On air: Should a woman be a virgin when she marries?

One of our night editors, Abdelilah Boukili, picked up on a couple of interesting stories about virginity that have been doing the rounds and it’s certainly got you talking.

The first, a French Muslim couple who have opposed a government decision to contest a court ruling annulling their marriage because the bride lied about being a virgin. The second story that feeds into this debate is from the Herald Tribune which published an article about Muslim women in Europe who resort to medical restoration of their virginity.

Traditionally in Muslim culture, the virginity of the bride is of great importance to the groom and the groom’s family. Some people believe that on their wedding night a groom must display a bloodied sheet as proof of the brides chastity. The Hindu and Sikh religions are also very strict about women being virgins until marriage. Women can be shunned and not considered suitable marriage material if they have already given themselves to a man ….Is that right? How important is it it to be a virgin when you walk down the aisle? Are there different rules for men and women?

Let’s face it we’re going to have to get to the nitty gritty of this issue. Experts say a woman’s hymen can tear through activities other than sex, horse riding for example or sport – so how easy is it to prove that a women is a virgin. And should women be put though this process at all? Is it it degrading or is it a matter of self respect that a woman waits and saves herself?

Some more reading for you…….
This is the blog of an American woman who remained a virgin until she was 27 for religious reasons, then decided to lose it. The Virginity Project is by a British woman who has compiled a book out of British people’s stories about how they lost their virginity. And here is a feminist perspective.

359 Responses to “On air: Should a woman be a virgin when she marries?”

  1. 1 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 14:02

    She committed fraud. Fraud is fraud. Case closed.

  2. June 11, 2008 at 14:27

    Marriage needs a whole lot of mutual trust among both spouses and it would be very deceptive for a partner to claim she is a virgin meanwhile she is not. My community still holds virgins in high esteem and see them not only as chaste but also being morally well brought up.

  3. 3 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 14:54

    Fraud? It should have been no one’s business, so therefore no fraud.

    This is another one of those issues which causes me to question the collective sanity of the human race.

    Anyone who expected me to be a virgin or anything else so one-sided would never have gotten to be my husband in the first place.

    Did anyone ever ask the husband if he were a virgin?

    One little point, it is impossible for anyone to tell who is and who is not a virgin, so I don’t know why anyone would have an operation.

  4. 4 Fuchsia
    June 11, 2008 at 15:01

    Yes, in that case the allegation was fraud. But clearly as far as the husband was concerned, virginity was an absolute requirement of his bride – if she was a virgin, he wanted to marry her, and if she wasn’t, he didn’t.

    That’s what I’m suggesting we talk about – whether virginity itself matters, for men and for women.

  5. June 11, 2008 at 15:05

    In our speaking somali society a girl is beaten and punished seriously once she is found that she is not virgin during the wedding days.A girl is ecpected to be virgin until she is married and her husband is expected to break her virginity! Islam prohibites sex outside marriage but unfortunetly it’s very rare to find a women who returns her virginity until marraige!

  6. 6 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 15:06

    In Shia Islam, it is possible to establish as one of the conditions for the marriage that the husband/wife be a virgin. When any condition is stipulated in a marriage contract, it is something about which both of the prospective spouses are aware: one requested it, and the other agreed to it. Should it transpire that the one on whom the condition was imposed was not actually a virgin, the marriage can be annulled. This is different than a divorce. It is possible for one to respond to such a situation by declining the marriage offer. One could decline without specifying any reason, or refer to some other circumstance, or simple declare an incompatibility.

    I have not personally met someone who has been in this situation. I haven’t even heard of this condition being set yet among my circle of friends and acquaintances. I did not impose such a condition on prospective husbands myself. Perhaps Lubna might have had experience with this.

    I still feel that if the husband is so particular over a piece of skin, he doesn’t have to be married. If anyone ever made such a demand of me or of my daughter(s) if I am thus blessed, I would turn him away without a second thought. It’s as insulting as the family who wants to see a picture before they even know whether the woman prays, wears hijab, volunteers at the masjid, etc. Look at the impact that these egotisctical and chaivenistic demands are having on women, such that they would get surgeries to restore what was there before. Repugnant.

    There are two opinions in Shia scholarly thoght regarding the marriage of Prophet Muhammad with his first wife: 1) she was young and a virgin; 2) she was older, previously married, and had other children. I accord with the first and point out in addition that after her death, Prophet Muhammad married non-virgins and only one other virgin. It wasn’t as much of an issue for him as the piety of the woman or the potential for social networking with the marriage. Since he is the ideal and example for Muslims to follow, men (and women) should take note and focus on what is really important in a prospective marriage partner. (So if a man converted to Islam, the same would be expected of him: seek a religious wife, not just a virgin one; and then support her completely with your money while still giving to the obligatory charity, attend the hour- or two-hour Friday services, give up store-bought meat and only consume that expensive stuff from Halal stores, no more lobster and crab, and don’t forget a whole month of only eating and drinking at night. :=)

  7. 7 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 15:12

    It is FRAUD because she claimed she was something she was not, marriage is a contract. It’s like if you try to sell a 2002 car claiming it is a 2004 model. Sorry if you don’t like it, but fraud is bad, no matter what the fraud is about.

  8. 8 Chicago
    June 11, 2008 at 15:23

    If virginity matters for personal or religious reasons than it is, as it should be, a personal matter. No matter what the reason is it should hold true for both men and women. I have noticed that is weak men who are often promiscous themselves that place the greatest emphasis on a woman’s virginity. This is important regardless if the relationship leads to marriage, partnership or a long relationship. What really matters is trust, love, and respect. All the other stuff are just trimmings

  9. 9 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 15:34

    Just a tip of the hat to the woman in the case that sparked this discussion: she has accepted the ruling and wants to move on with her life. I have no problem with that. My contention rests with the basic attitude that led to the situation in the first place, as Selena and Fuchsia have stated. It has also been pointed out that not everyone who demands a virgin bride is himself a virgin. To that it should be added that demand for virgin grooms is quite low, in comparison to other femenine demands on prospective husbands. We women might have our faults, but at least that isn’t one of them.

  10. 10 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 16:12

    Something that I read in one of the linked articles struck me. The father of a 32-year-old woman who ended her relationship with her boyfriend of eight years (we’re not supposed to do that, so good on her for ending it) told her, “I will forgive everything, but not if you have thrown dirt on my honor.” Ignorance. Sheer ignorance. There are so many things that Islam strongly emphasises not doing: murder, lying, stealing, cheating, gossiping, financial corruption, etc. Sexual morality falls further down on the list. Our priorities are skewed. It disgusts me. And it’s not just in the Muslim world that we see such skewed values. How many people are fine with having ten credit cards or wouldn’t bat an eye at dinner with the banker and his family? But in most value systems, sins of money are higher on the big sins list than sins of “morality.”

    Another thing that impressed me: Abdelkibir Errami, the vice president of the centre that housed the marriage of the couple whose story sparked the debate, said, “Even if the woman was no longer a virgin, he had no right to expose her honor. This is not what Islam teaches. It teaches forgiveness.”

    I had forgot about that. The man was absolutely wrong to publicise the woman’s sins (assuming that she had sinned). One of the aspects of Islamic modesty is not to broadcast sins. It’s a touchy thing to make up missed prayers in public. People who approach a leader to confess adultery are told to repent to God, go home, and not repeat their mistakes. If people approach religious leaders with the compaint that their spouses have committed adultery, they are advised to resolve the situation quietly; and if a divorce ensues, to attribute it to other factors in order to preserve the dignity of both of them.

    It seems to me that about the only thing in this marriage that had anything to do with Islam was that it took place in a mosque.

  11. 11 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 16:15

    @ Shirley

    In muslim societies, if women are expected to be virgins at marriage, and sex is only occuring if you are married, how are men not virgins themselves at marriage?

  12. 12 Bob in Queensland
    June 11, 2008 at 16:38

    I’m with Steve on this one. Virginity itself is not important but the issue in the French case should be that the marriage was built on a lie. To me, that is more important and should be reasonable grounds for the annulment.

    I also agree that there is a major double standard in a society where women are condemned for sex before marriage–but it is expected of men.

  13. June 11, 2008 at 17:07

    here we go again. i would never want to marry a lady who is not a virgin ma self coz it makes me lose respect for her and i always think she can easily cheat on me with those she gave her virginity to. Ok steve its fraud i agree but i think the man shared ma views and felt the pain of taking a used sl*t

  14. 14 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 11, 2008 at 17:08


    In Islam women must be virgins; however, many Islamic men have sex before marriage. The men will usually only marry a women who is a virgin. I remember reading an article a couple of months ago that described some Islamic men and the men stated that they had sex but would only have sec before marriage with non-Muslim women.

  15. 15 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 17:10

    @ Angela

    Say in societies where there are no or very few non muslim women, who are these men having sex with before marriage? Something doesn’t add up…

  16. 16 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 17:12


    hahaa, you’d hate the US. Given the popularity of Sex and the City and mimicking the lifestyle… you’d have something coming to you if you think you can find a virgin here.

  17. June 11, 2008 at 17:19

    virginity is a big matter in Muslim countries such as Iran , in Iran when a woman has lost her virginity its hard for her to find a husband .

    and also if anybody report her sexual activity (with somebody else than husband) those couple in both side of that sexual activity will be hanged by government

    its very dangerous 😀

  18. 18 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 17:19

    Hello, Steve
    It’s a result of the dichotomy between sincere religious piety and the treatment of one’s religion as another aspect of his culture.

    In the former, one has a heartfelt appreciation for God (or his deity of choice) and for various important religious figures. One enjoys performing acts of worship. One tries to live according to the moral values or laws of his religion in order to please God.

    In the latter, one performs those acts that are expected of him by his society as determined by the general practise of the rleigion in his culture. Private acts of worship are ignored. If certain actions not legislated by the religion are accepted in his society and gain his own personal favour, he takes part in them.

    In the case of a Catholic Christian, the former would show up for each Mass, do the rosary and other acts of worship at home, read scriptures and other religious texts often, and meet up regularly with others to discuss religious topics and perhaps even say rosary together. He would maintain his chastity and refrain from contraceptives after marriage. The latter would come to church for major holidays and for weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc. He might own and display rosary beads but not use them. He might date and play around before settling down for marriage; and the couple might use birth control regularly after marriage.

    In the case of the Muslim, the former would dedicate prayer times to a regular part of his schedule. He might even go to the mosque as often as possible for each of them. He would read or recite scriptures regularly, perhaps trying to cycle through it front to back. He would do other optional acts of worship (we also have beads). He might even volunteer at the mosque. He would try to preserve his chastity and modesty. He would seek a wife who shares the same values and instill them in his family as it grows. The latter would attend the mosque occasionally on Fridays and on high holy days, abstain from food during the fast of Ramadan, and perhaps display his prayer beads (though not use them). He may or may not bother himself to restrict himself to meat form the Halal store. He wouldn’t object to having a girlfriend, though he would probably not like for his family to find out. He would probably still expect any future wife of his to be a virgin, to stay at home and care for the house and kids, and to show herself at the cuturally appropriate times and use lingo that would pass them as Muslims. This is what I was referring to when I said, “It seems to me that about the only thing in this marriage that had anything to do with Islam was that it took place in a mosque.

    The tunnel-visioned focus on virginity has thankfully lost its place in our culture, but I would dare say that a sincerely relgious Catholic man would object to a proposal from a woman who had enjoyed casual relationships and who did not share his other religious values. He wouldn’t want to be the only one in the house saying rosary in his spare time, for example.

    The religious Muslim would probably want his wife to be a virgin, but that would take second place to her having maintained a sense of modesty about herself. This kind of man is more likely to forgive a woman who had made mistakes and had reformed herself, or to willingly marry a divorcée. The question of her civil (or similar) status would almost certainly take second stage to his questions about her religious fervour: whether she keeps her prayers, fasts, eats only halal meat, etc.

  19. 19 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 11, 2008 at 17:28


    I have no idea. I agree with you.

  20. 20 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 18:20

    “And it’s not just in the Muslim world that we see such skewed values.”

    I beg to differ. No non-Muslims commit honor killings and demand such ridiculous things from their women. People in the Muslim world kill their own family over ‘honor’, which is inconceivable anywhere else.

  21. 21 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 18:22

    Shirley, once more, your idea of Islam is at odds with the majority of people. You know, the ones who equate cartoons to terror (like Pakistan’s ambassador/general population). It is fine to say they are not following ‘true Islam’ but whatever they are following happens to be pretty prevalent in the world and they still refer to the holy texts for their positions.

  22. 22 Chicago
    June 11, 2008 at 18:25

    Steve, while you are entitle to your opinion, and I agree with you that a marriage should be focused on honesty, how DARE you and Byaruhanga insinuate that just because ANYONE chooses to be sexually active before marriage that they are a slut or that anyone who watches programs like Sex and the City are promiscus. People may only have one other partner prior to marriage and while they are no longer a virgin, they are certainly not a slut. Not everyone chooses to get married, this does not mean that they are required to remain a virgin their entire life. This entire arguement is seeped in relgion and therefore it is a moral sin.

    If you want to speculate on the importance of virginity focus on the positves of BOTH partners remaining virgins until marriage such as an almost a zero chance of being infected with HIV/AIDS or other Sexually Transmitted Infections, and less unwanted pregnancies.

  23. 23 Chicago
    June 11, 2008 at 18:27

    @ Shirley

    I think you beautiful explain why, from a religous point of view, virginity is important. For those who are true in their beliefs virginity is a sign of respect for yourself, your partner, and your God

  24. 24 Chuck Paugh
    June 11, 2008 at 18:29

    I don’t believe that virginity is the issue in this story. The issue, as I see it, is a totalitarian adherence to a fundamentalist sect of a religion that operates as a cult within the greater framework of Islam. These individuals remind me of 17th Century Christians who were declaring independent thinking women as witches and burning them at the stake. Extremism is not an honorable religious value within any of the established faiths. (Chuck in Portland, Oregon)

  25. 25 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 11, 2008 at 18:34

    When ever guestion of virginity come people put a sign of introgation over woman, as her virginity can be verified.
    Why not we establish this issue for man too as his virginity is unverifiable.
    Why not medical science do some thing to verify virginity of man too.
    Now who is demanding virginity from whome & why?
    To me this is personal choice of an humanbeing along with involvement of private life factor, dont try to be more demanding from prevailing society.
    All the time disputes & disturbance started when you are too much demanding from some one, which is beyond his or her controll.

  26. 26 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 18:36


    Never mind!

    *Slut* is simply a word used by people who are so brainwashed they can’t imagine how laughable and hypocritical the concept is.

    It is so funny!

  27. 27 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 18:38

    “Extremism is not an honorable religious value within any of the established faiths.”

    See this is where you are wrong. It prevents people from looking at the problems with the religion as a whole. For example, fundamental Jainists would cause ZERO problems whatsoever. Fundamental Muslims, on the other hand, can easily refer to lines of text citing martyrdom as a great act for Allah and see that they will go to paradise for doing so.


    ” * Every living being has a soul[4]
    * Every soul is potentially divine with innate infinite knowledge, infinite perception, infinite power, and infinite bliss.
    * Therefore, regard every living being as yourself and harm no one. In other words, have benevolence for all living beings.
    * Every soul is born as a celestial, human, sub-human or hellish being according to its own karmas.
    * Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter.
    * When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes God-consciousness (infinite knowledge, infinite perception, infinite power, and infinite bliss) and liberated.
    * Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (triple gems of Jainism) provide the way to this realisation.[10]
    * Non-violence (Ahinsa, also spelled Ahimsa) is the basis of right View, the condition of right Knowledge and the kernel of right Conduct.
    * Control your senses.
    * Limit your possessions and lead a pure life, useful to yourself and others. Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however attachment to it is possessiveness.[11]
    * Enjoy the company of the holy and better qualified, be merciful to the afflicted and tolerant of the perverse.[12]
    * Four things are difficult to attain by a soul: human birth, knowledge of the law, faith in it and the pursuit of the right path.
    * It is important not to waste human life in evil ways. Instead, strive to rise on the ladder of spiritual evolution.”

    Explain how a fundamental Jainist causes problems in the world. Extremism basically indicates a literal interpretation of the religion. Unless a problem is already inside of said religion, fundamentalists are also not a problem. Yes, I also regard fundamentalist christians as a problem – not just fundamentalist Muslims, though obviously one of the two is a lot worse.

  28. 28 John in Salem
    June 11, 2008 at 18:45

    Virginity should only matter when you’re an adolescent (I know it did to me!).
    If it still matters when you’re an adult then you missed the lectures on “relevance” and “maturity”.

  29. 29 Jessica-NY
    June 11, 2008 at 18:55

    Tino and Chicago, brovo! Well said, indeed.

    I will only add this, as with every religion, there are hypocrites who practice and follow the rules he/she wants to and then dares to cry wolf.

  30. 30 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 19:07

    when did I use the word “slut”????? I’m just saying that that guy is gonna have a difficult time finding a virgin in the US!

  31. 31 Dennis
    June 11, 2008 at 19:17

    Virginity doesn’t matter to most people because of “reasons” that are between you and etc…reasons…

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  32. 32 Chicago
    June 11, 2008 at 20:00

    We are indeed lucky to have you here as an authority Steve. Had we known that you took a survey of the sexual activities of every single women in the United States, we would not have questioned your statement. Please advise when you will be publishing your results on the difficulites of finding American virgins.

  33. 34 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 20:11

    @ Steve

    What has that article got to do with the question?

  34. 35 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 20:13

    @ selena

    Well, sex in the city takes place in NYC, so I figured I would show people their odds if they choose that lifestyle.

  35. 36 Luz María Guzmán from Monterrey, Mexico
    June 11, 2008 at 20:51

    The concept of “virginity” vulnerates women’s rights, especially sexual freedom. Women’s virginity (until they marry) is one of the fundamental principles of patriarchal societies. There is not such “obligation” to men.

    Regretfully, virginity still is a requirement for marriage (not legal but moral or religious) that men impose in women in many societies. It will take time and a lot of effort to change the perception that non-virgin single women are useless.

    I think women should not lie about their virginity, or lack of; there are many men in the world that really don’t care about virginity. It is difficult, especially in countries that have strong patriarchal values; however, I think this will change over time, until women can have the same sexual freedom that men have.

    About the muslim woman that got the anulement of her marriage because of lying about her “virginity status” before marrying; I think she is better of without her ex-husband.

  36. 37 Chicago
    June 11, 2008 at 21:35

    Selena- An unreasonable response does not deserve your resonable response.

    The article provided neither mentions nor equates the TV show to their findings (from 2004). The article also does not mention the statistics on the percentages of men vs women infected.

    Through his reasoning we are to assume that if you live in Jersey you are part of the mafia (Sopranos) and if you live in Utah you are a poligamist (big love).

    @ Luz

    I like your use of the word “obligation”. I believe it sums up very well both the social and religious pressures many women feel in regards to their identities as sexual beings

  37. 38 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 21:39

    @ Chicago

    My point being, if you’re going to be promisciuous, if you do it in a place like NYC, where 25% of the population has herpes, your odds of getting herpes is pretty high. That’s all I’m saying. I’m sorry if the truth is painful. I would presume herpes is even more painful.

    What about male virgins? I know a guy who is a virgin and when women find out, they dump him, because according to him, women demand that men know what they’re doing, and don’t want to have to “teach” him. Do you have a problem with this?

  38. 39 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 22:25

    @ Luz

    I wouldn’t lie about anything personal. If the subject ever came up, I would know the person is not for me… just as persons with weird ideas about sex would not be for me.

    End of story! 🙂

    Isn’t it funny how some people are hung up on sex?


    Where DO you get your ideas? 😉

  39. 40 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 22:26

    “I think women should not lie about their virginity, or lack of; there are many men in the world that really don’t care about virginity. It is difficult, especially in countries that have strong patriarchal values; however, I think this will change over time, until women can have the same sexual freedom that men have.”

    I agree, the problem of course is that if you do such a thing in a Muslim country and you are found out – chances are you’re going to be dead, probably from your brother or father or husband.

  40. 41 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 22:33

    @ selena

    from the microwave oven that gives me instructions on days I stop wearing my tinfoil hat. On other days, it’s from my dog. However, I don’t have a dog.

  41. 42 Dennis
    June 11, 2008 at 22:38

    Sometimes being a VIRGIN until you have find your “special” one is better..because of the increasing risk of S.T.D.’s and HIV and AIDS [and related problems].

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  42. 43 Emile Barre
    June 11, 2008 at 22:48

    No. There are more important things.

  43. 44 Pangolin
    June 11, 2008 at 23:45

    A man that demands a virgin bride suffers a serious lack of imagination as to what a lady can get up to and still remain a ‘virgin’. In the US, M—– girls are reputed to have perfected the art of enjoying their dating life and still standing at the altar a ‘technical virgin’; I’ll leave the details to your imagination.

    Any man or woman who marries for life without proof of sexual performance and compatibility is making a very serious mistake. Both men and women may find themselves married to partners who are friendly but not sexually compatible and that can lead to a lifetime of misery and disappointment. This involves more than the primary pair and many people who hold stakes in the success of a marriage can suffer due to the folly of the married couple.

    Parents, siblings, children and coworker’s can all suffer when two people are sexually frustrated in a marriage. Sometimes the problems are just not resolvable and divorce and all it’s attendant tragedies is the result. Sometimes the tragedy is far greater than divorce.

    Don’t marry a virgin or be one when you marry if you are wise. Who wants to live their life wearing poorly fitting shoes; you would always be more irritable than necessary. A good friend of the opposite sex can be a “poor fit” in the bedchamber.

  44. 45 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 23:50

    @ Pangolin

    Reminds me of Bill Clinton who said, “I have never had sex with that woman.”

    In his definition of sex, he wasn’t having sex with that woman.

  45. June 11, 2008 at 23:51

    @ Tino:
    Still, it is not muslim doctrine, it is societal values:
    You wrote:
    “No non-Muslims commit honor killings and demand such ridiculous things from their women.”
    First, many muslims do not kill their women for such things or make these demands on their women (Although, “demand such rediculous things,” is vague and subjective.
    You could clarify.
    I suspect, when you clarify, I can find many non-muslims who make strange or “rediculous demands” on their women.
    We can use any Holy text to support anything we want to.
    I will not remind you of all of the ways the bible has been misused.
    So, Islam does not have the corner on the market of misusing the Holy Texts.

    Obviously, this is not about a piece of skin.
    And, this is not about sexual freedom.
    That is for a different debate.
    The woman was fraudulent because she wanted to deceive the man into thinking that she had not had sex.
    Keeping one’s virginity has to do with two specific things:
    1. Yes, obeying a moral code or law that has been set forth in a text. But, if one is only obedient and does not understand the reason for such a law, then, it is in vain.
    2. not engaging in sex outside of marriage because they honestly believe that it is more honorable.
    It is not just a religious directive. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not making any comments about those who do have sex outside of marriage. I am just saying that it is a symbol that one has controled their desires and kept themselves sexually pure, only to engage in such an act with “one” person — their spouse. It is like a gift that one gives to their spouse. And, if the gift has been given before, then, the value of the gift has depreciated. Note: I said “has been given,” so those women and men (Yes, I think that it is just as important for men and do not have a double standard), who have had their virginity taken by force are precluded from this. I am speaking of when it is a choice and you choose to either keep yourself until married and/or give yourself away. and, yes, there is honor in exercising self control for the sake of your future.
    In many people’s minds, losing one’s virginity is akin to being easily led astray and not valuing self control and purity. If I make a commitment to keep my virginity, then, I would want the man to do the same. It tells me that he has commited to enjoy the wonderful intimate act with only one person — his wife. That makes it both special for him and me.
    If I am a woman who is a virgin, then, I would expect my mate to also be a virgin.
    Fairytale world??? — Maybe.
    But, we each have values that we hold as important.
    And to Shirley,
    I would not want my mate to lie or be financially corrupt, either.
    But, it is not an “either or” debate.
    “Would you rather your mate to be a virgin or truthful.”
    Frankly, the woman was not a virgin and she lied and deceived. The deception tells me more about her character than her loss of virginity.
    I don’t know her personally.
    But, the lie tells me that either she was ashamed of her past experience,
    wanted to marry him for other reasons and felt it necessary to deceive him.
    If I am not a virgin and my soon-to-be husband can not accept my past, then, he is not to be my husband.
    Yet, I can say that in America, many people have sex way too casually and don’t want to face the consequences of their decisions.
    If I had sex with many male partners, I would expect my fiancee to question my commitment to him and wonder what might make him different than the rest of the partners that I have had.

