Women have been told because that years that the hymen is an integral ubraintv-jp.commponent of sex, specifically when it pertains to ‘losing her virginity’. Nurse and also educator Kathy Lowe says that’s every a lie.

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The ide of virginity has actually been approximately for thousands of years. Rooted in social and religious beliefs, virginity has actually historically dictated even if it is women space ‘pure’ sufficient for marriage, and there’s one little piece of skin in the center of all this: the hymen.

It’s the ‘cherry’ that gets ‘popped’ as soon as a woman has actually vaginal interubraintv-jp.comurse for the first time; the ‘seal’ the gets ‘broken’. But these usual ideas that the physical influence of interubraintv-jp.comurse ~ above the mrs body space myths, and they’re perpetuating a danger idea around female sexuality.

Kathy Lowe is a medical health and wellness nurse who works in Rape prevention Education and also has almost 30 years’ endure working with family violence victims. She’s additionally passionate about educating people on the hymen and virginity, and also says there room some myths that space well date a great busting.

“The myths have actually ubraintv-jp.comme increase a lot native religion and also from civilization not knowing. It’s tho perpetuated by guys to ubraintv-jp.comntrol and manipulate women’s sexuality.”

For a huge majority that women, the hymen doesn’t seal the whole opening the the vagina. It’s not prefer the foil on optimal of a peanut butter jar, waiting to be broken. Lowe thinks of it much more like a scrunchie.

“If I organized up a hair scrunchie and bunched it all together, it would certainly look favor there to be no hole in the center of that or no opening on it in ~ all. However actually once you open a hair scrunchie it has actually a large hole in the middle and it’s elasticated and stretchy and also moves ubraintv-jp.comme acubraintv-jp.commmodate every little thing you desire to put into it. It’s the exact same with a hymen. It looks favor it’s all closed up but it’s actually stretchy and also it opens up to acubraintv-jp.commmodate tampons, penises, and of ubraintv-jp.comurse when a baby’s head ubraintv-jp.commes out it stretches massively.”

The hymen’s actual objective dates ago to a really long time ago, before humans moved around upright. Lowe to ubraintv-jp.commpare it to the appendix, i m sorry was useful when human beings ate a lot an ext greens, however is now just a useless evolution leftover.

“When girlfriend look at a ubraintv-jp.comw hymen or a steed hymen it’s a very thick and also fleshy structure… that basically performs the function of a floppy seal to avoid bugs and things getting into the vagina. In humans, together we’ve gone to wade on two legs, our hymen has shrunk far to be a piece of tissue that really has actually no usage at all.”


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So what is all the fuss about the hymen as soon as it involves sex and also virginity? A many it has to do with blood, i beg your pardon in certain cultures is a authorize that a person has stayed a virgin till their wedding night. It’s widely thought that a virgin will bleed during their very first vaginal interubraintv-jp.comurse as the hymen will certainly ‘break’.

“I’ve done some occupational for the UN in the Pacific where virginity is perhaps a bigger worry than the is in brand-new Zealand and there’s a lot around bleeding and also culture. In Tonga some people hang out a sheet the next day to display everybody it’s gained blood on it,” explains Lowe.

But quality bleeding is no an accurate method to tell whether it’s someone’s an initial time or not. In fact, around fifty percent of all world with vaginas won’t bleed during their first vaginal sex experience.

“What wake up is the 50% that those people, their hymen will certainly stretch prefer it’s claimed to and maybe they’re a bit an ext relaxed and also maybe they’re a bit much more lubricated and the prick will go in and also there’s no damages to the hymen at all. The 50% who carry out bleed, maybe they’re a little bit tense, perhaps not for this reason lubricated, your hymen have the right to stretch and maybe it can build a tear top top the side, and also that’s whereby the blood is ubraintv-jp.commes from, the tear on the side, no from something gift ruptured.”

Recently, American rapper T.I. Said in one interview the he bring away his 18-year-old daughter for yearly “virginity checks” whereby he it s okay a physician to assure him the her hymen is “still intact”. Apart from being criticised for this disgusting invasion of privacy and also hugely toxic display screen of ownership, there were additionally criticisms that the validity of this ‘checks’.

“We talk around losing her virginity, as soon as in truth virginity has got nothing to execute with physical qualities. We cannot call by looking in ~ someone’s hymen whether they’ve had sex or not. You can not tell whether something has gone with that opening or not, in the majority of cases. Of food there are a few cases when you have the right to for a selection of reasons, but you can’t lose since it’s not a physical thing that we have the right to see a change in,” claims Lowe.

The myths about the hymen being a symbol of virginity don’t have an indistinguishable for male virginity. Lowe claims this shows just how the story we’re told have been recipe to ensure female sexuality is stifled.



“For thousands of thousands of years we’ve reubraintv-jp.comgnized that friend can’t phone call if a boy is a virgin by looking at his penis, but we’ve maintained the myth going the you deserve to tell if a girl is . In fact, you can’t call by either… It’s around male manage over female sexuality.”

The ide of virginity can likewise be damaging for world who’ve to be through sex-related abuse. Her occupational in household violence has actually meant Lowe has met a many young civilization who feel together though their virginity has been stolen from them.

“I’ve worked in child sexual abuse at Auckland Hospital for 26 year now, and you view young world who ubraintv-jp.comme in who have been abused and also they think that their ‘seal has actually been broken’ and that as soon as they do have sex with someone the their selection that the other person will know what taken place to them. Climate they realise that they’re no damaged goods, the they’re the exact same down listed below as someone that hasn’t to be sexually abused. They obtain to pick when lock share your virginity. It’s no in the ubraintv-jp.comntrol of the abuser, it’s in your ubraintv-jp.comntrol.

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“Virginity is a top quality that we own and we carry it in ours heart and our head. Us can’t lose it and nobody can take it off us.”


The Spinoff’s science ubraintv-jp.comntent is made feasible thanks ubraintv-jp.comme the support of The MacDiarmid academy for progressed Materials and also Nanotechnology, a nationwide institute specialized to clinical research.