Pre- Marital Sex

In India, female virginity is still a concept defined by male presumptions. A virgin woman is called a kumari—in other words, she is a maiden who is chaste, pristine, pure, unadulterated, undefiled, unspoiled, unsullied and untapped.

In our country, stories abound of men who have actually left their newly wed wives because the girl failed to “bleed” on the first night. The immediate assumption is that the woman must have been "deflowered" prior to her marriage. This, despite the fact that it is medically proven that many women can lose their "virginity"—or have their hymens broken— during sports, cycling and physical activities, as well as many other reasons. Moreover, even an intact hymen is not a reliable indicator of virginity. Some women just don't have much of a hymen. According to experts, masturbation and vaginal tampons can perforate this sensitive membrane.

Conversely, a woman may not have her hymen broken even after long years of sexual intercourse. According to a doctor, it is possible for a woman to have intercourse ten times a day, give birth to many kids and still have her hymen intact.

The Indian male psyche is obsessed over the issue of virginity. Many men openly voice their preferences for a virgin. If a woman has had an earlier relationship, her second or subsequent male partners immediately assume that she is no longer a virgin. In extreme cases, despite knowing that there were no physical ties, the man feels insecure because his girl has been “tasted” by somebody else. Many women develop life-long complexes because of such preconceived expectations. A woman must remember that she need not feel guilty because of having had physical ties with a man she no longer has a relationship with.

The other issue that a woman needs to think about is that she need not cling to the man just because she has surrendered her virginity to him. There are quite a few women who keep suffering their abusive partners because they fear no other man would accept them. If a relationship is harming you, you should have the strength to walk away and seek a better one, whether your hymen is intact or not.

The tissue is a non-issue in most parts of the world. Under the circumstances, the Indian male’s obsession with the concept of female virginity appears absurd. All those women who are virgins and get a kind of satisfaction in having been able to maintain their chastity deserve respect. But it is important to realise that all other women who are not shouldn’t be considered whores.