  46. 47 Venessa
    June 12, 2008 at 00:01

    Requiring someone to be a virgin before marriage in my opinion is archaic. I agree with Pangolin that sexual compatibility is very important for any long term relationship.

    I don’t see any wrong in waiting; however, to BYARUHANGA NICHOLAS I hang my “used slut” flag high. If you worry that a woman will cheat on you because she had sex prior to marriage I think you are very misguided. Perhaps marrying someone you genuinely love and trust is more important.

  47. June 12, 2008 at 00:07

    @ Pangolin,

    ANyone who would divorce their bmate because they were compatible in the bedchamber is the fool. They have the lack of imagination and obviously have a problem with understanding intimacy.
    We are not just talking about the hysical act of sex.
    This act is and should be quite emotional and intimate.
    Thus, if one is promiscuous, one will wonder if:
    1. whether they know how to be emotionally intimate
    2. why would they give themselves emotionally and physically to so many people.

    You wrote:
    “Don’t marry a virgin or be one when you marry if you are wise. Who wants to live their life wearing poorly fitting shoes; you would always be more irritable
    than necessary. A good friend of the opposite sex can be a “poor fit” in the bedchamber.”
    It sounds like some people will just never be satisfied.
    LOve is commitment, passion and friendship.
    If you have the two (commitment and friendship) out of three, then, you can cultivate the third.
    Especially, if you have some bit of passion to work with.
    If you are a virgin and he is not, you can always talk to your mate and help them understand what you enjoy.
    And, if I knew that my mate did not have sex before he was waiting for just the right person to come along and that he was quite selective: I would be honored.

  48. 49 Pangolin
    June 12, 2008 at 02:08

    @Jan- What you describe, a man and a woman meeting in the marriage bed for the first time and to paraphrase ‘working things out,’ can indeed be a fairytale world.

    Just for starters I know several men and women who were married and had several children before it was discovered that one of the partners was primarily homosexually oriented. This is usually a disaster all around for everyone except perhaps the homosexual involved. Sometimes it takes time to learn that homosexuality really isn’t a choice; it’s just the way people are born. Roping somebody else into a marriage doesn’t ‘fix’ it.

    There are also physical, chemical and emotional compatibilities that are just not going to be discovered until couples get over the ‘new toy’ phase. The woman who was insatiable for the first three months of a relationship can find she is most comfortable on a once every two weeks schedule. She may be paired with a man who regards twice a day as the minimum to get the stress off; or vice versa. Yes, l’ve heard married women complain about the difficulty getting their dear husband away from the computer.

    Don’t marry somebody until you’ve been camping with them for a week, preferably in bad weather with no facilities and a very small tent. It’s important to be aware of the full range of your prospective mates olfactory chemistry and regular bathing can delay discovery. If you can’t stand the thought of camping don’t even think about having children.

    Oh, size matters. Not just the obvious but all sorts of things can be too large, too small, thin, wide, oddly shaped or of the wrong, erm, hair type. Miss dainty face, feet and hands can be pure neanderthal under the skirt. Likewise some men (and women) come wrapped in brillo. If you don’t think this can’t be a deal breaker look at the industry(s) that promises to change whatever you started with to something else.

    All those promises of love, companionship and fidelity don’t amount to a sack of beans when the rubber meets the road. At the end of the day people are animals living in a very physical world and some parts of our physiology just aren’t under totally voluntary control. Pretending otherwise will just lead to heartbreak.

    Don’t buy mail order shoes and don’t marry a virgin. Same reason.

  49. 50 Tino
    June 12, 2008 at 02:40

    “I suspect, when you clarify, I can find many non-muslims who make strange or “rediculous demands” on their women.”

    I highly doubt you will find a non-Muslim who killed his sister for meeting a man. I doubt you will find one who kills his wife for not being a virgin. These things do not happen outside that world. Do not want an arranged marriage in that world, and try to start a life with someone you actually love – sorry you will probably be killed, and by your own family. Please, show me an honor killing by a non-Muslim. It has nothing to do with ‘society’ as there are Arab christians who are miraculously not doing the same thing. The idea that you equate treatment of women in the world as a whole with their treatment under Islam is ridiculous. Some relatively recent honor killing articles:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870531240&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull (Not religiously motivated, yet somehow Islamic Jordan only sentences him to 6 months. Plenty of others wont even jail at all – open your eyes)

  50. 51 Tino
    June 12, 2008 at 02:40

    think im in the spam

  51. 52 Pangolin
    June 12, 2008 at 04:10

    @Tino- While I am not a muslim and I don’t agree with the normal run of their politics and social order (sufi’s excepted) I think that your focus on the honor killing thing goes too far.

    Honor killings happen in any culture where it is generally believed that the men should control the actions of the women. There are various permutations of this in South America and I’m sure examples could be found in Buddhist Asia.

    It also could be said that the killings of girlfriends or spouses, ex or otherwise, in the US represent a form of “honor killing.” The essential impulse is to control and failing that to deny control to others. That said I would suppose that ‘honor killings’ are at least as common in the US as in the Islamic world.

    People are people everywhere.

  52. 53 viola anderson
    June 12, 2008 at 05:14

    Try to remember a time when the only reliable birth control was total abstinence from sex. It follows then that men would insist that their wives be virgin before the marriage in order to be certain that any child born would be his own. The virginity was not the object–assurance of paternity was.

    Nowadays, at least where reliable birth control is available, insisting on virginity (for that reason) is an outdated practice.

    However, if the object of requiring the virginity of the bride is to prevent the woman’s comparing her husband’s sexual practices to any other man’s, then it is a whole different matter and is surely an unreasonable requirement.

    It is another example of how a man’s fear (in this case, of not being as good as some other man) has been foisted onto the woman who is required to save the man from his fears of inadequacy.

  53. 54 Tino
    June 12, 2008 at 06:38

    @ Pangolin

    You are wrong. Please show me a link to widespread honor killings committed by non Muslims.

    “It also could be said that the killings of girlfriends or spouses, ex or otherwise, in the US represent a form of “honor killing.” The essential impulse is to control and failing that to deny control to others. That said I would suppose that ‘honor killings’ are at least as common in the US as in the Islamic world.”

    Ridiculous for one, for another show me: A.) Such an incident you would call an honor killing B.) A six month or less sentence imposed by the US for said crime. The essential impulse is not to ‘control’ the impulse in an honor killing is to regain the family’s honor. They feel it was lost because of the girl not following her family’s choice of husband, hanging out with opposite sex, getting raped, etc. (Yes, they kill girls for being raped). Your attempt at moral equivalence falls way, way short. The only honor killings in the US are committed by Muslims:

    “Another Dallas station, Fox affiliate KDFW-TV, reported that two members of the Said family said “Sarah and Amina dressed in Western clothes and listened to pop music. They described Said as angry with his daughters for not acting like proper Muslim girls.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jan/03/texas-manhunt-on-for-father-of-slain-girls/

    “The 19-year-old Iraqi was, according to her father, murdered by her own in-laws, who took her to a picnic area in Dokan and shot her seven times. Her crime was to have an unknown number on her mobile phone. Her “honour killing” is just one in a grotesque series emerging from Iraq, where activists speak of a “genocide” against women in the name of religion.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/barbaric-honour-killings-become-the-weapon-to-subjugate-women-in-iraq-816649.html

    “Honor killings accounted for one-third of the murders of women in Jordan in 1999. Husseini wrote a series of reports on the killings and launched a campaign to stop them. As a result, she has been threatened and accused of being anti-Islam, antifamily, and anti-Jordan.” http://www.pbs.org/speaktruthtopower/rana.html

    Yeah I could sure see the first one happening in a non-Muslim American family, right Pangolin – do you even have any concept of what is going on in the world? I cannot believe you suggest anything we have is remotely like this.

  54. 55 Pangolin
    June 12, 2008 at 06:48

    @Viola- All men are eventually inadequate in the face of a shrew or even a loving woman. It comes as part of the package and we need to learn to talk openly about how it happens and how we get through it.

    An experienced, loving and caring older man who marries a virgin will get some months grace but eventually the shine wears off even the best china with daily use. People being what they are they need to learn to enjoy eating with a few chips in their plate rather than shopping for new.

    The pattern you ‘trade up’ to may be more prone to wear than what you had before and it certainly won’t match the rest of the table. The thing to do is invest in quality and treat it like the queen (or king) is coming to dinner tomorrow when it’s time to do the washing up and other chores.

    If you do she/he is.

  55. 56 Pangolin
    June 12, 2008 at 07:41

    @Tino- Why do you think the reason matters? What business is it of yours that there are honor killings in Jordon if you have no plans to go there and protest?

    ‘Divorced father kills ex-wife and kids then self’ happens so often in the US it only counts as local news and then only for a day or two.

    In either case it’s about men asserting their rights to ‘control’ over the lives of their women and children. Other than it’s use as a lever with which to attack Islamic peoples I doubt most westerners give a flying waterfowl.

    Since the OP was about virginity and this is a very thinly related tangent I would suspect the motives of the tangent’s existence.

  56. 57 farooq ahmad peer
    June 12, 2008 at 12:04

    If virginity is set as condition precedant for marriage then any later discovery of the spouse not being virgin can annul marriage. But it is a very delicate affair. If spouse is not virgin then either the persos was married to someone else when he or she kept secret or the spouse has commited fornication. In the first case the matter would not be serious enough to annul the marriage. But in the second case it would be very serious because fornication is a sinful act and invites hadood( punishment specified under muslim law. But in order to prove fornication you should be able to produce four eyewitnesses. Or else anybody bringing forth the allegation and not proving it shall be culpable of BOHTAN ( false allegation) and again face hadood punishment. So marriage cannot be annuled. However if the spouse makes voluntary admission then the marriage can be annuled. This is the position of sunni islam.

  57. 58 Andy
    June 12, 2008 at 12:37

    Virginity – or the lack of it – is of no consequence in choosing one’s mate.
    The experiences of life are what make us who we are; if you choose a mate then you choose everything that goes with her/him. If honesty is practiced and is important to a couple then who the hell cares what went on before they met?

    People should get off their soapboxes and get a life; what goes on in the bedroom – or elsewhere in private- is no business of churches, states or any tin-pot dictator masquerading as a control freak.

  58. 59 Ammo
    June 12, 2008 at 13:39

    @tino: Actually, honour killings are prevailant in Hindu and Sikh societies as well as muslim ones. African Christian societies are also known to practice honour killings. The lack of honour killing in the USA is probably a reflection on the fact that most people are ‘mainstream’ religeon types – ie, they do what their families have done, pat themselves on the back and feel better about themselves, without once thinking about or believing in the creed that they follow. It’s a mark of an affluent civilisation, that religeon becomes more of a social obligation than a moral one, as a strict code of morals is required by a struggling community more to ensure their survival.

    Regardless, the original topic was not the various reasons that people have for killing each other. I suppose it’s in the nature of the topic that it would attract some idiot chauvanists and hate-mailers.

    On-topic, I don’t think thatit is necessarily vital to have sex before marriage or to abstain from it. Sexual incompatibility can be resolved very easily, there is a lot of room for comprimise in any relationship where both parties are genuine, open-minded and committed, as any good marriage counsellor will tell you. Sexual incompatibility is a problem for people who are ridgid or feel threatened by the prospect of change. That said, I would never put forward that it is an easy thing to work out, but neither is an incompatibility in financial management or driving styles. The smallest problem is insumountable if there is intolerence or arrogance in one or both partners.

    I think the problem with virginity as a requirement is that it betrays a lack of confidence in the partner (male or female) and their judgement. I believe that for some people where there is a culture of virginity being a requisite, the younger generation are not so bothered but feel ashamed to say this to their parents and older relatives.

  59. 60 Edward Ibrahim
    June 12, 2008 at 14:09

    in one of the documentaries on the bbc (Islam and sex)interviewed male european muslims actually agree they would rather have sex with non muslim europeans than with their muslim sisters.It is complete hypocrisy for men to think and believe they can indulge themselves and expect chastity from their women. I also think it is delusionary for people to have expectations of virginity either from muslims or non muslims. The simple reason is that sex is every where and more and more young people are getting exposed to the act (internet, tv, movies and even music videos). Chastity is an individual thing and should be viewed as such irrespective of prevailing cultures, religious leanings etc. Let our muslim brothers understand this.

  60. 61 Brett
    June 12, 2008 at 14:10

    If a woman must be a virgin when she marries, the man must be as well. No need to hold men to different standards.

    I think if you are open and honest, what someone did before they met you has nothing to do with you, unless they have some sort of STD. What did you expect for someone to save themselves just for you? Like they knew their whole life they were going to meet you? How selfish can you be to expect that it is ok for you to not be a virgin, yet your bride must be.

    Give me a break, as Chris Rock said “Why you wanna know, you ain’t discoverin nothin, you ain’t puttin a flag anywhere… No matter how many men a woman has had, it will always be too many for you.”
    Men, get over yourselves. If you want a virgin woman as some sort of prize or rite of passage, good luck to you and your messed up priorities.

  61. 62 John in Germany
    June 12, 2008 at 14:20

    Where was it that a chicken was taken to the bed room in case there was no blood in consummating the marriage? i have forgotten. In any case if needed it was killed and blood was smeared on to a sheet, which was then hung out of the window. Everyone cheered and got drunk.

    Most grown males have had sex before they attach themselves to a girl to make a pair or partner shaft, that means the equivalent number of females have had sex as well. My point is what right have males to expect a virgin when they decide to marry or take a permanent partner?. None what so ever. In society’s where women are kept away from men until ready for marriage, and where men of the same society can do what they want, there is something radically wrong with human rights.

    Sadly it does matter in some parts of the world, so it is a sad day for a girl of such societies if she looses her virginity by other means than copulation with the man she has been prommissed too

    No statistics, or medical research programmes can change the fact, that it is according to where you live whether it matters or not.

    John in Germany.

  62. June 12, 2008 at 14:23

    Hi… I’m a practicing Muslim Shiite young Baghdadi woman… I do see my body as a precious and sacred gift from dear Allah to me… Gifts are a proof of love in my book, so what I know for sure is that I do have a duty of honouring dear Allah’s gift to me, of preserving it pure and untouched until my ‘chosen one’, my perfect match, the one whom dear Allah chooses for me to be my soul mate for life, shows up… When I get married to him, I’ll happily hand over to him my body, my heart, and my soul forever, because I’ll then be so sure that dear Allah will bless our relationship forever…. With my love…. Yours forever, Lubna…

  63. June 12, 2008 at 14:37

    The person you marry should be honest when they marry. If they feel they can not, then maybe marriage isn’t the best path for the couple.

    Andrew Dice Clay to an audience member: “Tell me something about your “sweet Carol” The first time you made love, was she any good?”

    Male Audience member shakes his head “yes”

    Andrew Dice Clay: “how do you think she got that way?”

  64. 65 Colleen D
    June 12, 2008 at 14:38

    not necessarily and there definitely should not be a double standard for men and women.

    in my opinion though sexual freedom is misinterpreted in US culture. sexual freedom should mean that every individual can make his/her own decisions regarding their sexuality without being judged or having other beliefs imposed on him/her.

    i think many people take sexual freedom to mean anything goes and being promiscuous is more free than being sexually conservative. so sometimes it leads to people who do decide to remain virgins into adulthood being labled “religious freaks” or other derogatory terms which erodes their freedom to live how they want without judgement. this is just as offensive as using derogatory terms to refer to more sexually active people. both lifestyles can be valid for different people at different times in life. and to make any standard a requirement or to say that one is better than the other just isnt fair.

  65. 66 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 14:39

    What an absolutely ludicrious and archaic concept. All people are sexual beings, not just men.

  66. 67 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 14:39

    I think this is a bad idea for an on air show, becuase the issue had nothing to do with virginity, but rather dishonesty, dishonesty so severe that the woman had surgery to cover it up. It was fraud. The issue could have been “do you want kids?” and then one spouse changing their mind, which would be grounds for an annulment as well, or a clearer case was someone lying about their desire to have kids before marriage and saying on the wedding night “I don’t want kids”. People who are getting married shouldn’t be lying to each other. That’s what the show should be about. Perhaps then the 50% divorce rate might be alleviated. The topic is about honesty, not virginity.

  67. 68 debbie in Cleveland
    June 12, 2008 at 14:41

    Good Morning
    These type of stories really gets my blood boiling because it should be easy to answer but alas it is not ……NO, NO, NO, to a woman having to be a virgin. Don’t even think about it until the man has to be. Regarding culture norms? Sorry, it time for cultures like this to change, espcially since some cultures have such rampant rape problems how can that abuse protect the woman/girl from such abuse.

  68. 69 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 14:48


    Given that the woman can be shunned, ostracized, for having been sexually active before, has serious consequences for her, or anyone her position. No one can survive in any society without interaction with others. In her case, she would lose all of her financial security, as it is more than likely a marriage of this type would leave her financially dependent on the male partner, and having been shunned, she would be unable to earn a living on her own. It is unfortunate that men in societies like that do not face the same consequences. The disparity of the treatment of the sexes is abhorrent.

  69. 70 Katharina in Ghent
    June 12, 2008 at 14:48

    What if the hymen just doesn’t rip??? Happened before, can happen again. I would like to hear a doctor about this.

  70. 71 John in Germany
    June 12, 2008 at 14:52


    As a European i respect your wishes, and the way you adore your god, and i hope your wishes will come true in every way.

    May i ask a question, does it matter to you whether the chosen one, is a male virgin or not?. This point worries me because it seems very much one sided if it does not.
    I do not believe that the male is superior, but that all are equal, male or female.

    I wish you peace and tranquillity in Baghdad, and that you enjoy the rising sun every day.

    John in Germany

  71. 72 Will Rhodes
    June 12, 2008 at 14:54

    Personally I think the whole thing is bloody stupid!

    If every man were to ask for a virgin bride then they are to be very disappointed. Who are these virgin brides? It is almost impossible to have one.

    I wrote a long comment to this and realised I was shaking my head while typing it – I just cannot believe the stupidity of it all. I suppose the glass-ceiling that so many feminists or women in general want to be broken won’t be when it comes to sex.

    When will feminism come out and support women rather than support those women who just want the high-paying, influential jobs?

    People marry for love, commitment to each other not just for a prize of which some men feel taking virginity is.

    Just leave me out of this one because it so gets me angry!

  72. 73 CarlosK
    June 12, 2008 at 15:01

    Hi All,

    The simple answer is YES. But why should anyone want to be a virgin (female) or chase (male) anymore? Aren’t those oldfashioned considerations? What relevance has virginity or lack thereof has in this post-christian, post-modern society?

    We human beings are indeed very strange creatures. We somehow want our cake and eat it at the same time. That is totally impossible. Considerations of chastity only apply in a religious context because if the consider is disease or pregnancy, there is something known as condom.

    The subject of virginity cannot be discussed in isolation of religion. However I don’t really enjoy these type of discussion because it emphasis salvation by works. That is people saving themselves and not in need of or relying on a Saviour. Whether one is a virgin or not when married is totally irrelevant. What matters is the love that they have for each other.

    Carlos, Kingston-Jamaica.

  73. 74 liz
    June 12, 2008 at 15:02

    Women are not property that can be “damaged” just because they are experienced sexually. They are governed by the same emotional and beautiful forces of love and sex that men are. Men should want their women to be experienced. Both men and women should practice with multiple partners before marrying. Otherwise their sex lives will be HORRIBLE and BORING and the relationship will be damaged. The fact that the woman should be forced into a relationship with a man who treats her like property is disgusting. Women are essential to the development of society and contribute to economic growth. No wonder these cultures are so desperately backward. THEIR MEN ARE TOO WEAK.

  74. 75 Yoshiteru Yanagita
    June 12, 2008 at 15:03

    Hello Chloe,and all women in the world!I hope you to have a nice time for yourself right now.
    Straightforwardly speaking,what matters in this debate must be the fact that many men still want to say to her brides “You are mine”.This is men’s essential and instinctive desire.
    If a husband or a male partner commits adultery,how does a woman feel?
    Taking this viewpoint into consideration,the result must be self-evident.

  75. 76 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 15:06

    Well, if we are going to discuss this, then it’s quit easy to point at that if you’re going to be having sex, that sex, especially promiscous sex, tends to make basket cases out of women, whereas men seem to be able to handle it. I’ve never met a promiscuous woman that had any sense of self esteem or self respect. They always have serious, serious, serious, frightening issues, whereas men aren’t affected the same way. Before I get attacked, I said promiscuous, you know the types of women that have sex with several different guys in a week, and have no idea the number of guys they’ve had sex with. Tends to live in cities.

  76. 77 Lamii Kpargoi
    June 12, 2008 at 15:11

    Sex is one part of religious virtue that most people in western societies will fight tool and nail to ensure stays unregulated. This is the case despite the fact that the vast majority of people in these societies claim Christianity. It has become clear in today’s world that religious rules against sex are misplaced and archaic. This situation also applies to the majority of places in Africa and South America. It is only the Islamic world that continues to hold on to this apparent antiquated way of life. But should the rest of us have any problems with this way of life of theirs, especially when we put it in the context of deadly STIs like HIV/AIDS?

  77. 78 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 15:15

    I said this in a prior topic, and I have no doubt it’s true, that women in muslim societies have higher self esteem than women in the west. Could it be related to sex and how it’s not so freely flowing in muslim society except in marriage? Something tells me that a woman who waits for marriage to have sex probably has higher self worth than a woman who has sex for meals, or to have rent paid for, etc, or goes and and gets drunk and has someone she doesn’t even know the name of..

  78. 79 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 15:17


    I have single all of my adult life by my choosing, which has allowed me date a variety of different men. Your analysis of “promiscuous” women and men is so far off the mark it’s laughable. I have met men who are equally codependent, and get their self esteem through women and one is through sex. Then there are those who use sex with women to “prove” their masculinity, which leaves them just as messed up and a horrible potential ove interest. Men are just as incapable of maintaining themselves in that environment too.

  79. 80 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 15:18


    Feminists do support women on all fronts, not economically. It appears that particular front is the one that gets most of the press.

  80. 81 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 15:20

    @ Julie P

    I was referring to self loathing that promiscuos women ivariably have. I’ve never met men that cry during sex (not Like I would know though). These women abuse drugs, becomes anorexic, become cutters, etc… Serious basket cases. Never met one that wasn’t absolutely nuts. Are they serial killers? Of course not, but they are seriously messed up people. I have never seen the male equivalent other than going out of their way materialistically, status things like driving BMWs, that attract the women that are attracted to that garbage. I’ve never met a man who wanted to kill himself due to his sexual habits.

