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What is virginity?

A “virgin” is someone who has never had sex. But, it’s not as simple as it seems. For starters, there are a lot of myths about virginity out there — like, for example, about when someone stops being a virgin and how. And on top of that, there’s also a double standard: we pressure some people (usually men) to have sex, while at the same time shaming other people (usually women) for not being “virgins”. All of this really complicates things. 

To help clear things up, here are 3 facts about virginity that are important to know: 

  1. “Virginity” is not medically real. It’s not a medical term and it’s not based on any scientific evidence. Instead, virginity is a social and cultural concept that is more important in some cultures and religions than in others. Many times, virginity has to do with a person being “pure”, and this idea of purity is often used to control and shame people — mainly women.  
  2. The way a hymen looks doesn't mean anything. Many people think that the hymen, the thin, fleshy tissue at the opening of the vagina, is a sign of virginity. However, a torn or stretched hymen doesn’t mean that a person has had vaginal sex. That’s because the hymen can tear or stretch open from many different things, like exercising, riding a bike, or using a tampon. 
  3. You get to decide what sex , and virginity, mean to you. It’s super important to remember that sex means different things to different people. If we only think about sex as penis going into vagina, we leave out a lot of people and a lot of experiences. At the end of the day, you get to say what “having sex for the first time” means to you.  

So, bottom line? Virginity is just an idea that really only matters if you want it to. And at the end of the day, you define it for yourself. 

Check out our video to learn more about virginity! 

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