T.I.’s Not the Only One — Virginity Testing Is a Worldwide Problem

Many pointed out the outrageous invasion of privacy of forcing your 18-year-old daughter — an adult, in the eyes of the law — to submit to hymen testing; others focused on the double standard of T.I. going to such degrees to ensure his daughter was not having sex, while simultaneously applauding his younger son for being sexually active.

…Virginity testing usually takes the form of a two-finger test, which involves a physician inserting two fingers into a woman’s vagina to check whether her hymen is intact. Although an intact hymen is by no means a reliable indicator of virginity, as T.I. himself pointed out, it is viewed as such in various cultures around the world, such as in India, Turkey, Egypt, and South Africa. Although the test is most frequently associated with determining a woman’s eligibility for marriage, it has been used for other purposes as well; in Indonesia, for instance, the test is used to determine female applicants’ suitability for the police force.

The penalty for “failing” a virginity test can be steep. In Afghanistan, for instance, where premarital sex is a crime, until 2018 the law stated that women and girls could be incarcerated for up to three months for failing virginity tests. In some extreme cases, young women who have failed virginity tests have taken their own lives or been murdered by their own family members for violating their family’s honor.

…In the United States it seems to happen fairly regularly behind closed doors: according to a 2016 survey of 288 physicians, 10% responded that they had been asked by a parent or a family member to perform the two-finger test on a patient, and 34% said they had performed it themselves (though many physicians interviewed by Marie Claire said they had lied to parents about the results, for fear of endangering the patient.)

…Because of the dubious science behind virginity testing, as well as the obvious ethical implications of forcing women to undergo such an invasive practice, [emphasis: peanut gallery] human rights organizations have called for a worldwide end to the practice.

T.I.’s Not the Only One — Virginity Testing Is a Worldwide Problem – Rolling Stone


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