  81. June 12, 2008 at 15:23

    Virginity is still a big issue in Muslim societies. To preserve the virginity of their daughters families try to prevent them from mixing with the opposite sex. But this is becoming impossible as girls and boys mix at an early age at schools and later in life, they mix at work. During and after adolescence there is the temptation to engage in sex one way or the other.

    Although girls and women try to keep their virginity till marriage, many of them engage in sex in one way or another. Virginity is important not only for the woman but for her family. A woman losing her virginity is a dishonour to her family. For them, she can have sex with anyone. She can even be described as a whore. The catastrophe for her family is when she falls pregnant. This means, besides being a disgrace to them, she has little chances of getting married.

    A man wanting to marry a woman has the right to ask her to produce a medical certificate showing her virginity in case she has never been married. He also has the right to divorce her in case he discovers she isn’t virgin. One of the reasons is that the husband fears that she can have sex with another man days before their marriage and in case of pregnancy, he will father a child that isn’t his.

    It is still an insult to ask an unmarried woman if she is still virgin. Because this means describing her as being morally loose.

    What is interesting to notice is the hypocrisy surrounding the attitude to women sexuality before marriage in conservative societies. A woman can secretly have sex before getting married. But the important is to keep her virginity. There are degrees concerning this.
    1) The woman should keep chaste until marriage.
    2) She should keep her virginity in case of having sex. This is the minimum damage, as she can keep intact for marriage.
    3) She can lose her virginity, which a disgrace to her and her family.

    Men should become realistic about the sexuality of women. In the past it was possible for women to get married as young as 14. Now with social changes, the majority of women get married later in their twenties. It is unimaginable that they can abstain from sex, especially if they have a male friend they trust and love.

    Marriage after all means coexistence, mutual support and love. What matters is marital life after marriage contract is the personality of the couple. Degrading a woman because of not being virgin is like sentencing a person to long term imprisonment for an act that harms no one, but which is seen as harmful by the others who can’t at least be forgiving. In other words, women shouldn’t be seen just a mere bodies. They are persons with their own personalities.

  82. 83 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 15:23


    I am talking about the very same men too. Men do the same things women do. They are not above what you talk about. I have met men just like the women you describe in your reply to me. Please try and make an effort to learn more about your sex.

  83. 84 Lamii Kpargoi
    June 12, 2008 at 15:26

    @liz Your statements “Men should want their women to be experienced. Both men and women should practice with multiple partners before marrying. Otherwise their sex lives will be HORRIBLE and BORING and the relationship will be damaged.” is quite alarming. There are a lot of drawback from this kind of think, most alarming possibility of contracting STIs.

    What is the yardstick that a man or woman should use to determine whether they’ve gained a measure of experience from practicing with a sexual partner? I don’t think that this practice that you’ve referred to in anyway helps people in ensuring that their future relationships are not “HORRIBLE and BORING”.

    No one ultimately knows who his or her wife or husband will be, though people may have different ideals as to the profile of who they would like to have as a partner. But the point here is that in the finale you may end up been paired with someone who doesn’t value all the sexual practice you’ve had.

  84. 85 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 15:28

    @ Julie

    You’ve met male anorexics that starve themselves because they have low self esteem from their choices of women? Men that cut themselves because they have been hyper promiscuous? Men that contemplate killing themselves because they got laid last night? I don’t think so.

  85. 86 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 15:34


    It really goes to show what you know about your sex. I have met men just like you have described. Anerexia is on the rise with men, but I am sure this is the first you have heard of it. Yes, there are men just like you described to me in your response to me, but it has become glaringly apparent that you do not like women. You only describe them in the most derogatory fashion, and that men can do no wrong and are in all ways superior.

  86. 87 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 15:34

    As Steve said, the case is close. She committed fraud plain and simple. She misrepresented herself and allowed the man to enter the marriage under false pretenses.

    @ Selena:

    Her virginity was someone’s business. It was her husband’s business. It was obviously important to him and is held highly in his community. If you marry someone and then find out their a heroine addict, you might want to have the marriage annulled. Just because you have different values, it doesn’t mean that this guy can’t choose what qualities he wants in a wife.

    Now, to address the question in the title, absolutely not!! Marrying a virgin is like marrying a 10 year old girl. Her mind has not had the chance to be shaped by her own sexuality yet. Therefore, she is really not fit to decide if she should get married. I’ve seen this in traditional families many times (anecdotal, I know). The girl grows up all sweet and meets a boy who she dates and marries at 19 or 20. She thinks everything is going to be a fairy tale. She quickly finds out that everything is not a fairy tale, and starts to question whether or not she married the right guy. Two years later, she’s divorced. I call it The Jessica Simpson Syndrome. This situation applies to both men and women

    People need life experience, which includes sex, before they are capable of making the decision about who to marry. In fact, I would say that you should live with your mate for at least a year before getting married. That way you can work the kinks out and see if you should get married. In my experience the men and women who have been sheltered from everything tend to have really incomplete personalities. I’m not saying women should behave like those hags on sex and the city, but every woman should have some life experience.

  87. 88 Chicago
    June 12, 2008 at 15:44

    “Should a woman be a virgin when she marries?”

    Yes- If it is important to her, like it is for dear Lubna, than her virginity is a matter of respect for herself, her husband, and her religion. The concept of purity is that she is pure of heart in her beliefs and as a consequence of that belief she has remained a virgin. The same would hold true for men. If they are true in their religion and expect to be marrying someone with the same beliefs than they should both expect to be going to their marriage beds with virgins.

    However, if religious or social obligations do not dictate the ways you live your life than you should be as free to live your life as a sexual being in any way you choose- whether that means one or two or ten sexual partners. What matters is responsibility (say, like using a condom- especially if you live in NY, right Steve?) and honesty. An increasing number of people choose not to get married so the ‘no sex before marriage’ arguement should not apply.

    Like Pangolia said, sexual compatibility in marriage is absolutely a HUGE part of making the marriage work and last. The ‘work though it’ argument does not always work and often leads to sex outside the marriage.

    I would be interested to hear what people think is the greater sin- not being a virgin or adultery?

  88. 89 Walter
    June 12, 2008 at 15:47

    Hi WHYS,

    I’m not suprised that such a story is making headlines. What is suprising though is a man who has had sex with every Kim, Angella and Eve to expect a ‘fresh’ virgin for marriage at some point. I would honestly be mad to have thought or even expected my wife to have been a virgin when I first met met her! Any how, in Africa they even say an old broom sweeps better than a new one.

    Walter in K’la, Uganda

  89. 90 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 15:49

    @ Julie P

    If you read what I wrote, I said “promiscuous women”. Are you saying all women are promiscuous and therefore I must be referring to all women? And when does calling out someone’s issues means you “hate” them?

  90. 91 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 15:51

    Byaruhanga Nicholas said:

    “i would never want to marry a lady who is not a virgin ma self coz it makes me lose respect for her and i always think she can easily cheat on me with those she gave her virginity to. Ok steve its fraud i agree but i think the man shared ma views and felt the pain of taking a used sl*t”

    Is this the mindset that makes muslims require that their women are virgins? This is your own insecurity Byaruhanga. You’re worried that she’ll cheat on you because she’s been with someone else. The two things have no relation. If a man treats his wife well and takes care of her in the bedroom better than her previous men, then she would never have a reason to cheat on him. If he doesn’t do this, then she shouldn’t marry him. Unfortunately, when marrying a virgin, it’s not possible to find out what married life will be like.

  91. 92 Brett
    June 12, 2008 at 15:55

    @ Lamii:
    But should the rest of us have any problems with this way of life of theirs, especially when we put it in the context of deadly STIs like HIV/AIDS

    Great point, but the way of life of pre-marital sex is not solely to blame for HIV/AIDS (though sex is the largest player). There are plenty of needle users, transfusion patients, and cases of infidelity which contribute to the spread of STI’s like Hep and HIV/AIDS as well.

  92. 93 Colleen D
    June 12, 2008 at 15:57

    @ Nick

    I think your statements are too broad and one-sided. How can you define “life experience” that applies for all individuals? life experience may include world travel, education, etc but can you conclude that if a person hasnt had the opportunity to do these things in his/her life that he/she would not be a good mate? or can you conclude that if a person has done these things he/she definitely would be a better match? i dont think either scenario is conclusive…

  93. 94 Brett
    June 12, 2008 at 16:05

    So what happens with all the non-virgins? Are they not allowed to get married? lol Thats not very nice.

  94. 95 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 16:06


    The only derogatory examples you give relate only to women. I do not care if you in your mind you are going after a group that is okay to to write derogatorily about. I do not care which group of women you are writing about, it is extremely offensive. Your writing strongly implies these women are emationally crippled sluts, even if that is not what you think you are writing. Furthermore, men behave in the same way that women and because you cannot wrap your mind around it, it does not exist. You’re wrong on that note. Frankly, I find your writing to be incredibly sexist.

  95. 96 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 16:09


    The fact that society has made a woman’s virginity another person’s business does not make it true.

    I repeat: a woman’s virginity is not a man’s business.

    If a woman feel under pressure and lies, it is the fault of the society, which encourages such asinine expectations on the part of men.

    It is laughable to hear men who are not themselves virgins express the desire to “have a virgin”.

    Some of you guys are so easily manipulated where sex is concerned! 🙂

    The next debate has to be: should a man be a virgin when he marries?

  96. 97 Colleen D
    June 12, 2008 at 16:10

    Whether or not a person is a virgin is a superficial fact. You can’t judge a person’s character by simply knowing that fact. Understanding the individual and why/how he/she has made various decisions throughout life is what defines the person and is a better way to decide on potential compatibility. Having sex or not having sex isn’t the issue.

  97. 98 Lamii Kpargoi
    June 12, 2008 at 16:11


    I agree that there are alternative ways through which STIs are spread. But on the sex front I consider both fornication and adultery as one and the same. It’s people having sex in an immoral way, though I’m in no way questioning the actually morality of the issue.

  98. 99 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 16:13

    @ Julie

    You are free to your opinion, I’m just writing mine. Promiscuous women (not all women are promiscuos) are basketcases in ways that I know no men are due to their sexual habits. Again, show me any male that would consider killing themselves after having had sex. I believe it affects some women more than it affects men. If you cannot stand any type of criticism for a segment of the female population, then you’re going to have to learn that not everyone agrees with you and it isn’t sexism if they don’t. Don’t you think the muslims on here are offended when some say that women should be able to do whatever they want, have sex with whomever they want, and have it not held against them, and that no man should expect his wife to be a virgin? In their culture, virginity is prized, and if women aren’t having sex before marriage, then the men aren’t either. I’m sure muslims are offended by your views. Are you an islamophobe? See my point?

  99. 100 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 16:14

    @ Colleen D

    “Whether or not a person is a virgin is a superficial fact. You can’t judge a person’s character by simply knowing that fact. Understanding the individual and why/how he/she has made various decisions throughout life is what defines the person and is a better way to decide on potential compatibility. Having sex or not having sex isn’t the issue.”

    However lying about it IS the issue.

  100. 101 RIEN
    June 12, 2008 at 16:15

    Who cares?

  101. 102 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 16:16

    @ Selena

    You neglected to mention the other part of the double standard. That while some men insist in their wives to be virgins, women absolutely expect men to be sexually experienced. I know some male virgins, and if they are honest with women, and say they are virgins, they get nexted. The women say they want a guy who is experienced, and don’t want to have to teach him. They say that a real man cannot be a virgin. Hence, virginity is quite rare in the west. But this is another double standard. I challenege any male virgin to start dating and tell the woman he’s a virgin and report back on thether she thought that was a good thing. It’s a deal breaker for the vast majority of women.

  102. 103 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 16:20


    As for your questions posed to me in your recent reply, try to stay on topic. I do not answer questions to fallacies. Your questions are called begging the question and straw man, which appears to be your favorite method of debate.

    The group of women that you write about is subjective, any woman can fall into that group, which is “promiscuous” as you describe it. Your continued writing about women degrades all women. Even though you are incapable of accepting the FACT there are equally screwed up men over sex your responses to me sonfirms it.

  103. 104 Lamii Kpargoi
    June 12, 2008 at 16:21

    I agree with Steve’s categorization of some women as promiscuous. I definitely will not want to marry a woman that is the talk of the town because of her sexual benevolence! Sex is a serious thing. Treating it with nonchalance is wrong and should be frowned upon.

  104. 105 Lamii Kpargoi
    June 12, 2008 at 16:24

    I agree with Steve’s categorization of some women as promiscuous. I definitely will not want to marry a woman that is the talk of the town because of her sexual benevolence! Sex is a serious thing. Treating it with nonchalance is wrong and should be frowned upon. Let me quickly add that it is the rights of women to also reject men that also trivialize the sex act by their promiscuity.

  105. 106 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 16:25

    @ Julie

    Since when do you speak for all women? If you think that women who have sex with 20+ guys per year don’t have more issues than the male equivalent, I’ve got a bridge in brooklyn to sell you. There may be SOME men out there screwed up due to promiscuity, but not remotely the numbers as promiscuous women. Again, who made you the spokeswomen for all women? I’ve degraded all women becuase YOU don’t like what I wrote?

  106. 107 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 16:29

    Steve said:

    “Well, if we are going to discuss this, then it’s quit easy to point at that if you’re going to be having sex, that sex, especially promiscous sex, tends to make basket cases out of women, whereas men seem to be able to handle it. I’ve never met a promiscuous woman that had any sense of self esteem or self respect. They always have serious, serious, serious, frightening issues, whereas men aren’t affected the same way. Before I get attacked, I said promiscuous, you know the types of women that have sex with several different guys in a week, and have no idea the number of guys they’ve had sex with. Tends to live in cities.”

    Well, there are a few broad sweeping comments here, but on the whole, I will back you on this one Steve. In my experience, promiscuous women tend to be very unstable emotionally. They also tend to have been molested as children. They really tend to lack a sense of self worth.

    On the other hand, there tends to be far fewer men who have the same symptoms. Promiscuous men, still lack that sense of self worth, but they disguise it differently. They like to brag to all their friends about the girls they have slept with. They seem confident, but what they’re really saying is more like this: “See guys, girls like me, please pay attention to me and tell me I’m awesome”. The same underlying need for insecurities and need for recognition are still there, but they just handle it in different ways. I feel very sorry for both groups. Feeling insecure all the time would be a miserable way to live.

  107. 108 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 16:34


    I am not the only woman who has replied to your mysogonistic postings, who have confronted your blatant bias against women. Furthermore, there have been who posted their opinion on a topic that is the same as other women who have commented, yet the only people you “debate” with are the women. I defend women against sexism that gets perpetuated on the grounds of “harmless” debate.

  108. 109 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 16:35

    Colleen said:

    “@ Nick

    I think your statements are too broad and one-sided. How can you define “life experience” that applies for all individuals? life experience may include world travel, education, etc but can you conclude that if a person hasnt had the opportunity to do these things in his/her life that he/she would not be a good mate? or can you conclude that if a person has done these things he/she definitely would be a better match? i dont think either scenario is conclusive…”

    I’m concluding neither of these statements. I’m saying that two people don’t have the ability to choose each other as lifelong mates until they’ve had a chance to experience things together. Sex is one of those things. In a healthy relationship, sex is very important. It is a human need. I don’t believe that anyone should enter a marriage until they know what they like sexually, and know that their partner can provide that. Otherwise, both parties to the marriage will most likely find themselves very unsatisfied, and the marriage will end in divorce.

  109. June 12, 2008 at 16:37

    I don’t think focusing on women to be virgins is in any way chauvinistic because if women preserve their virginity and chastity, then there is no way men can be accused of promiscuity.

  110. 111 asif
    June 12, 2008 at 16:38

    dear angelia from washington,

    I’m a muslim and i live in peshawar pakistan. Now let me correct u and tell you that almost 99.99% of men in our societies dont have any kind of sex before marriage because most of us over here get marry earlier and Islam also stresses on get marry earlier. I live in muslim society and i know it better then you.you might be talking about few rich arab shaihkes, etc, who dont even make 0.0001% of the 2 billions muslims population. Thank you

  111. June 12, 2008 at 16:38

    Oh my Precious John in Germany, thanks a million for your extraordinarily kind words my good friend ! And to answer your question : YES, IT DOES MATTER ! Because after all, if he’s supposed to be my soul mate for life, the one whom dear Allah chose for me, then he must be my perfect match in everything, and that surely should include my thoughts, beliefs, and way of life… Wish you all the best in your life Inshallah my Precious John in Germany… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  112. 113 Ben te Molder
    June 12, 2008 at 16:38

    For me a woman does not have to be a virgin when marrying.
    Before she makes a definitive choice she (and he of course) should be careful as for venereal diseases and pregnancy. And when she aligns herself she should be honest about her past and doing her best to make the relationship work which might be hard work at times because even when there is abundant love there is plenty of opportunities for minunderstanding each other.
    I do not believe for one moment that after a partner is really chosen, it is okay to make love with someone else. And I think that making love ouside the relationship is the only straight argument for breaking up the relationship. Especially if there is no honest remorse.
    Of course there can be other reasons for breaking up a relationship. There are men who should never take a wife.
    And I see no reason why men and women should have different standards.
    Ben from Holland

  113. 114 Katharina in Ghent
    June 12, 2008 at 16:42

    @ Israel:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but just for your sake I’ll repeat it: I used to live just around the corner of the red light district in Ghent, and on the weekends the street was full with men of all ages, many (but by far not all) of them young arabian looking men. Now you’ll probably say that if those “professional females” kept their chastity too, then there would be no possibility and no outlet for all the men on this particular street. But then again, there would be a lot more highly frustrated guys who have to get rid off their energies in some other way, like binge drinking or beating each other up. I think these women are actually doing society a service, which is why you find them in every single society on this planet.

  114. 115 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 16:43



    I think you didn’t read my post fully. I personally have no desire to marry a virgin, and my wife was not a virgin when we were married. Yes, I agree that any society requiring virginity for religious reasons, is backwards. As noted, marrying a virgin in some areas (particularly Africa), does make sense because of the potential of contracting HIV.

    On the other hand, this man feels that this is important. Therefore, when entering a lifelong committment with this man while lying about who you are = fraud. I don’t care if his requirement was that she had 6 toes on her left foot. He gets to choose who he wants for his lifelong mate. Not you.

  115. 116 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 16:43

    @ O.K … Time out, my lovelies!

    We are having a debate and this is good.

    No one knows how many women and men are promiscuous. We are only taking wild guesses at it. And our guesses reflect our attitudes.

    However, it does seem to be widely accepted that men can have multiple partners and woman shouldn’t.

    in fact, in some quarters fathers encourage their boys to have sex with prostitutes before they marry. it is like a coming of age thing!

    And we mustn’t forget Britain’s Prince Charles! They scoured the kingdom for a virgin for him. We all know how that turned out!

    Some men have come a long way in the last thirty years. It is encouraging to listen to some of the men on this site. They have demonstrated wonderfully open minded attitudes. But some still seem wedded to the idea that that there should be different standards for women.

    If one reads the posts, there is no mistaking the wise men. That is what is good about WHYS.

    Let’s continue the debate and be mindful of the fact that women have a long way to go to achieve equity.

  116. 117 Rachel in Chicago
    June 12, 2008 at 16:46

    To Steve

    I have never heard of anyone who would shun a man for being a virgin. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV or wherever else you may have heard of this propaganda. It was probably perpetuated by men who didn’t want to appear as hypocrites for having sex before marriage but wanting to marry a virgin. Obviously it’s not first hand experience because you tone suggest that you yourself is not in this supposed “male virgin” category that has been “nexted” by women.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having sex before marriage or not having it before. It is your personal choice and not anyone else’s business. The fact that the woman lied about being a virgin makes me think that either she was insecure about her decision or that she felt external pressure to lie. She should be reprimanded for lying not for the lie that she told. Marriage is a partnership not a deal. You’re not selling a car you’re telling the world that you will spend the rest of your lives together.

  117. 118 Colleen D
    June 12, 2008 at 16:47

    @ Nick

    I do see your point and agree with much of it. But in your previous post that I was referring you did not say that. It included broad judgements on the decision-making capacity of all virgins. It also led to the conclusion that based on the existence of a given life experience, it necessarily follows that simply having that experience makes a person more fit to make a decision, specifically a decision regarding marriage. Having a certain experience is irrelevant if a person doesn;t grow or learn from it. And only by talking to an individual can you understand his/her perspectives and thought processes, and whether a certain experience or absence of a certain experience adds value to his/her character.

  118. 119 VictorK
    June 12, 2008 at 16:47

    Given a society in which women and men enjoy parity of esteem, and where women are as much in control of their lives as men are of theirs, it’s absurd to expect a woman be any more of a virgin on marriage than a man. She can be if that’s what she wants, but not as a matter of compulsion or societal expectation.

    In a society where women are not the equals of men, are still to some extent their property, and exist more as symbols of family honour than as independent and freely-choosing human beings, we can expect overbearing expectations of virgin brides and the practice of honour killings (usually of the woman – I suppose the man who ‘dishonoured’ her might fight back) for ‘shaming’ the family through extramarital sex, or even just the suspicion of such activity. I regard that kind of society as repressive, brutal, unpleasant, unprogressive and immature. But such societies exist, are well-established, aren’t going to go away anytime soon, and those of us who enjoy the privilege of coming from more enlightened cultures should be prepared to respect the right of less progressive societies to continue to exist on their own terms, however deplorable.

    By the way, I don’t see the slightest moral excellence in a woman who is a virgin on marriage out of fear that otherwise her male relatives would murder her.

    The key issue for me is not virginity but the superiority – and challenges – of a society in which men and women live and work together on the basis of equality of opportunity and equality of respect. Such a society will place as much value on virginity as it deserves, as a personal choice rather than a social obligation. The societies that obsess about virginity are marked by all the negative features previously mentioned. One can only hope that they evolve in the direction of greater freedom and responsibility for men and women.

    The connection between honour-killings, compulsory virginity, the inferior status of women, and Islam is so obvious that it’s perverse to dispute it.

    Re the French connection in all of this: the French should have seen to it that the standards of their civilisation prevailed, not those of Islam. Would a Frenchman have been able to annul his marriage because his wife had misled him on the point of her virginity? If not, then that should be the end of the matter. From a Western point of view Islam’s approach to this represents a lower standard than what we are used to, because it is predicated on the inferiority of women. Such a view should have no place in any society of the West.

  119. 120 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 16:47

    @ Julie P

    So anything that is remotely not positive about any woman, even a small minority, is sexism? I see. If you shout “somethingism” it means the discussion gets closed. Most of my posts have to do with the arab-israeli conflict, so I don’t see how I only debate with “women” as you claim.

  120. 121 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 16:49

    @ Nick:

    On tuesday I was talking with my friend’s girlfriend in a bar, and after only two drinks, she starts crying about how big of a “slut” she is becuase she had sex with 18 guys before she turned 21. We were talking about law school, and BLAM! That came out..

  121. June 12, 2008 at 16:50

    Only one comment on this one because as has been referenced it’s a head shaker, and also if there was some kind of prenup that she violated or similar binding agreement to her Imam then she’s guilty of fraud.

    But as for the larger question here I don’t see any but this premise: sex sells.

  122. 123 Chicago
    June 12, 2008 at 16:52

    Honestly though Steve…. while you are absolutely entitled to your opinions it is the way that you present them that is offensive and juvinille. I mean, since when do YOU speak for all women? As you said above ” women absolutely expect men to be sexually experienced.” That may be a prefernece for some women (just as it is for some men) it is certainly NOT true for all women. You’re arguements are overgeneralized and unsupported and I therefore must conclude that you do not wish to be taken seriously and are just here to he argumentative.

    I would like to know from everyone on both sides and all religions:

    What is the greater sin: Sex before marriage or adultery in marriage (often due to sexual non-compatability)?

