MYTHS ABOUT VIRTUALITY. EXPLAIN FALSE STEREOTYPES ABOUT FEMALE “INNOCENCE”
Female virginity is a phenomenon surrounded by an aura of modesty and a peculiar fetishism. Even educated people can believe in myths about the physiological processes and behavioral characteristics that accompany the “first time.” What stereotypes about virginity is high time to send to landfill? DOUBLE STANDARDS FOR PURITY The very concept of “innocence” as applied to female physicality is a direct reference to double standards regarding female and male sexual experiences. It contains a clear hint that a girl who has entered into an intimate relationship (whether it is voluntary or violent) is recognized as “guilty” of some kind of transgression, whose name is sex. A large number of sexual partners in a woman is still condemned by the public, while the rich experience in men is proof of their “young daring” and a kind of reason for pride. The roots of this phenomenon go back to those (not so long ago) times when contraception practically did not exist, and inheritance of property, titles, and even the throne depended on consanguinity on the male line. The need to preserve virginity before marriage, fixed by church and secular laws, was a kind of epidemiological measure that could at least somehow contain the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to some extent ensure that the husband of the children born to the woman is her father. In practice, it turned out to be impossible to determine whether the men had sexual intercourse, and they themselves were in no hurry to follow their own invented moral standards. Therefore, the call for “preserving innocence” began to be addressed almost exclusively to women, serving as yet another reason for tightening men’s control over the lives of their daughters, sisters and wives. At the same time, all this became the basis for the formation of a huge number of myths that remain in the mass consciousness even after two sexual revolutions and several scientific and technological coups. MYTH 1. VIRTUALITY CAN BE EASILY DETERMINED BY THE PRESENCE OF THE VIRGIN. The myth of the hymen — the film that blocks the entrance to the vagina and breaks during the first penetrating sexual contact — was until recently considered an infallible truth. It was believed that the presence of hymen, or hymen, guaranteed confirms the status of virgo. The most progressive doctors, however, admitted her congenital absence in a number of women, but this option was considered rather as an exception to the general rule. In 2009, the Swedish Sexual Education Association issued an official explanation exposing the hymen myth1. In fact, the hymen is a thin and well-stretched fold of the mucosa, which would be more correct to call the “vaginal crown.” Its shape is individual and can take the form of a crescent, ring, circle with several holes, etc., and its high elasticity allows it not to tear, but simply to stretch with vaginal penetration. MYTH 2. THE FIRST SEXUAL ACTION FOR WOMEN IS SURE TO BE CARRIED OUT WITH BLEEDING In many regions, there is still a tradition of demonstrating blood on sheets as evidence of the virginity of the bride before marriage2. Leaving aside the humiliating nature of such “checks” for women, let us dwell on the question – why after the first sex the bedding can remain clean. In 63% of women, defloration is not accompanied by bleeding3. This is due to the structural features of the vaginal corona: in most cases, its shape and extensibility do not lead to rupture and, accordingly, damage to the capillaries. However, blood on the sheets can be the result of microtrauma of the genitals – it occurs with a lack of vaginal lubrication, if the woman is not sufficiently excited and is not ready for sexual intercourse. In cultures where the bride and groom may be unfamiliar until the wedding, on the first wedding night, “checking” relatives are on duty at the door of the bedroom, and marital sex is more like rape, a similar situation, alas, is not uncommon – but this has a very indirect effect on virginity attitude. MYTH 3. IF A WOMAN IS STILL VALID AT 20 (25, 30 …) YEARS, SOMETHING IS SOMETHING NOT SURPRISING Surprisingly, “late” virginity is subjected to almost the same condemnation as a woman’s sexual emancipation. Authors of articles that position themselves as psychologists think thoughtfully about “childhood injuries” that prevent them from going through the “mandatory stage of growing up,” which is understood to mean penetrating heterosexual contact4. People are more easily satisfied with labels like “old maid”, “overhaul” – and sometimes openly unprintable expressions. These positions have one thing in common: a woman who refuses to have sex with men for whatever reason – is “strange”, “notorious” – in a word, “wrong”. Meanwhile, meticulous researchers hold a different point of view. The age of the onset of sexual activity of girls to a greater extent is determined not by personal characteristics, but by social attitudes and the degree of social control over their lives by the family and society.