it horseback riding, she can go get it checked.”
Outraged by T.I.’s comments made in the interview, New York assemblywoman, Michelle C. Solanges, has proposed a bill that would make virginity testing illegal. In order to back up her bill, she cited that there is not any scientific-based information to show that the test can verify whether or not a woman is a virgin. In order to aide in making virginity testing illegal, Solanges’ bill suggests that if the test is conducted by a medical professional, they are at a major risk of losing their medical license.
The World Health Organization fully supports Solanges’ bill and has called for the elimination of virginity tests all together claiming that it is considered a violation of human rights as well as potentially damaging to a woman’s mental health, especially if the woman was forced to partake in the test without her consent.
The topic continues to bring about mixed views but there are still no legislations against it in any country. As more and more people are becoming aware of the subject, Lauren, 23, said: “I think as a woman, it’s absolutely outrageous that the myth of virginity is still considered important. Virginity is a social construct. I think a woman’s virginity has nothing to do with anyone but herself.”