  123. 124 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 16:52

    @ Selena,

    Who said that men shouldn’t be held to the same standards as women? I skimmed a few posts, but read most of them, and I haven’t seen anyone saying that men an women should be held to differents standards.

  124. June 12, 2008 at 16:56

    The worst thing that can happen to a woman in countries like Iraq and Jordan is when she is found not to be virgin or engaging in sex outside marriage. The killing of these women for family honour goes almost unpunished. This is being done because women in such societies are considered as whole properties or the symbol of their chastity. To humiliate a man in such countries is to have sex with his female relatives, especially daughters and sisters. Such women should be defended. Retrieving a “lost honour” shouldn’t be done at the expense of a woman’s life. At least the law should prevail. All of us are fallible. An act considered as wrong should not be corrected with a very wrong one.

    Sex is sex. Some men accept to marry a divorced or a widowed woman but refuse to marry one who isn’t virgin. It’s better to marry a woman who isn’t virgin but proves to be a good wife than to marry a virgin who later becomes unfaithful or keeping her love for another man she never had the chance to have sex with. Don’t they say, “Don’t commit adultery in your heart.”? Some women can be adulterous by keeping their love for another man and there is no physical evidence to find it out because it’s all in their hearts.

  125. 126 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 16:56


    I read you post and understand what you said. In terms of the idea of openness and transparency, you have a correct opinion.

    However, I tried to step outside the black and white concept of lying or not lying. There were obviously mitigating circumstances.

    What I mean to convey is: the woman seemed forced to lie (if she did) to keep her status in a society that puts value on such things.

    To say that she was wrong give credence to this requirement for women.

    Is something a lie, when what you are lying about shouldn’t be anyone else’s business?

    Perhaps this post is no more clear than the first one… sorry if it isn’t..

  126. 127 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 16:58

    Steve said:

    “On tuesday I was talking with my friend’s girlfriend in a bar, and after only two drinks, she starts crying about how big of a “slut” she is becuase she had sex with 18 guys before she turned 21. We were talking about law school, and BLAM! That came out..”

    I have seen this type of thing happen too many times to count. With me, it will start out with this situation, and then some guy I know will come over to me after she leaves and tell me he slept with her. I can tell he’s just looking for approval. From what I’ve seen, in the USA. this is how the two sexes handle this situation. It’s true, I haven’t taken a poll on this subject, but I certainly have observed this situation happen countless times. Too many times to ignore.

  127. 128 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 16:59


    Skim the posts again.

    They are all, almost without exception, written from the point of view of what the man wants or should have.

    I stand to be corrected. 🙂

  128. 129 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 17:00

    @ Selena

    She wasn’t “forced” to lie, she CHOSE to lie. She was living in France. I assure you most women are not virgins at marriage in France. Don’t make her out ot be some innocent little victim. She lied, and got caught, and her husband had the marriage annuled because she lied about something material to him. I know women that divorced their husbands becuase their husbands made a career change into lower paying fields. So things can be worse. In the future, don’t lie in inducing someone to marry you, and especially don’t hav CORRECTIVE SURGERY to make the lie more believable. This story is about fraud, nothing more.

  129. 130 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 17:01


    There have been other forums that involve issues involving women. You always site the same “examples” about women as your argument to support whichever topic it is. In one debate on a topic that involved women, after the debate had died down and people moved on, I read the comments that went up, which involved you and a couple of males. All that took place was women bashing.

  130. 131 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 17:02

    I was afraid I might have to do this, but some people don’t understand what the woman at issue did something wrong. Say there was a woman who wants to marry a virgin. She meets a man, who claims he’s a virgin, they get married, but she finds out he was lying and wasn’t a virgin. She annuls the marriage. Should she be allowed to do that?

  131. 132 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 17:04

    @ Julie P

    But the islam bashing is okay?

  132. June 12, 2008 at 17:06

    @ vanessa
    oh please if u tested the food in the kitchen before coming to table for dinner who knows you may easily sneak back into the kitchen to look for the missing spice u tested. so women who are not virgins at marriage easily cheat and i can never take u home if u r not a virgin.
    @ steve
    thank God my fiancee is in Africa not US

  133. 134 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 17:07

    Given that the woman can be shunned, ostracized, for having been sexually active before, has serious consequences for her, or anyone her position. I fully support her decision as it is a matter of survival. No one can survive in any society without interaction with others. In her case, she would lose all of her financial security, as it is more than likely a marriage of this type would leave her financially dependent on the male partner, and having been shunned, she would be unable to earn a living on her own. It is unfortunate that men in societies like that do not face the same consequences. The disparity of the treatment of the sexes is abhorrent.

  134. 135 Luz María Guzmán-Lozano from México
    June 12, 2008 at 17:08

    @ Will Rhodes
    I really liked your comment.

    A note about your comment about feminists’ lack of adequate response to this issue:

    I think sexual freedom for all women is one of the core ideals of feminism thinking. However, I also think is the most difficult to achieve. Sadly, women are always judged about our sexuality (if we are virgin, if we are not, if we get pregnant, if we don’t wan to get pregnant, if we achieve sexual pleasure easily, if we don’t achieve it, PMS, menopause, and a large etcetera) in every society from the beginning of times. And sadly, we are not only judged by men, but we judged each other (I try not to do this; however, it is not easy when you are taught that women sexuality is a matter of everyone to judge).

    I think is very difficult for us women to get rid of all this preconceptions. In my case it has been difficult because I come from a country that still is a patriarchal society and I was raised by conservative parents. However, I think I am lucky because I found a good partner that love me regardless of my “virginity status” and with the help of therapy I got rid of all the conservative preconceptions about sexuality that I was taught growing up. So… my hope is that some day every woman in every part of the world won’t be judged by the “status” of a membrane in her vagina.

  135. 136 Chicago
    June 12, 2008 at 17:09

    @ steve

    Will his life be threatened (like it is for many women) if it is revealed that he is not a virgin? It is not as clear cut as Fraud! End of arguement! I win! It may be that it was a lie for a life.

    Please also provide us with your evidence that “most women are not virgins at marriage in France.”

  136. 137 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 17:09

    Afraid to have to do what, Steve?

    I don’t think you understand what I am saying.

    So, once more with feeling…

    It is no one’s business if I am a virgin or if you are a virgin.

    You have no business to ask me; I have no business to ask you.

    If the law get involved, the law is an ass.

    Contracts that take this kind of garbage into consideration should not be a part of a civil society and should be banned.


  137. 138 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 17:10

    @ Byaruhanga

    I don’t really tend to agree with your belief that virgins don’t cheat. Maybe outside of the west, but in the west, people tend to get married when they’re tired of “dating”, which is the nice word for not being committed. They’ve been with plenty of people and are tired of it, whereas a virgin might realize you aren’t sexually compatible and will find him/herself surrounded by many other options, and could easily cheat if they wanted to. I don’t think virginity has any bearing on fidelity.

    Oh also, here in the west, “virginity” tends to mean “anything but….”, so you can still be very sexually active and still technically be a virgin here.

  138. 139 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 17:11

    @ Julie P

    Stop the personal attacks. You can disagree with me, but you don’t have to call me a child. Comments like that will not be published.

  139. 140 Katharina in Ghent
    June 12, 2008 at 17:11


    Whoa, I’ve been married for almost nine years and wasn’t a virgin when I met my husband, and yet I never cheated on him… I guess I missed out on something! Sorry but with that attitude I can never take YOU home!

  140. 141 Venessa
    June 12, 2008 at 17:11

    In the case of this woman I would say that she lied and therefore was a fraud. I do wonder though that if a woman does not have blood on the sheets does that automatically equate to her not being a virgin? The hymen can be broken prior to ever having sex. Also all women do not bleed the first time they have sex. It seems a bit archaic that blood on the sheets has to be the proof.

    I don’t agree with the notion that a woman should be a virgin before she marries. It is a personal choice typically predicated by religious beliefs. I can respect someone’s personal choice but I think the most important thing is to marry someone you genuinely love and trust.

  141. 142 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 17:12

    @ Selena

    Actually, that last post clarified your statement very well. Your foundation, that it is wrong for society to force this woman to lie about her virginity is spot on. It was also wrong for him to publicize her lack of virginity. However, her obligation was to her husband. It was not to society. She tried to enter a lifelong journey with this man under false pretenses, and that is wrong. If she made her decisions about how she will live, and society shuns her, then so be it. They were her decisions to make, so she can live with the consequenses. From a legal standpoint, steve said it best: She entered a “contract” and she failed to deliver. From a partnership standpoint, she lied to the person that she was supposed to spend the rest of her life with. She lied about something that was very important to him. If she had premarital sex with another man, and he doesn’t want to marry someone who has had sex with another man, then they are simply incompatible. She should have realized this before agreeing to the marriage.

  142. 143 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 17:15

    @ Chicago

    “Please also provide us with your evidence that “most women are not virgins at marriage in France.”

    I would also have a difficult time providing proof the sky is blue, but it still is. Think about it, France is vastly more liberal and sexually “open” than the US is. Are you suggesting that at least 50% of women are not virgins at marriage? I would say that the vast vast majority are not virgins, just like in the US. For the love of God, prostitution is even legal there. They show sex on TV. It’s a much more sexually open society, without all the shaming that happens in the US.

  143. 144 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 17:16

    @ Selena

    I don’t need to skim the posts again, now that I see the basis of that position. Yes, most of these requirements seem to be from the standpoint of men, but none of those men have said that they shouldn’t be held to the same standards. Just because fewer women require virginity, it doesn’t make these men hypocritical. It just means that women are apparently less interested in the subject. However, I once again agree with Steve. From what I’ve seen, women tend to require more sexual experience from a man.

  144. June 12, 2008 at 17:17

    There’s no reason why society should declare that anyone must remain a virgin until they marry (individuals may choose). Rules/taboos like this are usually promoted in societies where an elite (e.g. men) is able to suppress another group (e.g. women). Creating a stigma around losing virginity (or worse, making infidelity a crime) is just another weapon in keeping women in a state of suppression. Along with so many other rules such as not being allowed out of the house, preventing education. Religions are just an ideological cloak for the exploitation and is not the root cause. The motivations for this are obvious, power, status, money and sexual exploitation. It’s going to take a long time to unseat these elites because the stakes are high.

  145. June 12, 2008 at 17:18

    @ catharina

    lets make it clear that for women never resist the charm of their former boyfriends when it comes to be and hence better to be married a virgin and avoid longing for the sweet past. No i still cant take a none virgin home …..i dont want to start building fences around

  146. June 12, 2008 at 17:21

    @ vanessa
    but I think the most important thing is to marry someone you genuinely love and trust.

    oh please how do u expect trust in marriage when the girl has not been a virgin? she never trusted in herself and with those ones still around, she can go back to them some days spoiling the marriage.

  147. 148 Katharina in Ghent
    June 12, 2008 at 17:23


    Well… If a woman soooo misses her ex-lover (to call it brutally), why didn’t she marry him? For me, there were many good reasons why I married my husband and not any of my ex’s, and I can assure you, money was most definitely NOT an issue (rather the contrary, as it turned out). I don’t want to get too personal, but I think you should sort out your issues, why do you think that a woman would leave you the first chance she gets?

  148. 149 Shirley
    June 12, 2008 at 17:31

    Hello, Jan
    I didn’t realise that I had placed the issue of virginity in an either-or context. Actually, I’m not sure that I did. I mentioned virginity as part of the modesty with which religious people of certain religions conduct themselves as part of several practises that I defined as part of their religiously based conduct. I did indeed class that couple as being more focused on cultural propriety than religious values. For those that want to change their lifestyles, though, I think that Islamic law does offer a category of effective virginity. If that was the woman’s desire, I’m not so sure that the man was a good pick: anyone who declares the past sins of another in public is clearly ignoring the priority that Islam places on concealing the faults of others. His act in that regard was purely cultural and had nothing to do with religious values.

    Farooq Ahmad seems to have good intentions, but I am not sure of the reliability of his information. From my readings of the english translations of Mukhtasar al Quduri (text of jurisprudence for Hanafi school of though in Sunni Islam) and Ayatullah Sistani’s Taqwdih al Masa’il (same for Ayatullah Sistani in Shia Islam), it appears that the issue of inflicting punishment on adulterers is different from that of annuling the marriage of one who placed a condition on the virginity of the spouse. Witnesses are not necessary for the latter case, whereas they are requisite for the former; and there is no punishment specified in the latter case as there is in the former (keeping in mind that the situations in which people lose their virginity vary).

    Kudos @ Brett.

  149. 150 Julie P
    June 12, 2008 at 17:33


    The question that was posed to me was a fallacy. I would like to debate, but when the debate is laced with fallacies a debate cannot occur.

  150. 151 Jared
    June 12, 2008 at 17:50


    My wife and I are Christians. We were both virgins on our wedding night. Outside of a religious belief it might do the world a great bit of good to adopt abstinence before marriage. For this to work it must be mutual. The man and the wife must be virgins. It is a ridiculous double standard that some males hold over females. However, I am biased due to my religious beliefs. The woman was wrong to lie, but the man would have been a hypocrite if he was not a virgin before the wedding night.


  151. 152 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 17:57

    @ Jared

    There are all sorts of hypocritical things about life. What is worse, a non virgin male requiring his bride be a virgin, or a 4’10 woman requiring her husband be over 6’3? It’s a PREFERENCE.

  152. June 12, 2008 at 18:07

    It would be hypocritical to expect all women to meet some standards and not impose those standard on men.

  153. 154 Shirley
    June 12, 2008 at 18:09

    I’ve read <a href=https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/does-virginity-matter#comment-32652Abdelilla’s post and want to make a clarification. Islamic jurisprudence allows for the annulment of a marriage when a spouse is not a virgin *if* that was a condition of the marriage. Automatic annulment of a marriage can be achieved without setting a condition beforehand in the case of infertility or severe defect of certain reproductive organs, but it is not an automatic thing in the case of non-virginity.

  154. 155 Tommy C.
    June 12, 2008 at 18:09

    No, no, and no. This is once again religious rubbish!!! Let’s get out of the dark ages.

  155. 156 Helen (via email)
    June 12, 2008 at 18:12

    Marriage can be a really raw deal for the woman.It has occurred to me it was probably a man who decided a contract was needed to force both parties to remain together,which,by the fact ANYcontract exists implies,if there were free will&choice involved,one or both parties would be doing something different.A female being a virgin at marriage also forces a lifechanging decision,which IT IS.To satisfy the sex drive?NO MARRIAGE=NO SEX.WRONG:REASONS PRESSURES MOTIVATIONS.SEX IS NO REASON TO MARRY.

  156. 157 muriel
    June 12, 2008 at 18:12

    if she claimed she was a virgin and lied, it’s a lie. but if a husband lied about his wealth could a woman annul her marriage because he lied? you can’t have double standards. i personally think it’s barbaric to value a woman’s virginity but i don’t expect everyone to have my own views.

  157. 158 Peter Gizzi UK
    June 12, 2008 at 18:13

    Hi everybody,
    I’ve quickly scanned through the comments above. I feel if a woman has to be a virgin when she marries then so should the man. If she can prove he was not surely she is entitled to a divorce? Why is this argument so one sided? It is so middle ages.

  158. 159 Yani - Ottawa Ontario
    June 12, 2008 at 18:13

    Dear WHYS,
    This becomes a ruling issue if this young bride had agreed to the virginity terms, whether cultural or religious, written or assumed, then misled her husband to be.

    Marriage is a contract, and if one party is dishonest at the onset, the other party can protest and request an annulment.

    It needs only to be interpreted as a contractual issue and nothing more. The state needs to remain neutral in these matters.

  159. 160 Andrew
    June 12, 2008 at 18:14

    Celebration of the virgin bride:

    Look at the Flemish painter Breugel’s work where, hanging outside the window, is a bloodied sheet after nuptials for all to witness. Couples lay in bed for public to see. Considered normal in Renaissiance England and Christiandom.

    Nothing exotic. It was part of Western culture that was discarded.

  160. 161 John - Brussels
    June 12, 2008 at 18:14

    Well, if a woman has to be a virgin when she marries, than the man should be too. Pure equality of sexes

  161. 162 AB
    June 12, 2008 at 18:14

    It is wrong for a girl to lie about such things, but her choice of whether or not to stay a virgin should be her choice alone. Regardless of religion, in this day and age to force that restriction upon a female is becoming more and more archaic, as well as maintaining a double standard that allows a man to have as many partners as he pleases prior to being wed. Although it may have been part of the culture and may have been praised to be giving away a pure girl at wedding, if the girl chooses to give up her virginity in a safe manner, and with someone she feels safe with and trusts, she should not be looked down upon.

  162. 163 Eric
    June 12, 2008 at 18:15

    Wow – this really shows how fickle, feeble, and downright asinine religion makes people.

    Marriage should be the provence of the collective mental illnesses (aka religion) of those who would choose it.

    The state should deal with individuals and give no benefit or penalty to those who elect to be married in some fairy tale.

    Really, you have an imaginary friend in the sky that cares whether your hymen is broken or that you’ve mastubated?

    This conversation is precisely why the voice of faith should be separated from governance – it is nothing more than collective, elective mental illness.

    Hymen talk on public radio – REALLY!

    Eric Portland, OR

  163. 164 Venessa
    June 12, 2008 at 18:17


    It sounds more like fear of inadequacies. I am 100% committed to my husband and have had sexual partners in the past. I am with the person I want to be with. On our way to the office this morning we discussed this very topic. His opinion is that I have a past; we all do. He couldn’t expect me to “wait” for him. I was 29 when we got married. It is ridiculous to think that I would wait that long especially after having numerous relationships that lasted several years.

    I respect your preference to have a virgin to marry but I hope you hold yourself to the same standard. If you don’t I think you are quite hypocritical.

  164. 165 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 18:18

    It’s so bizarre to hear the differences in culture. Some of the clips from early on in the show say women will lie about being virgins from the “shame” of not being a virgin, whereas in the west, it’s shameful to be a virgin. Virgins are mocked, teased, etc.. There are even movies making fun of them “The 40 year old Virgin”… In the west, it’s pretty much a mark of shame.

  165. 166 Serina - Singapore
    June 12, 2008 at 18:19

    Of course there are different rules for men and women. And yes it is just a form of oppression against women.

    I just can’t understand the mentality of men and their families who consider a woman unworthy if they are not virgins. But quite frankly it is men from these cultures who go about wantonly and act disgracefully, as they dont want their women to be, but seem to think that their lascivious behaviour is perfectly acceptable.

    But the thing is… who are they hanging out with? If a woman is no good if she had sex with other men, then what does that say about the men who seek out and use those women for their own gratification.

    Perhaps it is time that if they seek purity in their women, then they themselves should set the example and keep their pants zipped.

  166. 167 Steve - USA
    June 12, 2008 at 18:20

    I don’t see the big deal. This was about a woman that lied, and took it as far as having surgery to decieve her husband. Do you think it’s good for spouses to lie to each other??? If she was prepared to lie about something important to her husband, and have surgery, what else do you think she might have done? There are plenty of men that don’t care if a woman is not a virgin. In fact, most men, especially in France, couldn’t care less. So why didn’t she marry one of them rather than lie?

  167. 168 janet
    June 12, 2008 at 18:20

    My blood boils at this question. Let’s discuss this instead: Should a MAN be a virgin when he marries?

    And please, let’s stop perpetuating the myth that all virgin women have intact hymens and bloody sheets the first time they has sex. It’s bloody ignorant (pun intended).

  168. 169 Sheri, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    June 12, 2008 at 18:20

    Being an American woman, this is a topic that I cannot understand. I was not raised to “get married”. I was raised to have an education and prosper for myself.

    I understand there are cultures out there that have this for women, but, to me, that is sad and degrading. I am sure that her “future husband” has been with many women.

    I hope all women around the world hold their heads high and know they are beautiful – virgin or not!

  169. 170 Ayodeji
    June 12, 2008 at 18:21

    Yes its nice to be a virgin before marriage cos that way you don’t have to worry about STD’S from either side. Also you don’t have much baggage. Plus I can tell you that I still shudder when I think of the woman my husband dated before he married me. Knowing they had intercourse is disgusting to me and I oftentimes can not bring myself to feel very sexy for him.

  170. 171 Tommy C.
    June 12, 2008 at 18:21

    “A gift from God”
    Give me a break, like I said let’s get out of the dark ages!

  171. 172 Andrew - Australia
    June 12, 2008 at 18:22

    It would appear that for marriage, in a number of cultures and to suit personal preferences, women should be virgins and men suitably experienced in sexual matters.

    In that case, where do these men gain their experience? Surely all the single, available girls are chaste and the married women are faithful and virtuous? Perhaps there are a permanent stock of loose women that make themselves available for the single men? But in these cultures wouldn’t sexually promiscuous women or prostitution be a socially and morally unacceptable?

    Some cultures want it both ways and without casting stones at one particular group, to any reasonably minded person this surely must be oppression of women in anyone’s language? Apparently not!

  172. 173 L. Walker
    June 12, 2008 at 18:22

    it’s nearly impossible to prove without a doubt that a woman is a virgin. there are many ways the hymen can be torn, from just exercise or using tampons.

    the whole concept of virginity being a gift (or a god given one) is moronic. if a man’s love for you and your worth is based solely on that single attribute, then i pity your shallow life and the people who surround you.

    if a woman has to be a virgin then men should be as well, as who would be de-virginizing (is that a word?) these women?
    oooh yes. it’s always the fault of the woman… so i put it to the men to stop having sex with women…!

    the concept of virginity is archaic and is an echo of when humanity was less educated and women were seen as property.
    wake up and welcome to the 21st century.

    as for the called who says it’s ‘god’s doing to give the gift of virginity to women’…. i roll my eyes at you.

  173. 174 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 18:24

    For the love of God people! This issue is about being honest! Some people have preferences. Can you imagine any other scenario where someone stated they wanted something in a partner, the partner lied about it, and you defend the liar? This could be about eye color, the desire to have children, income level, whatever. SHE LIED! That is all there is to it!

  174. 175 Chris
    June 12, 2008 at 18:24

    Just ignoring all the religioun and law for a while:

    We need to ask what the evolutionary advantage is in expecting a girl to still be a virgin before marriage. It’s quite clear that it insures that any children the man raises are in fact his own.

    That also explains why it’s irrelavant wether the man is still a virgin or not, there’s no advantage for the woman. This might seem a bit unfair and hypocritical, what sacrifice do men make then?

    They are getting married, making a permanent commitment to one woman promising her to help raise any children.

  175. June 12, 2008 at 18:26

    We are animals first and formost. Animals do not need the permission of god to have sex. It is an act that we are born to do and will do when we feel the urge to do it. So long as it is done safely.

  176. 177 Marcus W., Monrovia
    June 12, 2008 at 18:27

    I think the emphasis should be on how a woman behaves after marriage.
    A woman can be unfaithful after her ‘virgin’ wedding. Insistence on virginity is just a way of some men trying to treat women as commodities on the market.

  177. 178 Jake
    June 12, 2008 at 18:28

    For the woman to lie about her virginity is fraud. The problem is the egoistic reighn of men over women in the middle east. For a woman to be a virgin on her wedding night in my opinion is great, but is not of so much importance as there is put on it. But I wonder what about a man? If he is not a virgin on his wedding there is no problem at all. nobody says a thing! Now that is crazy!!!

  178. 179 Venessa
    June 12, 2008 at 18:28

    Again the sacredness of virginity relates to religion. If it’s your religious belief quit shoving it down everyone’s throat. Not everyone subscribes to such beliefs. Let’s be realistic here; sex is sex. A gift from God, I just shake my head at the archaic belief.

