Born Again Virgins

Religion has mastered the art of slut shaming to an amazing degree. The most extreme physical manifestation is the hymenoplasty, where a woman’s hymen is restore to virginal status. This is nearly exclusively done in cultures in which religions, such as Islam, demand virginity from brides (but of course, not from grooms).  While less physical, but still harmful, some Christians use emotional blackmail to punish women who have sex outside of marriage. Others  have mastered the purity culture in which abstinence is demanded of both, but the onus is on the females to keep the men under control.

The damage of purity culture is one of the major themes in the blog Love Joy Feminism written by a women who grew up as a fundamentalist Christian. She is quite open on how the resulting sexual dysfunction nearly destroyed her marriage. Most studies also show that abstinence-only education is positively correlated with teen pregnancy rates. In other words, it is worse than useless.

The guilt that religions place on young women who are sexually active is such that some of those who do engage in sexual activity are so ashamed they declare themselves to be born again virgins.

As we see in such well publicized cases such as Rehtaeh Parsons, Daisy Coleman, and the unnamed victim in the Steubenville rape case,  the issue is much broader than religion, but there is no doubt that religious requirements of women to be virginal prior to the marriage bed, is a major contributing factor.

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