Insight | General Knowledge

They Don't Talk About: Virginity

Senin, 07 Feb 2022 12:00 WIB
They Don't Talk About: Virginity
Jakarta -

Virginity is somehow still a taboo topic for the public, especially here in Indonesia--even though it's believed to be a sacred thing for women--due to association with societal norms and religions. As we all know, some religions condemn pre-marital sex in which the woman's virginity is regarded as one of the valuable aspects to be preserved. Therefore, it's no longer strange that some part of the society would appraise women who are known to have lost their virginity to be of value than those who still hold tight onto it. Although not everyone takes it seriously, some parts of our society--especially among people who indulged in traditional values--often consider female virginity a great deal.

We can't deny the fact that, in our country, stereotypes and stigmas around female behavior are still intact with society's views. Some say that women who lost their virginity before marriage are not the best kind of women to commit with as they often are prejudiced as wild and misbehaved. Therefore, society believes that saving sex for marriage may have several culturally sensitive benefits, including trust and marital sexual satisfaction. Due to these beliefs, it has gradually become a stigma and cultural proposition in society.

Back in 1965's Indonesia, there had been mandatory 'virginity testing' as one of the requirements to join the police and military force. The test was performed to assess whether women's hymens were intact and whether they had vaginal intercourse to indicate the women's behavior outside the institution. Regardless of how it had been going on for so many years with no scientific purposes, it was stated last year in August that the Indonesian Army would no longer continue this practice for female recruits. In 2018, it is stated by United Nations that virginity testing should be banned, as it reinforces stereotypes and gender inequality. United Nations also expressed that any unscientific tests are unnecessary, potentially harmful, and unethical for doctors or other health providers to undertake.

Even seeing it from medical views, the virginity testing to know whether women have had vaginal intercourse by assessing the hymens is not a hundred percent accurate as hymen doesn't always determine women's sexual activity. Hymen itself is a thin, fleshy tissue located at the opening of the vagina. The hymen is true will stretch open the first time women have vaginal sex, which might follow by the feeling of pain or even bleeding. Most people assume that virginity is determined by whether the hymen is stretched open. However, having an intact hymen and being a virgin are two separate entities. How so? Some people are born with hymens that are naturally open, and there are a lot of physical activities besides sex that can stretch women's hymen. Therefore, assessing women's hymens can't fully determine their virginity.

Nowadays, with numerous sexual violence in Indonesia that reached 291.677 cases by the year 2020, preserving virginity somehow can be challenging for young women. With that mentioned, sex education in our country should be normalized and compulsory to help the young generation stay educated and aware of this sensitive issue. However, it's important to keep in mind that virginity doesn't determine women's behavior and degrade women's values; since all individuals should be equally respected and appraised for who they are as a person.

[Gambas:Audio CXO]