    Your guest that thinks the sexual education for men is important but not for women is a hypocrit!

  179. 180 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 18:30

    Byahuranga said:

    “oh please how do u expect trust in marriage when the girl has not been a virgin? she never trusted in herself and with those ones still around, she can go back to them some days spoiling the marriage.”

    How has a woman who has premarital sex not trusted herself? In my experience, the ones who have never had sex are the most likely to cheat because they are always wondering if there is something better out there. As Katharina said: she chose her husband instead of her ex’s. Why? Because she found qualities in her husband that exceeded the qualities in her ex’s. I trust that far more than I trust a virgin who has just been hoping I was compatible in the bedroom.

    @ Julie P

    You really are making personal attacks on Steve. He’s far from being a chauvinist. He is only telling you his observations from his countless experiences throughout his life. Since this would be a nearly impossible question to test scientifically because people would be unlikely to answer truthfully, this type of life experience test is all we have to rely on.

    I think I might help to clarify his point a bit though. 1) Sex and emotions are strongly related. That’s scientific fact, not debateable. 2) Men and women respond to some emotional stimuli differently. Also scientific fact. You’ll find my references in your Psychology 101 book from college. Therefore, for Steve to take these two facts and relate them to his real life experience and come to the conclusion that women and men react to sexual experiences differently is not false. He’s not claiming that this is always the case. He’s just saying that his observation has caused him to believe this way. My personal observations have led me to similar conclusions. I’m always willing to keep an open mind about each individual person, but in general, I’d say he’s right.

  180. June 12, 2008 at 18:31

    For anybody interested. I am now in the process of patenting an operation that will restore a man’s virginity.

    It is funny. Again another topic related to sex and we have 180 comments in 24 hours. ask what to do about Zimbabwe 3 days ago and there are 81 comments. That is why solving this problem is futile.

  181. 182 Micah Hamley
    June 12, 2008 at 18:32

    Why are you not asking “should men be virgins as well?” sounds like a double standard?

  182. 183 Venessa
    June 12, 2008 at 18:33

    We are animals; sex is a natural act for pro-creation. It can also be a pleasurable experience for humans as well as some other species. Humans are the only species that have sexual hang ups and have ideas that virginity is important.

  183. 184 Walt
    June 12, 2008 at 18:33

    Unfortunately, where religiously mandated sexual standards are prescribed and nature is proscribed, there will always be cunning, deceit, and a world of pain and regret—to say nothing of violence.

    To be fair, we humans are far from unique among primates and other animals, in practicing sexual politics, deceit and compromise, but as animals capable of reason, we should at least insure legal equality between adults without gratuitous judgement based on gender, orientation, or other facile differences.

    But then, cultural, and ultimately religious, biases—and privileges—continue to distort social and interpersonal relations. The (self-)righteous and paternalistic status quo is not likely to treat men and women justly or focus on real problems such as AIDS, sexual domination and assault, mutilation, any time soon.

    I believe the primary motivation for valuing virginity is rooted in primal property ‘rights’, and is primarily a tool for controlling females. As an equal rights enthusiast, I can’t subscribe to this belief any more than I could accept genital mutilation or sexual slavery. Time for us girls and boys to grow up and take personal responsibility.

  184. June 12, 2008 at 18:33

    A woman should be the same honest, loving and caring person she was before she got married…virginity is irrelevent.

  185. 186 Stephanie
    June 12, 2008 at 18:33

    This is the most sexist discussion I have ever heard. What anybody does with their body is private and it’s nobody’s business. Not your husbands, certainly not your in-laws. It’s not fair. It’s not equal. It just doesn’t help society in any way. Why is it OK to tell people what to do with private lives?

    I don’t understand why some cultures are so obsessed with control and sex, but it’s disgusting and it’s wrong. People should live their lives, be happy, and try to leave the world better than when they found it. People shouldn’t care about a private BODILY FUNCTION. Sexism, it’s like racism against women and for some reason it’s acceptable to most of you.

  186. 187 Chris - California
    June 12, 2008 at 18:34

    I’m a 50-yr-old male living in California. (From a western perspective) I believe the more a woman knows about herself sexually, the greater the chance a couple has for a satisfying sex life. I understand that some people have religious and other reasons for demanding a woman be a virgin before marrying, but I bet all those rules were originally dictated by men.

  187. 188 ridwaan
    June 12, 2008 at 18:34

    As a young muslim with a western education I believe it is absolutely essential for a woman to only have intercouse with her husband. And in islam and most other religions the law is the same for a man. Morality is on the decline in todays society and this is the issue we urgently need to address.

  188. 189 Luz - Monterrey, México
    June 12, 2008 at 18:35

    The whole concept of the “obligation” of virginity before marriage vulnerates the right of women to decide on their own sexuality.

    I think sexual freedom for all women is one of the core ideals of feminism thinking. However, I also think is the most difficult to achieve. Sadly, women are always judged about our sexuality (if we are virgin, if we are not, if we get pregnant, if we don?t wan to get pregnant, if we achieve sexual pleasure easily, if we don?t achieve it, PMS, menopause, and a large etcetera) in every society from the beginning of times. And sadly, we are not only judged by men, but we judged each other (I try not to do this; however, it is not easy when you are taught that women sexuality is a matter of everyone to judge).

  189. 190 Hethr USA
    June 12, 2008 at 18:35

    Marriage should be about more than sex. People should marry because they love one another, not because they want to have sex! Friendship is most important in marriage

  190. 191 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 18:35

    PS: YOu can not restore virginity. You can create the appearance of virginity, but she will still not be a virgin. It’s done for deceptive purposes. Should any society be encouraging dishonesty to such levels that someone would have surgery to hide the truth?

  191. 192 Scott Millar
    June 12, 2008 at 18:36

    Saves herself? From what? A women is not a creature awaiting defilement. Who is irretrievably and irrevocably different after sex. If a women wants virginity let her have it, but don’t dare require it. Is this the simplicity and superficiality with which women are to be judged? To be casually discarded like rotten milk or bruised tomatoes.

    Disease. Were all diseased. Sickness is everywhere. It’s in the heads of people too. You ride in a car and accept the risk. People live in filth and they die in dirt. Their mouths can also utter garbage into this bacteria filled planet.

  192. 193 karim shiraz
    June 12, 2008 at 18:37

    I think being a virgin for women has its root in evolution of the human race and it is not restricted to specific system of thinking. and women are expected to be virgin far before than the coming of islam. I think it is still important in non muslem people

  193. 194 angela
    June 12, 2008 at 18:37

    Alot of the responses on this page mentions the terms of ‘love’, ‘sexual compatbility’, ‘health’ and ‘disease’. To expect a woman in this day and age to be a virgin until their marriage is stupid because the truth is that very few are. Yet does being a virgin outweigh the importance of being the right person for your spouse?

    Having said that, I do agree with the point that both men and women should be virgins until the day of marriage. Women should not bear the onus of this alone.

    To love another requires one to be able to love themselves first. If one loves themselves, will they subject themselves to the unnecessary risks that comes along with premarital or unsafe sex? It is beyond the interests of religion, archaic beliefs and cultures but it is to do with self-love, health and confidence.

  194. June 12, 2008 at 18:37

    It was mentioned on the show that there ARE male prostitutes out there. While I was not a *paid* male prostitute, I WAS a male consort for 25 years. I had sex with far too many women and it is my personal belief that virginity is something that should be held until marriage by BOTH male and female.

    What disturbs me is the horrid way women are treated by Islam over the topic of virginity while males are allowed total sexual freedom – even to the extreme in the topic of sex.


  195. June 12, 2008 at 18:38

    Did the guest just say, encourage people to marry younger. Is he aware of the statistics of marriage success of people who get married before the age of 30?

    So if virginity of marriage is important, how marrying women who are divorced? is it important that tey be virgins too?

  196. 197 Jason - Canada
    June 12, 2008 at 18:39

    If men want to marry a virgin then they should hold themselves and their sons and their buddies to the same standard.
    And to all those people that say ‘it’s impossible to find any virgins in North America today’, I’m a 27 year-old non-Muslim straight maile virgin whose had many relationships and leads a ‘cool’ and happy lifestyle. It’s hard, especially in North American society, but I look forward to my wedding night, and think the promiscuity that goes on in society causes so many problems. People are far too focussed on their sexual nature.

  197. 198 Konrad-Allan in Montego Bay, Jamaica
    June 12, 2008 at 18:39

    I do not think a woman being a virgin is at the top of the list of the most important characteristics I would look for when choosing a bride. I think there is more than a subtle difference between a woman not being a virgin and a woman being promiscuous, no man wants to marry a formerly promiscuous woman. I totally understand why women would have these surgical operations especially in certain cultures, however I do not agree with this, are these operations even safe?

  198. 199 Josh Blakeley
    June 12, 2008 at 18:40

    I think it’s your own business if you want to retain your virginity or not. It’s your body and it’s your right to do with it as you want, but there is also a level of responsibility involved. If you live in a society that requires virginity for marriage, you must take that into consideration. If you want to have sex, by all means go ahead, but you must also realize that there are consequences for your actions. Men should be held in the same regards. I do look down on people who are promiscuous because they don’t have any respect for themselves. There is a level of fraud involved because of the lie. If she had been honest and truthful from the beginning, this never would have come to be.

  199. 200 Peter
    June 12, 2008 at 18:40

    virgins is not a must but if sex is not scared and indulge in for fun is like eating like a glutton will bound to have bad effect. not many marriage last when sex is for fun. that apples to men. my sons has been told.

  200. 201 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 18:41

    @ Bull

    Given all the angry, angry protests I’ve seen in countries like Pakistan, I’m willing to bet those men are not having total freedom to have sex. I think in these countries if women don’t have sex, the men don’t have sex, hence the sexual frustration you can see while they burn flags and effigies of people… That’s exual frustration… Remember, if women are virgins until marriage, then who can the men have sex with? Especially in countries where there are more men than women.

  201. 202 Andrew in Lyndhurst, Ohio
    June 12, 2008 at 18:41

    Everyone sets out qualities that they look for in a potential mate.
    Some men want their wives to be beautiful, smart, homebodies and/or virgins. Some women want their men to be rich, handsome, successful, powerful and/or sexually experienced. If women want their husbands to be virgins, they should be able to demand that of a mate, just as a man has the right to demand the same of his future wife.

  202. 203 Venessa
    June 12, 2008 at 18:41


    You are spot on; you can’t restore virginity. Once the deed is done you can’t take it back.

    I feel sorry for the girls that live in such an oppressive environment. This double standard disgusts me.

  203. 204 emily
    June 12, 2008 at 18:41

    this issue is at the very heart of the worldwide oppressive patriarchy. basically, men must lock up and control womens’ wombs in order to ensure the continuance of his genes into the next generation, where as women have no such doubt.

    the extent of restoring one’s hymen with surgery because one is afraid of physical harm or social exile is an exemplary paragon of the hegemonic violent totalitarian control the patriarchy has not only imposed on the very development of womens’ visions of themselves, in this case as baby-making machines.

    take a cue from the animal kingdom maybe… wear some pretty feathers or see who can throw your poop the farthest

    it would cause less suffering.

  204. 205 Serina - Singapore
    June 12, 2008 at 18:42

    So your guest is saying that virginity is God given, but some promiscuous or wanton man can deserve this God given gift of purity.

    That kind of thinking is quite simply ignorant in the extreme.

  205. 206 Helen (via email)
    June 12, 2008 at 18:42

    And so much bigger in reality,life and society,I don’t see why there is this strange obsession with a little flap of skin in a woman’s vaginal canal.

  206. 207 Solomon - Utah
    June 12, 2008 at 18:43

    Strongly tied to the sacred, private parts of the body are powerful emotions intended to be used within the covenant of marriage between a man and woman in ways that are appropriate and acceptable to them. Both have the need to respect their bodies and to avoid any intimate relation outside of marriage. In doing so, men and women would not have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases. What a concept for all of us and this is something that would make us stronger.

  207. 208 Ashi in New Jersey
    June 12, 2008 at 18:43

    What difference does being a virgin make in a person? It does not change their character or their morality. Also i have a few friends who got married young in order to have sex, and 4 out of 5 of them have broken marriages. This is 2008, we are no longer getting married in our teens. Being a virgin or not makes no difference in a person. Demanding a woman to be a virgin is just another way for a man to try and have power over the female gender.

  208. 209 Mike
    June 12, 2008 at 18:44

    With regard to the conversation on whether a woman should be a virgin at the time of being married, I say that it is desirable. As a man, I would always wonder my wife’s past lover, in terms of competition in the marriage bed. Also, considering the divorce rate, I might be concerned about sexaully transmitted diseases, which can surface a year or more later. Further still, the medical operation that you’ve just discussed, is simply a superficial act. Being a true ‘virgin’ is one of the heart, as well as the body. You brought up (and correctly) what about the male? I agree. They should. I think the woman would appreciate being her husband’s first genuine, love. Of course, people are going to do what ever they like, but those are my opinions.


    49 years old and still a virgin.

  209. 210 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 18:44

    @ Helen

    It’s called “preferences” there are no shortage of women that have height and income requirements for men. If they are allowed to have those, then if a man wants a virgin bride, why not? He just reduces his pool of potential women.

  210. 211 Elsa
    June 12, 2008 at 18:44

    The idea that woman should be virgins until marriage is the type of belief which encourages society to treat woman as a sexual object. Why should a woman be soley judged on her sexuality? Sexual behavior is an individual decision.


  211. 212 Ben Mokaya
    June 12, 2008 at 18:45

    Hello everyone,
    Why are are we discussing this.Here is my point, people are raise differently depending on one’s own culture. Some cultures dictate that women remain virgins until marriage. Look at the households in the US, teenage single motherhood is rampat in the non muslim house holds.Take pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran for instance, any teenage motherhood?. In Kiswahili, (muaja mila ni mtumwa) for he who discards his culture is a slave. It’s ok in the west to sleep around, and it;s not in other parts of the world. So, what is the discussion about. The point is do what you’re raise to do.

    It’s like circumcision, it’s practised in some cultures and notin others, also depending on where one originates.

    Thanks for the lively discussion.

  212. 213 Eric
    June 12, 2008 at 18:46

    Anyone stupid enough to care about this deserves the idiotic discourse these ‘religious leaders’ are spewing.

    This is a clear double standard – women are judged by men, men are judged by the easter bunny or some other imaginary friend.

    It’s amazing how literally morally and intellectually bankrupt Islam really is. You’ve equalled the christians already and your religion was only made up a thousand years or so.

    The christians have been cooking their massive vat of stupid for at least twice that long!

  213. 214 Ben listening on KALW
    June 12, 2008 at 18:46

    If you marry for love, you are marrying a person BECAUSE of who they are, including the sum total of their life experience.

    If marriage is not based on love it seems more complicated.

    In any case, what seems at issue is the difference between modern lives and traditional mores. We get married later, we live more independently, we live longer.

  214. 215 Kel - via KALW
    June 12, 2008 at 18:47

    Women have often been seen as receptacles. A woman who is no longer a virgin is seen as having a seal broken.
    Used or damaged goods. Men do not have this sort of association.
    To put it crudely, a stick is easier to clean than a hole.

  215. 216 Ben Mokaya
    June 12, 2008 at 18:47

    Hello everyone,

    Why are we even discussing this. Here is my point, people are raised differently depending on one’s own culture. Some cultures dictate that women remain virgins until marriage. Look at the households in the US, teenage single motherhood is rampant. In non- muslim house holds, take pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran for instance, any teenage motherhood?. In Kiswahili, (muaja mila ni mtumwa) for he who discards his culture is a slave. It’s ok in the west to sleep around as a teenager and it’s not in other parts of the world. So, what is the discussion about. The point is do what you’re raised to do.

    It’s like circumcision, it’s practised in some cultures and notin others, also depending on where one originates.

    Thanks for the lively discussion.

  216. 217 Stuart - Dublin
    June 12, 2008 at 18:48

    The bias towards the necessity of female virginity is indicative of the male desire to control female sexuality. This is because men are basically afraid of female sexual freedom in the same sense that organised religions are afraid of freedom of thought.

  217. 218 Helen (via email)
    June 12, 2008 at 18:49

    If I was the husband I would be more concerned I married a liar. But if irrational social abnormal NORMS forces one to lie or conceal natural and hormone driven behavior…the brutal cultural realities weigh far heavier on the side of EVIL than,gasp,the fact that an unmarried woman got laid.Sick societies have social ills.Inequality always works in favor of only ONE side,and it is always the side that is the best at bullying and brutality.”whoever yells loudest and longest wins”.SAD FACT.

    Unless ,of course,since THE HUSBAND,the male involved,has the power and SOCIAL”RIGHT” to make a big deal out of it.And he is the judge and jury in socities that support this,it is not only about that little flap of skin,it is also about his penis.Unfortunately,in plain language and without the voodoo of God mystique and social pressures,this subject is not important and it is well over the line of the absurd,not merely verging on it.

  218. 219 karim shiraz
    June 12, 2008 at 18:50

    expecting a girl to be a virgin has been engraved into mankindes thinking system for millions of years of evolution.
    I think being a virgin for a girl is a proof of fertility, so it is important, and makes a virgin girl more suitable for marriage.

  219. 220 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 18:51

    Stephanie said:

    “Why is it OK to tell people what to do with private lives?”

    This is absolutely his business because he is a now a member of her private life. This is very simple. The husband thinks virginity is important, she lied about this and married him. She lied to him. That’s all. Maybe she required that he was rich. Maybe she required that he was a muslim. If she married him because he said he was a rich muslim and then found out that he wasn’t either of these, then she has a right to have the marriage annulled. I’m not saying it’s right for him to value virginity. I’ve already made my stance on that. I wouldn’t ever marry a virgin.

  220. 221 Bethwel - Kenyan student in Bucharest, Romania
    June 12, 2008 at 18:51

    It is very important for a women to be virgin when she marries. It has become clear that majority of women who marry when they are virgin have successful families while those who marry when they have already broken their virginity end up in divorce or broken families.

  221. 222 Alan - Singapore
    June 12, 2008 at 18:52

    The doctor who said Arab women are encouraged to remain virgins forgot to mention that they also indulge in anal sex – so they can pretend to be completely innocent on their wedding nights. People everywhere are such abominable hypocrits.

    Married or single, sex is wonderful and healthy provided it is done responsibly. I cannot understand why virginity is such a big deal. Those who repress their sexual feelings suffer all kinds of psychological and other social problems. Perhaps that is also one of the reasons there is so much violence in the world?

  222. 223 Ja
    June 12, 2008 at 18:52

    The real place this comes from is the man’s need to be the best, concur; a man’s ego is the catalyst. A man’s wants are dictating what a woman should be, we all the same in God’s eyes, if you love someone the rest does not matter. I would go as far to say that these guidelines in holy books and belief’s were most likely written by men, in a view that they wanted their ideals to reflect. Insecurities of a man’s ego, again, are forcing a standard and perspective on woman.

  223. 224 Eric
    June 12, 2008 at 18:52

    Why do reasonable people listen to religious folks any more?

    “There are men who remain chaste…”

    From a kid that has made it to the ripe old age of 18?

    Spare me.

    There are unicorns too, correct?

  224. 225 Jessica-NY
    June 12, 2008 at 18:52

    This is the beauty of free will and choice. I do not think a woman should HAVE TO be a virgin. However, both women and men should remain virgins until marriage, if they wish. So women, if you are required to be a virgin by your religion or culture, then you should demand the same of men.

    @Steve, I cannot believe you are using something from the NY Post (aka tabloid) validate your “findings”. Might as well listen to your dog, because it offered more quality and factually correct information.

  225. 226 Blake in Portland, Oregon
    June 12, 2008 at 18:53

    I am truly grateful and feel blessed that my wife was knowledgeable and experienced on our wedding night. It has proved to enhance and intimate life and our experience has allowed us to look at sex, as well as many other aspects of our lives, with adult eyes, not the eyes of a child.

    Why is it so unreasonable to assume that a child should gain experience in the world. After all, wouldn’t it be better to marry a woman who was an experienced cook, could balance a checkbook, or even have experience in a career. Why should intimacy be any different.

  226. 227 Leander - Portland, OR USA
    June 12, 2008 at 18:53

    At the risk of sounding like a morally bankrupt American, I must say that it is unreasonable to expect everyone to cherish his or her virginity. There will always be some who do, and if they are lucky enough to navigate childhood and adolescence without encountering rape of any kind, they may find that being a virgin on their wedding night deepens their feelings of closeness and trust. However, many people will not find that the first person that they choose as an intimate partner will be right for them. They may desire to be with a couple or several or many people before finding the correct person for them. In this case, the standard of virginity can only cause guilt. And the only reason for causing such guilt is a partner’s cowardly manipulation and control.

  227. 228 Paul
    June 12, 2008 at 18:54

    Virginity is like this ancient male fantasy, just like being carried off by a tall dark stranger is a female fantasy.
    It’s a totally dated concept giving men (in the name of religion) un-concented control over a person’s development.
    Sex is a big part of a marriages’ harmony, and if men were a little more sexually educated there would be no need for these immature pre conditions like virginity.

  228. 229 debra - austin, tx, usa
    June 12, 2008 at 18:54

    Sex is an important part of marriage- what if you marry before having sex and find you have no sexual chemisty? Are you supposed to live the rest of your life having bad sex or is okay to get a divorce?

    As an aside, reconstructive surgery seems ridiculous to me- sometimes the hymen can be broken through other means (tampons, masturbation, etc)- so a broken hymen doesn’t necessarily mean one isn’t a virgin.

  229. 230 Tom D - Oregon, USA
    June 12, 2008 at 18:54

    This is another good argument for rejecting religions. All of the worlds religions were developed in the times of pharoahs, kings, emperors, and that ilk, when women and children were considered property, to be mistreated and disposed of without regard for their human rights. Now that we are in the times of Democracies and consequently human rghts, religions ought to be outright rejected or at least forced to revise to reflect our enlightened times.

    All religions were created to oppress humans, to make them subjects under rulers, and so all religions are unsuitable for democracies, wherein people rule themselves!

  230. 231 Dr Katme - London
    June 12, 2008 at 18:55

    In Islam,it is important to be honest and for both man and woman and to admit if any one has had any sexual relation before,and before marriage.
    Any one who has committed adultery,is advisable to marry the adulterer or an adulterer
    Some men are happy to marry women who are not virgin…as long there is honesty.

  231. 232 Chris
    June 12, 2008 at 18:55

    How many young men are victims of ‘honor killings’? How does this compare to the number of women murdered by their families for “insulting the family honor” by losing their virginity? Why is it that women are almost always the victims, and how do your panelists reconcile this with Q’uranic teaching?

  232. 233 tyler from ohio
    June 12, 2008 at 18:56

    Sex does not “just happen” as was just stated. People need to take responsibility. Once again the argument boils down to this simple fact. There are many things a person can do to try to avoid potential sexual situations such as group dating or setting limits which are openly discussed.

  233. 234 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 18:56

    @ Jessica

    Is this better?


    Gonna knock the NY Times now? 26% of newyorkers have herpes. Valtrex sales must be really darn good there!

  234. 235 Bo - Canada
    June 12, 2008 at 18:56

    The french bride in this story lost all respect when she lied to her husband. It is the lie that brings the shame, not the pre-marital sex.

  235. 236 Listener
    June 12, 2008 at 18:57

    I think that is good if you could, just like that you want a gift which is brand new, not used.

