Are You a Virgin? What’s This Obsession with
Virginity? Is First-Time Sex Different for Girls?
Even today, girls fall into a binary:
the prude virgin or the sexual slut.
Women are often shocked when they
realize how much they contribute
to the virgin-whore dichotomy.
It’s not just men shaming
women. We shame each other.
What’s This Obsession with Virginity?
A sexologist I know demonstrates this virgin-whore split
by using a clear strip of tape to signify the purity
associated with a woman’s virginity.
She shows the concept of being clean and the premise
of virginity by ripping the same piece of tape off
the arms of four male volunteers.
The last man got the tape when it was very dirty
and did not stick anymore. This was a visual
representation of the purity of virginity and
the loss of that purity.
It highlights the effects of sexual oppression
and the need for a positive attitude towards
women and their sexuality.
In modern society, girls fall into a binary — the prude virgin or the sexual slut.
We live in a culture that bases women’s value on someone else’s version of how they should be sexual. Ask any young woman to recall times when she was judged for participating in or refraining from sexual activities.
One woman told the story of how her dad called her a slut after finding out she kissed a boy. Another recalled being kicked out of a man’s room for refusing to perform oral sex.
Historically, women were valued in terms of their sexuality. In some cases, a man would purchase a wife but could return her if he believed she was not a virgin. The women accused of engaging in premarital sex would be stoned to death.
Even though women are ridiculed for being prudes or sluts. Yet both men and women are having sex for the same reasons.
“I was bored,” “to get a promotion,” “the person made me feel sexy” or “I wanted to increase our emotional bond.”
Although women suffer from discrimination, they also contribute to their own oppression. They’ve created a hierarchy which we are all complaining about, and yet we contribute to it.
We need to look inside ourselves and come to terms with the ways women contribute to a culture of sexual oppression and then work on amending that behavior.
Women are often shocked when they realize how much they contribute to the virgin-whore dichotomy. It’s not just men shaming women, We shame each other.