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A virgin is a young woman who has not had any sexual experience. Virginity is the state being a virgin. The word is derived from the Latin virgo meaning young girl. Virginity is now a diverse term, which may refer to females or males, of any age, who have not had any sexual experience. [1]

Connotations of purity

Virginity has strong connotations of purity. It implies pure, unadulterated, chaste. Apart from sexual purity, virginity may also refer to general spiritual purity. A virgin, especially in classical literature, may a young woman completely innocent and free of sin.

One of the most important historical virgins is Mary mother of Jesus. Mary's virginity is a symbol of her spiritual purity.[2]

Cultural value

The virginity is respected and valued in certain societies. Female virginity is interwoven with personal or family honour in some cultures. Some men give special value to virgin women. In many cultures, virginity tests are administered before marriage, to ensure a young woman is pure.

In contemporary western cultures, the importance of virginity has been significantly degraded. This is especially due to the feminist movement of the 1970's. In recent years there has been a resurgence in importance of virginity especially among religious groups. Many young men and women take vows of chastity, to protect their virginity and purity until marriage. [3]

Technical virginity

Some anthropologists have observed that in many cultures that value virginity, there is a high percentage of non-penetrative sexual-activity. Many teens do not consider sexual acts such as oral-sex to be sexual activity. Thus they feel they can protect their purity while engaging in these acts.[4]

Though scientifically, the validity of technical virginity are under debate, there is a clear consensus on the lost of purity. According to Matthew 5:28, even thinking lustful thoughts is a sin "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."


Some girls stay secretive about their Christianity and desire for virginity until marriage. Don’t be ashamed to let others know where you stand. Ask your youth pastor about signing a document proclaiming your purity commitment. Then tell others about it. Consider wearing a purity symbol such as a ring or special necklace — especially on dates. These have no special power, but they can remind you of your plan to remain sexually pure. What's Your Plan for Sexual Purity? by Elaine Creasman.

See also

Image is based on a World War I poster of Uncle Sam exhorting men to "protect the nation's honor".


External links