  236. 237 Prince Awele Odor - Lagos, Nigeria
    June 12, 2008 at 18:57

    Women should be virgin until they marry because their dignity and honour are more at risk of loss from failed relationship than those of men are, they are more prone to viral infection or STD than men are, men can get married at any age but not women, women have their movement, comfort and convenience interfered with and their lives at risk after sexual intercourse, owing to pregnancy and children bearing, and women suffer inability to become pregnant after a certain age but man can pregnant a woman at any age. The last means that self-fulfilment can be impaired with women but not with men.

  237. 238 Lila Lee
    June 12, 2008 at 18:57

    I am disturbed that this issue is an issue in this day and age. It is a sign that there has been little or no evolvement in society in terms of equality and respect to the human condition.

    This is not an issue of religion or culture or morals. This is an issue of ownership. If a woman is so pressured to be a virgin, so much so that they will shunned by society if not, it is because she is seen as property of men. She is not to be have her own autonomy, but belong to the man she marries and therefore cannot have been stained before purchase (marraige). It is like returning a faulty object, when a man decides to annul a marraige based on learning of his wife not being a virgin.

    It is not an issue of trust as some Muslims say, it is the issue of ownership, an extension of slavery.

    And it is a shame on society that this has caused women to have to get an operation to lie about their own sexuality.

  238. 239 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 18:58

    Do you think it would discourage premarital sex if women could only wear white on their wedding if they were a virgin? And if men tradiotionally wore white dresses on their weddings too, then this should apply to men, but they haven’t.

  239. 240 Allison
    June 12, 2008 at 18:58

    This is a horribly offensive topic.

    Women’s chastity as a value is archaic and misogynist. The only societies that ever developed the notion were those societies that have a concept of inherited wealth – once a man had wealth to bequeath to his son, he wanted to make sure it was his son. It has nothing to do with morality, purity, loyalty, or even religion. It underlies a belief that a woman’s sole purpose is to be the vessel of a man’s seed.

    My body is mine – not my father’s, not a future husband’s and I will do with it what I choose.

  240. 241 Eric
    June 12, 2008 at 19:00


    Finally some logic!

  241. 242 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 19:03

    Steve and Andrew are right about this case. This is about preferences, plain and simple. Women have them and men have them. Yes, they have different preferences. Although I don’t share this man’s preferences, I will definitely defend his right to have them. If he was misled, then he has every right to an anullment. Period!

  242. 243 Katharina in Ghent
    June 12, 2008 at 19:03

    @ Steve:

    Now here’s a really good one! My friend in Vienna, a very religious Catholic, who had dated her boyfriend (# 2! Shocking!) for 4 years before getting married, did not have sex with him for the last four weeks before the wedding… Maybe she thought it would grow back? In any case, she wore white, a real Princess Diana dress, and she was a lovely bride, virgin or not.

  243. 244 Will Rhodes
    June 12, 2008 at 19:03

    @ Allison

    Well said, I applaud you!

  244. June 12, 2008 at 19:05

    you are equating virginity with innocence and inexperience in other areas.
    And, honestly, I have seen those people who are quite promiscuous and worldly have the same issues.
    Their problem is not virginity.
    BTW., stats show that people who cohabitate before marriage are more likely to divorce than their non-cohabitating counterparts.

    you wrote:
    If a woman feel under pressure and lies, it is the fault of the society, which encourages such asinine expectations on the part of men.

    Way to go, you have just absolved her responsibility to be honest with her mate.
    No, it is her fault for lying.
    Plain and simple. She lied. I said it before. SHe must have been ashamed of her sexual experience, did not have enough control to choose what is right and lied about it.
    Now, before I get hatemail:
    She obviously was ashamed of her sexual experience and she, herself, thought it wrong to engage in such an act.

    You wrote:
    Contracts that take this kind of garbage into consideration should not be a part of a civil society and should be banned.
    If you are not effected, what matters if other people find virginity important?
    Afterall, the men and women both sign the contract.
    If she has a problem with it – she shouldn’t sign.

    Colleen D.:
    You wrote:
    Whether or not a person is a virgin is a superficial fact. You can’t judge a person’s character by simply knowing that fact. Understanding the individual and why/how he/she has made various decisions throughout life is what defines the person and is a better way to decide on potential compatibility.

    The decision “to have sex” and who to have it with is a big one. So, adhering to your philosophy, the loss of virginity is important and (if it was by choice) does say something about one’s values.

    If he dated me, you would not receive your assumed response!
    I don’t want a promiscuous man, just as men don’t want promiscuous women.

    I read the article about the American woman who was a 27yo virgin.
    The thing that struck me in this article is that:
    She was not proud of her status.

    Virginity is not a millstone.
    If you are going to save your body, then, do it with pride and respect.
    People are posteig as if all women want to follow their male counterparts into the world of promiscuity, yet are restrained by these men and/or societal or religious norms.
    The fact is that:
    some women are proud to be virgins and want to wait.
    That is commendable, not naive or simplistic.

  245. 246 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 19:06

    @ Allison

    Well done!

    Thank you for putting it simply!

  246. 247 viola anderson
    June 12, 2008 at 19:08

    @Prince Owele Odor:

    If women are more prone to STD’s than men are, where do women get STD’s? No. It is just that the protection of men from STD’s is considered more important.

  247. 248 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 19:11

    Alison said:

    “My body is mine – not my father’s, not a future husband’s and I will do with it what I choose.”

    I agree 100%. Now this woman’s situation was different. She lied to her husband. She lied about something that he valued. The fact that he did not want to marry a non-virgin makes them incompatible. She deceived him in order to get married. That’s the situation. If you cheated on a husband, then you were doing with your body what you choose, but it’s your husband’s right to leave you as well.

  248. June 12, 2008 at 19:11

    Although girls and women in Muslim societies try to keep their virginity till marriage, many of them engage in sex in one way or another. Virginity is important not only for the woman but for her family. A woman losing her virginity is a dishonour to her family. For them, she can have sex with anyone. She can even be described as a whore. The catastrophe for her family is when she falls pregnant. This means, besides being a disgrace to them, she has little chances of getting married. There were cases of unmarried women who died attempting abortions through traditional methods or at the hands of unskilled doctors as there are cases of women who abandoned and even killed their new born babies because of having them out of wedlock or from an unknown father.
    It is still an insult to ask an unmarried woman if she is still virgin. Because this means describing her as being morally loose.

    It is just the mentality that decides the attitude. In UK, Edward VIII, only months (in 1936)into his reign, forced a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. He had to abdicate to marry her. In the 21st century, it has become normal for royalties to marry divorced women. Prince Charles married Camilla ( in 2005). In Spain, Crown Prince Felipe married Letizia, a divorced journalist. In the West, it took a long time to accept to see a woman for what she is. How long will it take traditional societies to be at least forgiving towards women who lost their virginity before marriage?

  249. 250 Matt
    June 12, 2008 at 19:14

    What an absurd discussion. People are animals. Animals have sex. It is instinctual and completely natural. Morality in this area is a fabrication and a bizzare distortion of man/womans true nature. People are SO uptight and afraid of the reality of their true nature. If it were not their true nature they would not need moral codes and laws to supress it.

  250. 251 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 19:15


    Of course, she was ashamed of her sexual experience. And we know why she was ashamed. Being ashamed is not the issue. The issue is the nature of a civil society that expects something different from her than it does her husband.

    What choices did she have in her group? Others here have made her case as to why she would lie. I won’t repeat it.

    It is not even a question of honesty. It is a question of being made to feel so deeply ashamed that she couldn’t bear to be further ostracized.

    See Allison’s post.

  251. 252 Paul
    June 12, 2008 at 19:16

    People lie out of fear, the deeper question would be : what was her fear ?
    The loops and hoops people go through to be more righteous then their peers is as much the same sort of pressure as people who abandon normality and values to impress their peers.
    Besides its about “clean” (virgin) and “dirty” (no hymen),
    “truth” and “untruth”, taking these high “values” is nothing more then a cover for low skills in the actual working of relationships.
    It’s a pity religion is used to control and instill fear rather then create and spread light and hope.

  252. 253 Michael in Portland
    June 12, 2008 at 19:17

    There is no right or wrong with respect to virginity of any either partner at the time of marriage. Its what the man and woman decided prior to marriage with regard to this issue. If a woman makes a decision or places herself in a situation where the “heat of the moment” results in loss of virginity, then she has decided she will not be a suitable partner for a male who believes virginity at marriage is important or necessary for him to marry her,. The woman made that decision and has to live with it.

    A man who believes virginity is necessary for him to marry a woman but does not remain a virgin himself is making a statement about his values and who he is as a person. Any woman who considers him as a potential husband must take this into consideration in determining whether she wants to marry him wiether or not she is a virgin herself. Its a statement about him which will carry over to other values and beliefs.

    Having said that, in most situations women have a special responsibility when it comes to sex. Because in nomral situations sex does not occur without the consent of the woman. Women are the gatekeepers/masters when it comes to sex. This is one reason why, in most countries, rape carries a huge punishment. Think about it. If a man severely beats and causes tremendous physical and psychological damage, this man receives less punishment than being convicted of the rape of a woman. In the U.S. women who sexually abuse a male child is often given probation or short jail sentence while a man who does the same with a female child receives 10, 15, 20 years in jail.

    The world is not a fair place when it comes to male-female expectations. The man who dressed as a woman to save himself from death when the Titanic sunk is still held up to criticism. Because ALL of the men were suspose to give their lives so women and children could live. Was a woman’s life worth more than the man’s. The world is not fair or just because human beings are not always fair or just. Women, look to yourself and the values of the men you date and make your decisions accordingly. A man that hold virginity in such high esteem while he does not impose the same requirement on himself is not a man I would want my daughter to marry. I would question her choice and thoughts not those of the man. For he has already spoken. Women, look to yourselves and stop winning. If women refused to date or consider such men they would soon become extinct.

  253. 254 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 19:17

    “BTW., stats show that people who cohabitate before marriage are more likely to divorce than their non-cohabitating counterparts.”

    Jan, this is 100% incorrect. I have also read more than one study on this. The most complete study on this that I’ve read stated: People who cohabitate prior to marriage are less likely to get married, however those who cohabitate prior to marriage and become married have a lower divorce rate.

  254. 255 Mike in Portland OR
    June 12, 2008 at 19:20

    I listened to part of this discussion on the radio as I drove in to work today, and I cannot believe what a load of pre-medieval nonsense it was. One person (the host I believe) actually maintained that non-virgins were “immoral”. The same person said that “all love comes from god.” So my wife, myself, my children, my friends and co-workers, all of whom are atheists, have no idea of what love is? Rubbish!

    Sexual intercourse in part of a spectrum of behaviors including touching, rubbing, kissing, hugging, etc. that are all partof natural pair bonding. We are mammals. We are social animals. Such activities are part of our normal behavioral programming. Of course, everyone should be experienced in sexual matters before they are married, just as everoone should be experienced in other social behaviors. The only way this behavior becomes in any way “immoral” is if you cast it into some pre-conceived religious framework.

    Religion is the problem, not sexual intercourse. The only reason that people want their spouse to be a virgin is because they have been taught to view their spouse, in some misguided way, as an object. In this respect, being a virgin is like being a clean vessel. Women are expected to be more virginal than men because they are perceived to be more like a vessel. This way of thinking is just utterly pitiful.

  255. 256 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 19:20

    One little point for fun:

    The reason why I wouldn’t have sex outside marriage is because I was too proud to let a man have something from me that he could dismiss later as irrelevant, when he went to look for virgin to marry.

    It has nothing to do with morals or religion. It simply has to do with how much I value my self.

  256. 257 Jennifer
    June 12, 2008 at 19:22

    This debate is extremely interesting, however, the biased choice of people you had live in the studio was appalling. I second Allison’s comment entirely.

    And to the bloke who said it was morally wrong to have sex before marriage – I have never been completely and utterly in love. I am a romantic and hope that some day I will meet my ‘media naranja’ and hope to get married.

    BUT, having SAFE sex is one of life’s enormous pleasures, and I see no reason why I should give up this basic HUMAN RIGHT. Furthermore, it does not require a license to prove you can ‘go ahead’, be it for marriage or anything else.

    Who said being an ‘innocent’ virgin is always a good thing? Innocence is ignorance, you could argue.

  257. 258 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 19:22

    @ paul:

    “People lie out of fear, the deeper question would be : what was her fear ?”

    ACtually I always thought people lied out of dishonesty, not out of fear. I suppose if I buy a car from someone and they tell me it’s in good shape, while in reality it needs a new engine and a new transmission, some sort of fear must have been the reason why the seller lied to me, right? No, she was dishonest, she was ashamed of her decision to have sex, and lied, and had surgery to back up her lie. That’s called dishonest, not fear. Her fear was her husband knowing the truth.

  258. June 12, 2008 at 19:23

    Allison wrote:
    My body is mine – not my father’s, not a future husband’s and I will do with it what I choose.

    And if I felt that my mate did not have the same values about their body, as I did,
    Then, I should not marry him.
    There is nothing wrong with valuing chastity, for men and women.
    — not for selfish mean, but because one values their body.
    there is also nothing wrong with wanting a mate that places the same types of value on their body, as you do.

    If you want to freely have sex with whomever you choose when the animal impulse strikes you,
    that is your decision.
    If you want to put alcohol or other substances into your body, that’s your decision.
    If you want a body piercing or tattoo, that’s your decision.
    But, you can’t exercise your freedom of choice then belittle someone else for choosing differently.
    If a man wants a virgin bride then that is his choice.
    If a man wants an experienced woman, that is his choice.
    It is his preference.
    …. That’s FREEDOM OF CHOICE!
    Just because it is not your value does not mean that it should be deemed archaic, out-of-date, rediculous or any other pejoritive term.

  259. 260 Rick
    June 12, 2008 at 19:26

    I find it amazing that the same religious zealots who claim the “moral authority” to tell people how to conduct their lives refuse to acknowledge their own problems, such as incest perpetrated by Priests and Clerics. Or the more BASIC hypocrisy of how a religion always preaches tolerance and peace, yet all of the major religions of the world have been dead center in the involvement of the bloodiest conflicts in world’s history.

    How can one preach tolerance, yet being so intolerant as to sanction, if not directly participate in terrorism and ethnic violence. It’s not just a Muslim issue. You see religious violence headlined every day. It’s all the same…only the names have changed.

    Regarding Men vs. women being virgins: how moronic an argument. Again, it’s posing a double standard, and is no different than saying “Stealing is a crime, unless I do it.”

  260. 261 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 19:27

    @ Allison

    “My body is mine – not my father’s, not a future husband’s and I will do with it what I choose.”

    That’s good for you IF you are prepared for the consequences of your choices. Doing what you want to could lead to a bunch of incurable STDs, and not every man is going to want to get involved with someone who has incurable STDs. But if you can deal with that, more power to you.

  261. 262 Personal Choice
    June 12, 2008 at 19:27

    It’s a *personal* choice. If women or men want to be virgins before marriage or *not*. Men are history’s biggest hypocrites on sex, and religious leaders of all kinds are often among the biggest hypocrites of all among men. This thing of requiring only *women* to be virgins before marriage is due to women being traditionally treated as *property* and the patriarchal idea that nonvirgin women are *used* property — while the same standard certainly doesn’t exist for nonvirgin men. And what also happens to women in really patriarchal societies where women’s virginity is demanded is that for her entire life women are not allowed to be in the company of any other man who is not their close relative and cannot have male friends of any kind. If I were an adult woman, whether or not I chose to be a virgin, I would tell men to mind their own business (if not go to hell for their gross hypocrisy).

    Women today are getting advanced educations. Most women do not get married until sometime after university. Many women may go on to get one or more advanced or professional degrees. Then they often want to begin or establish their professional degrees. So, many professional women may not even finish school and professional exams until they are in their late 20’s. And then many may not find the right man to marry until they are in their 30’s. Who today — male or female — wants to be a 27-35 year-old virgin at the youngest? And yet one of the BBC World Have Your Say guests says that marriage out to be made *easier*, so *girls* can get married when they’re *16*. Is he *insane*? In today’s advanced, and especially, urban societies, vs. the past’s more simple agrarian societies, most people are not mature enough to get married in their teens (or even early 20’s) — there’s just too much to learn, educationally and emotionally — and most people certainly have not finished their education.

    The only issue should be that people (unfortunately especially women) should be taught to know and understand *respectful* and *healthy* relationships, and self-respect, so that women don’t “fall in love” with callous, sexually expoitative and emotionally or physically abusive boys/men — and so that boys/men are taught not to become callous, exploitative and abusive. Otherwise, for adult females, sex (or not) outside of marraige is nobody’s personal business but hers.

  262. June 12, 2008 at 19:30

    I do not know where you are getting your stats, but I have done sociological research and if my notes weren’t on a defective computer, then I would pass on the references.
    Even liberal sociologists admit this fact.
    The “Try before you buy,” model of relationships does not work as you would think.
    We are humans and not machines, so this concept can not be applied.

  263. 264 Jens
    June 12, 2008 at 19:37

    once again religion messes with peoples lifes and minds. plus all the moralistic apostels preaching about STD’s. my wife was not a virgin when i met her and nor was i. pople have a relationships and part of a relationship is sex. there is nothing wrong in that at all. hell if you had a couple of relationships and realized why trhey went wrong you might even end-up being a better partner since you understand your shortcomings and faults.

    i am sick and tired of the moral preaching religiouse brigade tell humankind what is wrong and what is not.

  264. 265 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 19:40

    Ok, I googled it, you may be right, although I don’t trust any right wing christian studies on the topic. However, I’m going to have to pull the causality vs. correlation argument. Deeply religious people tend to take the institution of marriage more serious than non-religious people. That means that they will stay in a marriage that is completely unsatisfying both sexually and otherwise. Personally, I would never want to be in this type of marriage. I was not willing to trust luck when I met my wife. Our collective experiences have made our marriage so much more fulfilling.

  265. 266 Alrehman
    June 12, 2008 at 19:41

    Hi,I appreciate bbc for bringing the topics with heat and important for every person of the world.I belong to a muslim family.I believe for a women and men remain virgin till marrage is somthing whic is ideal.But considering the facts of modren age and advancement of sience its became myth.Lets be fair ,I believe a vergin women deserve vergin man.what if the man is not vergin?can v check he is vergin?

    i thinks its matter for self accountabilty too when we demands that but if this is not the case what is a margin?
    Thanks again to bbc for making the world knowlegeable.

  266. 267 Paul
    June 12, 2008 at 19:47


    lies start at an early age where a child is looking for the limits of its world,
    but in a word it is mainly applying its negotiation techniques through the new found power of language.
    Therein lies (no pun) their discovery of consequence.
    Action reaction.

    Any business person will lie to sell, that’s why we have consumer orgs and watchdogs, to watch out for our gulability and wants.
    Carsellers kind of differ from women, that way, we won’t enter into long term relations with them if swindled, that seems kind of rational.
    If a partner lies we usually have tools and a language to get over it and get better, but I think what causes people to lie is more essential then the act itself.
    Love won’t cure a crooked carseller, his passion for mechanics and people might.

  267. June 12, 2008 at 19:51

    Men should not demand what they don’t have.

    I have seen many men who sleep around with other women before marriage, but run for virgins for marriage.

    For those who are not virgins, they should get married to those who loves them. This is not to say that people should go on rampage, after all they will get married.

    For those who are religious, let them respect the teachings.

  268. June 12, 2008 at 19:51

    Everyone man’s dream would be to marry a virgin. But it shouldn’t be used as cornerstone for a man to choose a wife. Virgin or not, love should be a priority virginity.

  269. 270 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 19:52


    You are missing the point when you equate humans with a car. Humans are standalone creatures, not to be traded or sold. That you could think that way is interesting.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be an understanding that woman can be traded as property. Were woman property, contracts would apply.

    Woman are not property and no argument pertaining to property can apply in such cases.

    The only reason we apply property arguments is because we fail to truly understand that women are equal to men, no matter how much lip service we pay to it.

  270. 271 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 19:54


    You’re missing my point that a contract is a contract. She lied, she committed fraud, and the marriage get annuled as a result.

    It is No differen than applying for a job, and lying about your work experience or educational background. A lie is a lie. She got busted, and she paid the price. In the future, don’t lie.

  271. 272 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 19:59


    Enough said… I apologize for not being able to make my point in a way that is understandable.

    Paul has said it in a different way. Maybe he is more clear!

  272. 273 Chicago
    June 12, 2008 at 20:00

    A lot of what I have been reading on this page has shocked me. Not anyone’s personal opinions or whether or not virginnty should matter but the sheer amount of ignorant and untrue ‘facts’. I don’t think people are saying these things to be malicious but because they honestly believe it. t’s scariest to think that people actually believe them to be facts.
    for example….
    Per Ben: “In non- muslim house holds, take pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran for instance, any teenage motherhood?. ” Yes! Yes there absolutely is. However these women live in fear of this factas their lives are threatened by their fathers and brothers and other men. Some of these women are so afraid of their familes reactions that they attempt to abort the babies and then die as a result of poor medical practises.

    Per Prince: “they are more prone to viral infection or STD than men are, men can get married at any age but not women, women have their movement, comfort and convenience interfered with and their lives at risk after sexual intercourse, owing to pregnancy and children bearing, and women suffer inability to become pregnant after a certain age but man can pregnant a woman at any age. ” These are distorted and manipulated ‘facts’.

  273. 274 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 20:02

    @ Joseph

    “Everyone man’s dream would be to marry a virgin. ” I agree that virginity is not a priority over love, but I have to disagree with every man’s dream being to marry a virgin. I absolutely would not marry a virgin. As I’ve stated already, sex is a part of marriage. A very important part of marriage. I would not marry someone who has no experience. Yes, there are other very important traits to look at when choosing a mate, but I’m not going risk marrying someone who I have no sexual experience with. Marriage is a lifelong contract and I’m not going to enter into it without knowing whether I’m compatible with my wife. I honestly couldn’t imagine a lifetime of bad sex.

  274. 275 Ranko
    June 12, 2008 at 20:03

    In the years to come we will look upon this debate about the virginity in the same way that we now look at the debate in the Middle Ages whether the Earth is the centre of the Universe or not.

    Virginity is a myth invented my men – alongside myriad of other ones, all designed to subjugate women either physically or psychologically. The main reason behind the myth of female virginity is men’s realisation that they cannot match feminine sexual prowess.

    One of the two most potent symbols of men’s feelings of their sexual inadequacy and insecurity resulting thereof is their demand for female virginity. The other one, also practiced by primitive cultures, is that of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Both demonstrate the length that men are prepared to go to – even resorting to the most extreme forms of brutality, to seize the sexual powers that were not bestowed upon them by nature/ God.

  275. 276 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 20:04


    If you truly love someone, can there be bad sex?

  276. 277 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 20:05

    @ Selena

    Paul’s way was definitely NOT more clear. I’m still trying to understand what his point was. Haha

  277. June 12, 2008 at 20:07

    viola anderson wrote (June 12, 2008 at 7:08 pm):

    “Prince Owele (sic) Odor: If women are more prone to STD’s than men are, where do women get STD’s? INo. It is just that the protection of men from STD’s is considered more important”.

    For the first part: “If women are more prone to STD’s than men are, where do women get STD’s?”

    My answer: They may get it from men, from their environment, from a swimming pool, or from fellow women, if they are lesbians. That is however not the issue. The issue is that they are more prone to being infected than men are. They are especially more prone to viral and bacterial infection when they are not circumcised. I hope that you see the distinction.

    The second part: “No. It is just that the protection of men from STD’s is considered more important”.

    My reaction: Concerning this, I do not think that the protection of men from STDs is considered more important and that this is WHY women are more prone to viral and bacterial infection than women.

    Any importance attached to protection by men is owing to the fact that women would bear the brunt if men do not protection themselves.

    What this means, essentially or logically, is that it is important to protect women.

    What I know is that it is easier for men to protect themselves — by protecting their sex organs that serve as inroad into their bodies and blood — against viral and bacterial infection than it is for women. Therefore this corroborates my argument, and emphasises its value.

    You may correspond with me further, Viola Anderson, through my e-mail address: Pierayawele@yahoo.com

  278. 279 Chicago
    June 12, 2008 at 20:09

    @ Selena

    Unfortunately, YES

  279. 280 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 20:09

    @ Selena

    Can you truly love someone without ever having sex? The situation you’re talking about is a best friend, not a lover.

  280. 281 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 20:14

    @ Selena

    Sorry, I got ahead of myself there. If you’re saying that you can love someone before having sex, then when you do have sex it will be good, then I disagree. I love my best buddy, but I’m quite sure that when we hop in the sack together his 6’4″ out of shape hairy body might cause some problems sexually. Being that I would probably be too busy throwing up.

    If I misunderstood the meaning behind your comment, then please let me know.

  281. 282 Colleen D
    June 12, 2008 at 20:16

    @ Nick

    I’m just curious — would you have considered dating a virgin before you got married? (and i dont mean someone who would not have sex before the wedding night; I mean someone who would wait until she was in a serious relationship with you) I agree with your point in having sex with your potential spouse before marriage since sex will have a very important role in your life together. But just from some of your comments it seems as though you have a bias against virgins, but maybe i am misunderstanding.

  282. 283 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 20:17

    So…. to answer your question, no I don’t believe you can have bad sex with someone you love. Furthermore, I don’t think you can love someone (as a lover and lifelong mate) without ever having sex with them. In the situation that you love them and have never been intimate, then that person is just a friend.

  283. 284 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 20:29

    @ Colleen

    No no no, I’m sorry if I came off sounding like I had something against virginity. I honestly believe that sex is not something that should be taken lightly at all. I think it’s very important that people choose the people they have relations with very carefully. I would not marry someone at the other end of the spectrum either. Prior to marriage, I would have had no problem dating someone who was a virgin. Marriage is a decision about who to spend your life with. Dating is just the process of finding that person. Yes, marriage is much more than just sex, but I wouldn’t want to start a marriage with one strike against me.

  284. 285 Colleen D
    June 12, 2008 at 20:36

    @ Nick

    well said — i agree!

  285. 286 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 20:36


    You made me laugh!

    But I am feeling misunderstood… 😉

  286. 287 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 20:38

    @ Nick

    “So…. to answer your question, no I don’t believe you can have bad sex with someone you love. ”

    Yeah but it might make that person not love you anymore..

  287. 288 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 20:45


    If you truly love someone and they truly love you, there can be no bad sex, imo.

    Bad sex arises when partners expect something they are unable convey to the other.

    Expectations can never be met unless/until both partners know what is expected.

    I could tell you stories from my early working days that would curl your hair. Partners thinking that they had the perfect relationship but who really didn’t have a clue about the other’s expectations.

    We all have a tendency to live in our personal dreamworlds.

  288. 289 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 20:49

    @ selena

    Yes, I would agree, the world is full of unrealistic expectations. cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard women, especially ex girlfriends talk about “soul males” or “perfect relationships” or “prince charming” when nobody is perfect, and if you look for perfection, you will be looking for it forever, because it doesn’t exist.

  289. 290 dretceterini
    June 12, 2008 at 20:49

    Virginity is only an issue with religious nuts.

  290. 291 jamily5
    June 12, 2008 at 20:59

    I think that people are overestimating the value of experience.
    IN this line of thinking:
    Why not marry someone who has been married about 10 times, because they have learned from their past marrital experiences.
    And, it might be better to make children with someone who has already had children, so they can use their experience.
    It does not work that way.
    So, you people who value experience:
    ARe you saying that you would not feel some sense of pride and importance to know that your mate had waited for the right person and the right time to have sex.
    The fact that your mate had restrained himself/herself because he/she knew that this intimate moment would be so important and he/she only wanted to share it with one single special person:
    would not make you feel quite special.
    So, to those who would not marry a virgin:
    you value your own physical satisfaction over their commitment to you.
    Because honestly, it is a commitment.
    IN the USA, it would be a commitment for one to keep themselv a virgin.
    And, it is sad to know that if you had a mate that did,
    you would not see his/her commitment as honorable.
    Crassly speaking:
    A woman can lay on her back and have 200 sexual partners and not really understand what might satisfy their current mate.
    So, just “sexual experience,” is not a promise that she will be satisfactory.
    And, many partners, after marriage, have sexual problems that maybe, they did not have before.
    So, dual sexual satisfaction in a marriage has to be worked on: wither the persons involved are virgins or not.

  291. 292 Rick
    June 12, 2008 at 21:14


    “Can you truly love someone without ever having sex? The situation you’re talking about is a best friend, not a lover.”

    Shouldn’t one’s spouse be both one and the same?

    Your spouse should be a Best Friend and a lover, for when the spark of passion fades, you’re left with the person that they are.

    Not meaning to sound fatalistic, but it is reality. People that are best friends that do things together have an easier time keeping the passion alive. I learned that my SECOND time around.

    I don’t think you can fairly say, though, that sex is REQUIRED to love someone, it is more a natural progression of the emotions you have together.

    Case in point: people that remain devoted after a debilitating injury. I had an uncle that was parapalegic. My aunt and he remained in one of the most devoted relationships I’d seen….right up until the moment he succumbed to Leukemia.


  292. 293 Michael
    June 12, 2008 at 21:39

    It’s funny how cultures are different! Where I come from people get an inferiority complex when they get over a certain age and are still virgins…

  293. 294 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 21:43

    @ michael

    I agree fully. Virginity in the west is a mark of shame. I know male virgins who get dismissed by women because they lack experience. Women have the expecation that men are experienced, and it’s unforgivable if they aren’t. I feel bad for these guys. However, don’t forget, the reasons why the people outside of the west are virgins is likely for religious reasons, not because they couldn’t “get any” so that’s probably where a lot of the shame comes from. In the west, if a male is a virgin for non religious reasons, the older he gets, the less likely he will even wind up having sex. And he will be mocked by society, be the butt of every joke, etc..

  294. 295 jamily5
    June 12, 2008 at 21:59

    @ Selena,
    You asked:
    What choices did she have in her group? Others here have made her case as to why she would lie. I won’t repeat it.

    If she was comfortable with her previous sexual experiences, then, she should not have married him anyway, knowing that he requested that she be a virgin. Maybe she was ashamed (not because of societal norms) but because, she, herself felt that losing her virginity was the wrong thing to do.
    Let’s think about this situation for a minute.
    He wants a wife who is a virgin.
    She knows this.
    She has probably heard him on at least one occasion tell her that purity is important to him.
    So, either she is ashamed of her past, or differeswith him on this point.
    She pays to have a surgery done (I am sure a bit painful) to restore her hymen so that he won’t not know.
    her choices:
    find a guy who is more liberal.
    this is France, not the middle East.
    If she had enough money for a surgery, then, she could have used that money to leave the town and start a new life, if she did not want that particular group of people to know.
    Honestly, it might have been easier to claim that she was raped.
    My question would be: Why did she want to marry him, in the first place?
    Obviously, she was not close enough to him to be honest with him.
    She had choices, she just did not take the admirable ones.

    And, society does not “force” her to lie.
    these laws were not new to her.
    She knew “when she lost her virginity” that she was disobeying a cultural standard.
    Whatever our decisions is– to obey or disobey cultural norms, we need to realize that our decisions come with responsibilities.
    We need to understand and accept the consequences of them.
    There are consequences to being a virgin and consequences to not being a virgin.

    And to scott:
    Sex is not just an instinctual act to quench our animal satisfaction.
    The first experience and our body is a gift to the other person.
    — God or not —
    one’s body is important and valuable and how you use it is important.

    @ Chris:
    Birth Control renders your evolution argument void.
    Sure, there is a percentage that conceive with contraception, but it still is minimal.
    @ Daniel:
    You might always act on your animal instinct,
    but, as for me,
    I have realized that humans have the ability to reason and analyze.
    Like it or not, humans do possess abilities and responsibilities that other animals do not.

    I noticed that noone thinks that a woman is controling men’s sex lives when Asif and Ridwaan have mentioned that men are taught to be virgins, as well.
    doesn’t that fly in the face of the concept of keeping virginity as a way to oppress women?
    Maybe you don’t believe them.
    But, I personally know men who are virgins and yes, it is by choice and commitment.
    Just FYI, yes, a few are Christians and many more are muslims.

    So, how many would object to virginity for both men and women?
    Okay, so how many remember their first time?
    The first time a person has sex is suppose to be “special and wonderful.”
    It is a highly intense experience, so why wouldn’t some people choose to have it with the person that they marry — on their wedding night, if you will.
    Virgins are just saying:
    Since this experience is suppose to be special and intimate,
    I want to make sure that my first experience is with the person who I deem so special that I want to spend the rest of my life with him or her.
    So, what does that have to do with religion?
    Why must anyone who advocates virginity be oppressive and archaic — and just plain out wrong?

  295. 296 Michael
    June 12, 2008 at 22:09


    I understand your point with the special commitment. However, if you are living in a society which stigmatises women who lost their virginity prior to marriage how can you be sure that she saved herself for you and for respect of god rather than out of fear of being socially stigmatised. Or she even might not be a virgin but just had the operation.
    But if you are living in a society which doesn’t condemn women who are not virgins anymore and a women saves herself for you, then you really can be sure that she did it for you and out of respect for god.

    Let GOD judge and not society!!!

    Another statement of yours I wanted to comment on:

    ‘A woman can lay on her back and have 200 sexual partners and not really understand what might satisfy their current mate.
    So, just “sexual experience,” is not a promise that she will be satisfactory…’

    Yes, that is also true. But if she has SOME experience she might know what SHE likes more and not how she can satisfy her partner more.

  296. 297 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 22:11

    @ Rick

    “Shouldn’t one’s spouse be both one and the same?”

    Yes, they should definitely be one and the same. You can have friendship without passion or passion without friendship, but I’m not marrying someone who I don’t have both with.

    @ Steve

    I agree 100%. My best friend is a 29 year old virgin, and he is scared to death that one day he might actually have sex because he knows that most girls his age are going to be way more experienced. He’s worried that he will be less manly because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s worried that the girl will just laugh at him and never see him again. Honestly, I think he might be right. In my personal experience, girls do not want to be with virgin guys. So, like all the girls sticking up for the girl in the original post said, maybe we should have a discussion on whether guys should be virgins at marriage. Although, I don’t think it would go the way they expect. Let’s try it and find out, it doesn’t have to be an on air show.

  297. June 12, 2008 at 22:26

    Hi WHYSers!

    Simple answer – of course she should! LOL!

    Seriously, if virginity is a cause for legal, if not moral consternation, then, clearly society’s law makers have too much free time on their hands. Way too much!

    As for virginity and the rest of it, all very highly overrated! Who cares, really?

    Just a thought!

  298. 299 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 22:35


    How are you?

    You clearly see my point!

    Do you? 😉

  299. 300 selenayvonne
    June 12, 2008 at 22:38

    @ Michael

    “Yes, that is also true. But if she has SOME experience she might know what SHE likes more and not how she can satisfy her partner more.”

    That point is always missed in any discussion about sex. Usually, it is all about satisfying the male!!

    Thanks for saying it.

  300. 301 jamily5
    June 12, 2008 at 22:50

    You said:
    Yes, that is also true. But if she has SOME experience she might know what SHE likes more and not how she can satisfy her partner more.

    Is there a crime with her learning what she likes with her husband?
    Then, she is sure that the man she is discovering sex with is loving and caring.
    What better way to experience sex for the first, second, third times than with someone who you really love and shw loves you?
    Is it really important to find out what it is like to have sex in failed relationships: before getting married?
    Again, too many people claim sexual dissatisfaction and it has nothing to do with inexperience.

    and to the person who mentioned Arab women having anal sex to still say that they were virgins:
    I would say that they are not.
    Virginity has less to do with the torn hymen and more to do with a commitment to give all of your love (body and otherwise) to one person who will share your commitment and your life.
    when we only view virginity in its basic physical construct, then, we leave out something.
    Is the woman who has counted partners for anal sex still a virgin?
    then, there is the women who commits to virginity, yet is raped days before her wedding.

    I knew a girl who was a virgin, (But, not by choice).
    That is embarrassing.
    What I am saying is that Yes, it is honorable to be a virgin: but virginity (as itt relates to values) is more important than the physical aspect.
    Often men who want to marry virgins want the physical to be a symbol of her values.
    Wasn’t there a movie:
    “40 year old virgin,”
    I don’t thainkthat this man “wanted” to be a virgin.
    He just technically was.
    I would not date him, either because his values were different than mine, despite his physical virginity.

  301. 302 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 22:54

    @ Rick

    “Your spouse should be a Best Friend and a lover, for when the spark of passion fades, you’re left with the person that they are.”

    Call me idealistic if you will, but I don’t foresee my passion fading for my wife anytime before my heart stops beating. My parents still have plenty of passion and my grandparents still had passion up until the time when my grandfather passed away. Yes, typing that did make me wince a bit.

  302. 303 steve
    June 12, 2008 at 22:55

    @ Nick

    Well, in non western countries where they expect women to be virgins, I would home they would expect men to be virgins too. But given in the west, virgininity is the rare exception (though I would bet it’s more common for males in the west than females simply because it’s more difficult for males, given they have to do all the work) the story would be different. But yes, in the west, virginity is certainly held against the man. It’s expected by women that men are experienced, if he’s not, women will view there to be some “problem” with him.

  303. 304 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 23:05

    @ Jamily 5

    “What better way to experience sex for the first, second, third times than with someone who you really love and shw loves you?
    Is it really important to find out what it is like to have sex in failed relationships: before getting married?
    Again, too many people claim sexual dissatisfaction and it has nothing to do with inexperience.”

    I agree, discovering this with someone you care about would be very nice. No, it’s not that important to have sex in failed relationships. I think it’s important to have sex with the person you’re going to marry before you get married. Otherwise you might hop into the bed on your wedding night, while your husband or wife is getting out the whips and chains. That’s an extreme of course, but sexual chemistry does exist. There are people who get along very well who just don’t click sexually. It’s sad, but it happens.

  304. 305 jamily5
    June 12, 2008 at 23:26

    2 Nick,
    You wrote:
    important to have sex with the person you’re going to marry before you get married. Otherwise you might hop into the bed on your wedding night, while your
    husband or wife is getting out the whips and chains. That’s an extreme of course, but sexual chemistry does exist. There are people who get along very
    well who just don’t click sexually.
    that is considered a failed relationship, hypothetically speaking.
    So, you have sex before marriage, your partner delcares you “sexually unsatisfactory,” and it is on to the next partner.
    Sounds like a bit of communication would solve everything.
    Instead of actually “having sex,” before your marriage, why not talk about it.
    If both are virgins, then they can talk about what they think they might like.
    They have probably already havd sme kind of physical contact: kissing, etc.
    So, they would know if some passion exists.
    And, then, if, for example, he (just being stereotypical) wanted to do something that she was afraid of doing or didn’t feel comfortable with, couldn’t they discuss it — afterall, if he was good enough for her to have sex with then he is good enough to marry.
    IF I can’t trust a man with my heart, then, I surely can’t trust him with my body.
    If he is good enough to have sex with, then, he is good enough to marry first.
    I just disagree with the poin that people should have sex before marrying to ensure sexual compatibility.
    The fact is that people’s sexual needs and desires change over time.
    As one gets older and their life changes, so do their sexual habits.
    So, it is silly to think that married partners are always going to be on the same sexual page.
    So, sexual incompatibility, at some point, is inevitable.

  305. 306 Nick in USA
    June 12, 2008 at 23:55

    @ Jamily 5

    I agree, communication is extremely useful in a relationship, but your example is like 2 New Yorkers talking about how to win a rodeo. I’m sorry, but communication does not always work in the realm of physical relationships. I’m not saying it’s impossible ot have a successful relationship before having sex, just that I wouldn’t personally dive into the pool before testing the waters.

  306. 307 viola anderson
    June 13, 2008 at 01:26


    Perhaps you are looking at the issue in a skewed manner. When you assert that women who have multiple sex partners are inevitably “basket cases” but that no men you know who are promiscuous become “basket cases,” I would reply to you, “So what?” First of all, that is only your opinion as to why the women you cite are “basket cases.” Does it occur to you that they may have other issues and that being “basket cases” and having multiple sex partners is merely a symptom of their real problems?

    Secondly, I would put it to you that men are likely to be “basket cases” by not having access to sex with women. Yet no society requires men to be sexually promiscuous or face being ostracized or stoned or locked up in jail for it. Recall the discussion on whether prostitution should be legalized. You and some of the other men who posted hypothesized that if prostitution were legal, such atrocities as happened at Virginia Tech would likely not have happened since, as you all seemed seem to think ,and who am I to disagree, sexually satisfied men hardly ever go on murderous rampages. If murderous rampages are done by anyone who isn’t a “basket case” you sure could’ve fooled me.

    Men who become embittered against all women because they, or their friend, or someone they know had a bad experience with a woman are simply indicating that, in their heart of hearts, they see all women as being the same rather than as individual human beings. Believe me, having a vagina does not make all women the same, just as having a penis does not make all men the same.

    One more thing on a lighter note: I once had a co-worker who was talking about how, once, in bed, the man she was with kept pulling the covers off her so that she got very little sleep. I asked her why she didn’t just pull them back.

    Her reply? “I was embarrassed to because I didn’t know him that well.” Well, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather; I found that extremely funny!

    She also said having sex with a man is the best way to get to know him quickly. What do you think of that?

  307. 308 jamily5
    June 13, 2008 at 01:46

    understood, but disagree.
    Since I’m going to have to talk about sex with my husband, I had better start with fiancee.
    If I was a bvirgin, I might not know exactly what I like, but, learning with a loving mate is half the fun.
    And, I think that Yes, you can use communicational skills to solve incompatibilities.
    I can’t imagine everything else being almost perfect, but the sexual part of our relationship so horrible that it end a relationship.
    Ultimately, if I want something that my husband is uncomfortable with, then, would try and find a compromise.
    Besides, sex is not the biggest thing. :
    we would have already talked about some things before we married.
    for example:
    if both of us were very strong supporters of monogamy, then, we would also talk about “open marriages,” and probably both of us would not find that a viable option to spice up a sex life.We would know this before we got married, so neither of us would be presented with that option later on.

  308. 309 steve
    June 13, 2008 at 01:47

    @ Viola

    I see the point you are making, however, the issues I have seen are the direct result of them having sex with lots of guys. My friend’s girfriend started crying on tuesday about all the guys she’s had sex with, out of the blue. I was talking to her about something else, and she just started crying. Another chick I know was all proud of herself for actually going on a date and NOT having sex with the guy, that apparently was a first. To say she has a few issues would be underestimating things. Yes, these women have many other issues, but I think a lot of it has to do with them being promiscuous. It doesn’t help things, that’s for sure.

    There are surely things where promiscuity is the byproduct, such as someone who is bipolar and on a manic phase. They tend to be very promiscuous, and it’s not hte promiscuity that is the problem, but rather the mental disorder that makes them compulsive. But not every promiscuos person is bipolar. But the promiscuity is not helping these people in the slightest, it only makes them worse off, and less capable of having a real relationship, assuming that’s what they even want.

    Getting to know a man quickly by having sex? Well gee, I’m sure that gives you an even shorter time to find some kind of flaw, get rid of him, and try someone else, at, and lo and behold, 4 months later, you’ve had sex with 20 new people. Say you do that in a place like NYC, where 26% of the people have herpes, and you might just come down with a gift that keeps on giving!

  309. 310 Nick in USA
    June 13, 2008 at 03:02

    I see we are at a bit of an impass jamily. I wish you all the best with your husband, and I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that you shouldn’t live your life the way you see fit. Apparently, some people may have viewed my comments as those of a virgin hater, but I’m anything but. I think the majority of young women are far too willing to give away their bodies to the wrong people. I certainly don’t advocate that. I like to think I’m middle of the road on this issue, but I know my arguments may seem like they lean one way or the other.

  310. June 13, 2008 at 03:17

    In countries in the west and in general, its left to the man if the woman is not a virgin, except where certain communities live eg: muslims cannot accept the fact if she is not a virgin and accordingly desolve the marriage. I think they go as far as the wedding night to have elderly women present during sextual intercourse to witness if the bride was a virgin. I think too that the Greeks and muslim Turks also follow this course.
    The fact is in these modern times it is difficult to find a virgin especialy in western countries.

  311. 312 Anya
    June 13, 2008 at 03:34

    I rarely comment on show discussions, but this subject is deeply personal. It has gotten me thinking for a long time even before I heard this show.
    I think a question of virginity relates to a deeper issue of woman’s sexuality.
    In the past, when birth control was not available having sex outside of the marriage truly was a question of morality. As sex leads to pregnancy, if a woman had a child outside of marriage and without any means of supporting herself and her child (as in the past most of the time women were in a mercy of men to be taken care of), she would have brought misery not only to herself, but also to her child.
    Today, in a western society women are in much better position of being financially independent, coincidently we feel we are in a position to make a decision about our sexuality.
    I do not belive that being sexually active outside of marriage is wrong or immoral, as long as people are being responsible and honest about their intentions. However I do feel that for many people, both men and women, having many meaningless sexual experiences brings people unhappiness, even if they do not realize it at the time. It is my personal opinion, some may not agree with me.

    I intended to be virgin when I was younger. I was way too young when I got engaged the first time. I had sex with my finance before the wedding. I was not drunk, I was not curious, I was not seduced. I wanted him to know that I was serious about him, that I had given to him all I had.
    It was only after we had sex he felt more comfortable to express his opinions more freely around me. It was only after he was comfortable around me, I realized that he was not the man I thought he was.
    I broke of the engagement.
    It was a very painful mistake.
    Three years later, when I was engaged the second time, I moved in with my finance, we lived together for 4 years before we got married.
    Making a decision who you are going to have children with and who you are going to spend the rest of your life with should not depend on who your first sex partner was.
    I do not feel my relationship with my husband is any less meaningful because of my poor judgment in my younger days.
    I think when people criticize women who are not waiting for “the special one”, they intend to say: “sex is something special, meaningful, serious, mysterious, sacred. No one should take it lightly. When they do, there are consequences, painful consequences. Not because the society would judge them, but because they loose something, something very special, something that could never be brought back.”

  312. 313 Mike Quentel
    June 13, 2008 at 04:03

    Yes, a woman should (ideally) be a virgin when she marries. The question is like asking “should a woman be attractive when she marries”. Whether women like it or not, probably most men find a woman to be more attractive when she has had fewer previous loves (preferably none). Sort of like mileage on a car–most of us want a new model, not a used one. But trying to find a virgin bride in today’s Western world is next to impossible. Way to go, feminists; you managed to make women less attractive than they used to be, and more difficult to marry.

  313. 314 CJLewis
    June 13, 2008 at 04:05

    When will we human beings learn that good citizenship and neighborliness are even more virtuous than keeping our pants up and our skirts down?

  314. 315 Cherry Philipose
    June 13, 2008 at 05:27

    This issue of demanding virginity before marriage sees woman as a possession of man to be conquered one day. There is little talk about the same demand being laid on man. There seems to be a clear power issue making its rounds here of man being all demanding and woman submissive. In traditional societies like India chastity is a made up as a great virtue to be held till your marriage. It is to remember that here there is lot of sanctity given to the institution of marriage. Extra-marital affairs are considered as a taboo and woman is punished to the utmost if she is caught red-hand. It’s only in few communities that man is also equally punished. There should be a level playing ground for all stakeholders rather than many. Then only can we claim ourselves to be modern and at the same time just.

  315. 316 Ann
    June 13, 2008 at 05:31

    I have to agree that this could be considered fraud because she entered to marriage stating that she was a virgin ( and most have known that her would be husband placed a high value on this fact). As was stated in the article, a hymen can easily break doing regular, everyday activities so unless this guy has some concrete proof (a confession etc) then he has to take her word for it. I think airing such private matter in public is tasteless and says a lot about the man and his value system.

    A man, who is not a virgin himself, should not go around putting conditions on his future partner. He can’t go around sleeping with others and then expect a virgin sitting patiently waiting for him when he decides to marry.

    As for the person who made the comment about the lack of virgins in the U.S because of Sex and the City, he should refrain from making such general statements and stick to using the word MOST. I am a virgin because of personal and religious reasons and so are the majority of my friends. We all live in NY and we are all above the age of 24.

    Virginity is more than just an intact Hymen. At least for me it is. I don’t think my life is less rewarding because I am. I tell the guys I date up front – If you intention is to get into my pants/skirt, you might as well end your journey here. You can place too much emphasis on the physical before you get to know someone – I have seen too many of my high school friends succumb to peer pressure and the end result is not as rewarding as they hoped.

  316. June 13, 2008 at 05:34

    Women should also demand that the man should be able to perform well enough to bring her maximum pleasure. Premature ejaculation should be grounds for divorce.

    I mean what woman want to put up with a worthless lover. Women who loose their virginity to worthless idiots who have self image problems, and are afraid to be with a woman who was with a more effectivere mover and shaker.

    In essence it is a loss of being discovered and measured against others, that is the thing that inadequate men fear most .

    I mean a decent women can take a lousey lover and make him into a better person. But the guy has to be interested in the other person.

    My sincere best that all selfish, wierd, shallow men, can enter into a relationship with a woman who is really a joy to be with and makes life better. It is a higher plane and a matter of growth and understanding.

    The most impressive woman I ever met and enjoyed living with was a Chinese Prostitute. Her heart and spirit were of self confidence and fun. Her character was noble, encouraging and giving. She was one of the greatest people I’ve ever been with. A great teacher, sharer, and liver of life.

    Just to have met her made me a more appreciative liver of life. Too bad these socially handicapped men could not have met here. Of course they might not have noticed her value…..even though she was knock-out beautiful.


    Nehalem, Oregon

  317. 318 Justin Durueke
    June 13, 2008 at 06:18

    I remember stories my parents told me on this topic. My mum in particular told me about how girls in their days kept themselves pure and undefiled. She said my generation is a whole lot different from theirs. I chronicle ladies that inspite of peer and societal pressure keep themselves intact. It is not easy but I would summarize by saying it is worth waiting for.

  318. 319 Richard
    June 13, 2008 at 07:10

    A very unbalanced panel in the studio – all were given too much air time. The London Iman “the forgiving” one, spoke of immorality. I seem to recall that muslim men can take up to 4 wives – at the same time and all of them virgins !!. What hypocracy.

  319. 320 caireann
    June 13, 2008 at 07:55

    If find it already reckless having to to ask: should a woman be a virgin when she marries especially when it comes to islam.

    Muslim men should be judged in the same way as women are judged and also should not have sex before marriage.
    Unfortunately only for women you can find out if a woman had first time sex, but not if a man had first time sex,
    but I guess, even if someone could find out women would be bullied by men into submission while men take the right to do what they want.
    Islam is an unjust society when it comes to women’s rights and the Koran has prepared the ground for that.
    In Pakistan e.g. if a woman is raped she needs at least 3 male witnesses who support her case or SHE goes to jail. How can that be? Muslim men are treading women’s rights with feet wherever they can.
    Islam is a male dominated society where women have not really rights and not really a say, in some areas men can even “own” a woman. I think no man should ever have the right to own any human being.

    It is unacceptable that a man tells a woman what to do especially if the men are character wise not better, often even worse.
    It is unacceptable that a man demands that a woman is still a virgin and no one knows how many women that man had sex with.

  320. June 13, 2008 at 08:21

    I have never hear from any woman I know, this is was “worth waiting for”, I have heard, from every woman I know, that guys take some educating. There is such a thing as ‘good sex’ and it has little to do with genitalia, virginity or experience.

  321. June 13, 2008 at 09:15

    I have been told and I may be wrong that a Muslim male martyr is promised 72 virgins as his prize for giving his life for his God when he gets to heaven.

    This must be the best argument for losing one’s virginity in this life. What woman would want to be raped in the next life? What God would allow it? I Do lady suicide bombers get 72 male virgins?

    The whole thing is ridiculous. We don’t actually know yet if an actual God exists. All these holy men who insist on virgins in the name of morality are talking from a position of ignorance. They don’t know for certain that their God exists yet and these men through the ages in the name of their God go around ruining women’s lives while having a hell of a time themselves.

    You do not need a belief system to be moral. In fact the way the world’s religions are behaving at the moment is a immoral and the way they treat women is unpardonable.

    Shame on you WHYS for not allowing the feminist viewpoint more prominence. Very unbalanced. You need me there! These ‘Holy” men need to be challenged head on. How dare they say they have the right to control my life for men’s honour.

    The question of God’s existence is still out. No evidence, not one shred. Let us leave the question of female virginity till the day God’s existence s proven in a court of law

  322. 323 John in Germany
    June 13, 2008 at 09:32

    Well now, so many new names to read today. 321 responses. even Zimbabwe did’nt reach that sort of fame.
    The whole world is falling apart around our heads, but the word Virginity has woken everyone up. Just goes to show the priority of certain themes in this day and age. The BEEB has certainly diverted the attention of some of us from the trials and tribulations that are being sewn on the African Continent.

    Nice to see that an Australian has been in charge. Good on Ye Bob.

    John in Germany

  323. June 13, 2008 at 10:18

    Well if everyone, both women and men, remained a virgin until their marriage day, and kept faightful to one partner, then teenage pregnancy, unwanted babies, abortion, STDs, and AIDS wouldn’t be the huge problems they are today.

    But hey, whoever supports abstinence over contraception must be some sort of religious kook who thinks the Earth is flat, right?


  324. 325 harrisazhar
    June 13, 2008 at 10:25


  325. 326 victoria
    June 13, 2008 at 10:37

    I think the guy doesn’t want to marry and he is looking for someone else to be blamed. Or he married her because both of them were arranged to get marry. and then found that she is less beautiful, less wealth, etc.. If he really a follower of Muhammad the prophet, he would not going to question about the virginity as most of the Prophet wives are widows.

    I agree both of couple should go for HIV/Aids medical check before they marry rather than looking for virginity medical check after they got marry.

  326. 327 Pangolin- in California
    June 13, 2008 at 10:45

    I find this a bizarre conversation. It’s like Norwegians debating the different qualities of snow for skiing with a person who’s never left Saudi Arabia.

    The people who are presently virgins or have had only one sexual partner have no idea what the experience of even a small variety (2-3) of sexual partners can bring to a relationship. The people who have had several partners cannot possibly explain how it is different or beneficial to have that experience since so much of this can fall under the status of ‘chemistry’.

    It could be why the conversation reads like a mixed table of blind and deaf people trying to converse with an english language learner translating.

  327. 328 vuthy (Cambodia)
    June 13, 2008 at 11:10

    It is very import for both men and women not to have sex before they get marriage.

    Trust… Moral …. Hornest… Love… to your lover…

    Monogamy is an answer..

  328. 329 gaby
    June 13, 2008 at 13:47

    There are some amusing things here: the sharing prostitute (trop beau); Pangolins in California (the zoology); Steve talking so much (not read, but the endless parade of the name); Euphorbia – nice plant, dubious theology (boys were also marshalled); the inarticulate racism; the confusion of sex and vaginal intercourse; the idea of equivalence and rights in sex (bless – all shall have prizes); the ‘surprise’ felt at hypocrisy in sexual matters (please God), all priceless, priceless. And, oh, hi, Ann (qv.). Briefly the original story (such as it’s worth) concerned French law kowtowing (or not) to Islamic ideas of what a ‘marriage’ is. This is dull, OK, but it was nothing to do with a ‘universal’ situation. It’s a conflict of jurisdiction question (yawn).
    What is a tad surprising, from men especially on these postings, is the idea that sexual experience (in women) exists in a manner which is advantageous to men. All this ‘nurse’ (surely only for ill people?) over ‘virgin’ nonsense. It may be unwise to wed a youngster as inexperienced in life. History tells us that it is best to marry an entity of either sex who has stacks of cash and is often away on business (re. this, read: The Mating Strategies of Gays and Women through the Ages, by Prof Blah-blah – only kidding, but you get the drift); but luckily as marriage is an unrewarding activity, that is of no interest either. But the idea that sexual activity with a girl who is a virgin (long may she remain so) is anything less than infinitely preferable to that with some weary female on a date (what’s a date but a recipe for disaster?) beggars belief and shows the lack of an inquiring mind and indeed relevant experience. An inexperienced girl (a ‘virgin’ is something to do with a bit of frangible skin, which is a sideline; so a girl with very limited sexual experience – the definition thereof is an interesting problem but not for this bloggette) is passionate, engaged, open, hopefully not hung up by her peers, more inclined to love and decidedly judgmental [sic]. All this is quite independent of age: there are (ugh) ‘goers’ of 13 (apparently; I wouldn’t know) and inexperienced girls of 18-23 (…) who were waiting before leaping while all their sheeplike ‘sisters’ were going for the first thing on a motorbike.
    Not many people know that. If one believed in ‘progress’ (indeed humanity) one would say, give it another hundred years, but one doesn’t. Luckily.

  329. 330 Rick
    June 13, 2008 at 15:45


    “Call me idealistic if you will, but I don’t foresee my passion fading for my wife anytime before my heart stops beating. My parents still have plenty of passion and my grandparents still had passion up until the time when my grandfather passed away. Yes, typing that did make me wince a bit.”

    You only quoted PART of what I said. I said that the passion is far less likely to fade if you marry your best friend, as you will share so many common interests, and through sharing them, keep the spark alive.

    Marrying someone you wouldn’t normally hang out with is just plain…stupid.

    I DON’T subscribe to trophy wives/husbands or the concept of being in a relationship because they “ride like a horse.” Those never last. You’ll most likely end up losing your house (and that is the best case, there).


  330. 331 Paul W
    June 13, 2008 at 15:53

    I am reminded of the old phrase…. Nobody will buy a cow if they can get free milk.

    Women need to remember that !

  331. 332 Tom
    June 13, 2008 at 15:59

    Really — my gosh…. What blabber…

    I have a fiancee… she’s 41. (Never married) I don’t give a rat’s ass if she’s virgin. what she did before me is HER business. (by the way — she’s Arabian)

    all this to me is another example of the inequalities between men & women in the Muslim world.

    Beat her, hang her, dishonor the family.. She / they are people….

    move in to the 21st Century

  332. 333 Michael
    June 13, 2008 at 16:03

    @Paul W

    …but maybe they are more likely to buy the cow if they get a free sample.

    Women need to remember that as well!

  333. 334 steve
    June 13, 2008 at 16:10

    What about the opposite of virginity, but promiscuity? Would you want to marry someone who has been with 50+ people? To me, it shows either : (1) fear of commitment,a nd you’ll get divorced or (2) poor judgment, presuming the person at least consciously believed they wanted a commitment, they either kept on picking someone who didn’t want to stick around, or they were too picky themselves and thus have unrealistic expecations. And plus, its’ really disgusting if you think about it, that 50 other people have “been” there. This is becoming increasingly common in the west, so when people outside of the west complaining about their spouse having had sex once before with one person, and it “taints” her/him, think about the person having had sex thousands of times with 50+ people..

  334. June 13, 2008 at 17:12

    I am a regular listener of your highly educative and interactive program. Yesterday, i was very much astonished with the topic. Let us be more realistic. In this age 2008, why at all should some men in society be on women to always prove their virginity. I see it to be a kokosomic argument since no means can be use to determine whether men are virgins or not. I think A womans virginity should not be a criteria for marriage. Those men should be ashamed of themselves.
    The casein France was a total disgrace to womanhood because a woman”s hymen can get destroyed in so many different ways through no fault of theirs. For example if the woman is an athlete her hymen can be totally destroyed, likewise during horse riding. even in the tropics, Africa, women easily get their hymen destroyed and that is not a sure way to determine a womans virginity.

  335. 336 Michael
    June 13, 2008 at 17:53

    I am of the opinion that if you had some sexual experiences or relationships with different women prior to marriage it will be more likely that the marriage works out because you won’t have the feeling that you missed out on something thus it will be easier for you to stay faithful to your wife. Also, with some experiences you find out what kind of character and what kind of sexual behaviour you prefer.
    The same accounts for the women of course.

    Isn’t it a honour if you know that the woman who you love and who has had experiences with other men chooses you over the others?

    I respect the resoning of people who want to save themselfs until marrige and know that they can stay faithful. It is a honourable thing. However, there is a big difference between staying a virgin in a society which socially stigmatizes people who don’t, and staying a virgin in a society which doesn’t stigmatize non-virgins.
    The former leads to hipocrisy, the reason why people stay virgins (or pretend to be) there is because of their personal (probably religious) convictions (which is a good thing), but also because they fear the social stigma and punishment (and this I don’t like at all!!!).
    Concerning the latter, I think it is only positive because then you really know that the persons stayed virgins because of their beliefs only and not out of social fear.

    Moreover, I don’t like that in some societies the women are the ones who suffer tremendously if they are not a virgin anymore but the male non-virgins don’t seem to have a big problem with their status.
    It always takes TWO to have a sexual intercourse and most often the men is the ‘active’, the one who seduces and ‘pressures’ the women into it.
    So it actually should be the men who should be punished and socially degraded and not the women.
    And I promise you if it would be like this, it wouldn’t take long and you would hear a lot of men proclaiming that virginity prior to marriage isn’t so important after all…
    Did anybody wonder why there are so many brothels in conservative societies?
    I knew people who had virgin girlfriends and when they couldn’t bear their ascetic lifestyle anymore they drove with their motorbike three villages further (where nobody knew them) and went into a brothel.
    Isn’t it much preferable to make love to the one you love rather than have sex with a prostitute (or yourself) and later feel bad about it?
    It just seems to me that by forbiding certain things you force people to be dishonest and to deiceive and I value nothing more than an honest relationship.


    one more thing:

    @ Prince Odor

    You are talking about women who are less likely to get an infection when they are circumcised…

    That really shocked me! (kind of logical they don’t get STD’s if they are sewed together.)

    There is another way of stopping women getting STD’s also. Cut of the genitals of all the men.
    And yes, don’t worry, you can keep a sample of your sperm in the freezer…

    BTW, a lot of poeple don’t call it circumcision but FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION!

  336. 337 Mwikali
    June 13, 2008 at 18:33

    A woman should only be a virgin at marriage if the man is too. As for the french case, the woman lied and that is the issue. Lies are not a great foundation for marriage.

  337. 338 CJLewis
    June 13, 2008 at 19:27

    I can’t believe it! BBC stands for British Broadcasting Corporation, and no one has yet referenced Shakespeare! So I will:

    I propose that there is nothing at all wrong with the viewpoint of Parolles in “All’s Well That Ends Well,” Act 1 Scene 1 concerning virginity:

    “There’s little can be said in it; tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity is to accuse your mothers, which is most infallible disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin: virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle. made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not, you cannot choose but lose by it: out with it! Within ten years it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase, and the principle itself not much the worse: away with it!”

    I think it is more important to use our brains and technology to eliminate all physical conditions and mental attitudes that threaten human existence and happiness. Then, when our leisure time really can be called “leisure,” we can decide if we want to have a collective or individual moral code governing the sexual conduct of people of consenting age, and what will be in that moral code. I dare to say, however, that even if we all agree upon what are virtues and vices, we will each discover that personal agreement is much easier than constant personal compliance. Referencing another great in Literature’s past, I refuse to throw the first stone, or the last stone, or any stone in between.

  338. 339 viola anderson
    June 13, 2008 at 19:41


    Thanks for your thoughtful reply; you were hardly sarcastic at all.

    I don’t really understand why you object to women sampling the field, so to speak, and rejecting those who don’t meet their criteria. Surely that is a privilege men have also. As painful as rejection can be, what are the alternatives? False acceptance by lying? Ending up with someone who hates your guts? Isn’t it better for a woman to end a relationship that isn’t working for her? If it doesn’t work for her, it eventually won’t work for him, either.

    With tongue in cheek may I offer a suggestion: The next time some woman callously ends a relationship with you, ask her to critique you in all areas. Then listen quietly if she does so. It takes a strong person to do that, but if you could pull it off, chances are you would gain some useful information. Don’t be surprised if some won’t bother. They may be uninterested or be in thrall to the myth that “love just happens.” Or they may try to spare your feelings. If that course doesn’t interest you, you could suggest it to some of the guys you know who are having difficulty in that area of their lives.

  339. 340 Huma Riaz
    June 13, 2008 at 20:58

    Hello everybody!

    This is Huma Riaz from India. Well, got to read your posts. Very interesting! I am a muslim.Therefore, I am sure I can give a better perspective regarding this issue.

    One, Islam forbids sex outside marriage. Now, whether one chooses to adhere to this or not, is their personal choice.

    Two, Marriage is a sacrosanct relationship, based on love, trust & understanding.

    Three, Islam also forsakes people from disclosing their sins openly, if realization & repentance is resorted to.

    Therefore, none is a better judge than God. We have no right to term anyone’s actions as ‘correct’ or ‘sinful’.

    Whatever is deemed in the recent issue, is a matter of personal concern between the two parties.Let me also clarify that the laws of Virginity are equally applicable to men & women in Islam. Islam is the first religion on earth, which accorded the maximum rights to women and did not covert those rights under the false branding of ‘women empowerment’.

    As for people, who use Islam and cite religious quotations for their evil doings, well, black sheeps are a phenomena in any sphere of life! 🙂

    Thanks for your patient reading!

    Huma Riaz

  340. June 13, 2008 at 21:22

    Hi, from Chile. I’m not a muslim, nor a catholic, nor religious meme minded person neither (to clarify my position: no religion is telling me a thing). I guess the woman must be virgin when marrying a man, and I say marrying, as she very well be the woman of a man without being married, so there isn’t a legal tie between them, so the tie could be broken any minute without much scandal. But if a man gets married with a woman who has more guys in her bed beforehand, he will be always, as in my particular case, thinking about the guys who made scream “his”lady… And that it’s a gut derived feeling, not a brain commanded thought; it just come and spoil the whole night, over and over through the years .

  341. 342 alicia
    June 13, 2008 at 22:27

    jus wntd to say while it would b admirable to be one it shld not b a pressure dat is forced on someone who isn’t.

    if dey wish to change dat they can choose to live their lives thereafter in such a way dat is perceived as equally respectable as dat of a virgin, man or woman

  342. 343 el-idu
    June 14, 2008 at 03:52

    it`s required for women to be virgin until they get married, but what about men? in america a man is supposed to have a lot of sexual intercourses with women before getting married. in fact, a 25 virgin guy is considered “gay”. so, sexuality is a matter of culture. and, if a man really loves a woman, only he should be interested in her condition. about the french case, the problem is that she lied, and, in that particular case, since i beliebe honesty is the most important quality in a woman, she must be punished, not for having sex before married, but for liying to her husband.

  343. June 14, 2008 at 14:05

    Hi Folks,
    This 66 year old Canadian man who loves your show, thinks virginity is highly overated. I have had women with little or no experience and it is sometimes hard work to help a woman who has had little experience to acheive pleasure. In my wife’s case it took almost 3 months working together trying to get over her shyness to talk it through. My wife had experienced several partners in the past but had never had pleasure from the experience and didn’t know how. The most disgusting aspect of this issue is the fact that there are men out there who are scared that their virility or technique maybe compared to others and thus feel threatened. I was raised by my stepfather who taught me it was a man’s duty to help a woman experience a pleasureable sex act and that we may have to try several ways of achieving this goal. He also told me that with some women who are inexperienced it may be very difficult to manage. Sometimes it is natural but to most it is difficult unless they have had some experience. It does help if they have at least some experience with self masturbation and know what an orgasm actually is.
    This is from a man who has been very happily married and been faithful for over 36 wonderful years. I have had less than 15 women for sexual partners before marriage and my work as a bus driver, have had many temptations to stray. Thanks to my prior experiences I know that an orgasm is a personal experience that is much better privately shared with a single partner and that the grass on the other side of the fence only appears to be greener.
    I’m still sexually active with my 55 year old wife who I love and cherish. Thanks for BBC4 !!! I wish you had BBC4 on my Sirius radio.
    God Bless YOU and YOURS
    Cliff W Smith

  344. 345 alnoah
    June 15, 2008 at 00:18

    She sould be Virgin, Then because GOD will have the reward for her here and hereafter.

  345. 346 Jeff Minter
    June 15, 2008 at 01:07

    It’s a societal restriction, put in place by men for millennia – and for many good reasons.

    With women being the child carrier, it is impossible to determine when pregnant if her partner is the father of the child with extramarital affairs. Swap the roles and this problem simply doesn’t exist . As the onus on funding children has always been on the father (runaways aside), they have traditionally used virginity “to keep tabs” on his children actually being his children.

    Another reason is that, no matter what modern society tells you, the greatest asset women possess is her sexuality – and innocence plays a fundamental role in that. For men it has always been status, power and money.

    Lose that innocence i.e. existing children, having a masculine appearance – and you will find the attraction of such a woman plummets. So from the viewpoint of a man – if he were to invest his resources, time into children and his wife – he wants in return attraction, loyalty and purity.

  346. 347 Jeff Minter
    June 15, 2008 at 01:14

    For women who think this view as selfish and out of date, look at it this way – would you be prepared to spend your time and money on children produced through your husband’s affairs? To dedicate emotional time to those who have no biological association to you?

  347. 348 selenayvonne
    June 15, 2008 at 01:26


    It works both ways. A man who would want me to conform to today’s beauty norm and who would value virginity over my heart would never be in line to be my partner.

    I have very strict views on what constitutes attraction, loyalty and purity in a male. Males who set a standard to which they feel they do not have to adhere are off my list.

    I just watched a bit of a TV show in which the host was shown what she would look like as she grew older. She was repulsed by herself as an older woman. I could feel nothing but immense pity for her.

    Never mind men, her value to herself lies in her looks. How sad is that!

  348. 349 estelle
    June 15, 2008 at 06:52


    I don’t think all women should be virgins when getting married. It is all a question of value and choice. I believe that men and women are equal and no party should impose their views at all and worse through violence, politics or religion.
    If a woman prefers not to have sex and she respects herself doing do, why not? But it has to be from her own will and no imposed on her. Same thing with a man. If she decides to experiment sex with one or several partners, it is up to her, too.
    It all comes down to what values you have, what kind of person you are.
    There are advantages and disadvantages in each situation, I think. But what matters, when you have a relationship with someone is respect, respect of whom you are, whether you are a man or a woman. Imposed behaviour, violence are unacceptable.

  349. 350 estelle
    June 15, 2008 at 07:29

    I would like to add that it is the same thing the other way round. A girl or a woman should not be pushed into having sex because it is the ‘done’ thing to get drunk and have sex. It’s a personal choice, what makes you happy.
    In my opinion, sex with a partner you know, love and trust is not negative at all. Let’s not forget that sex can be an expression of love and I believe it is better of you have sex with someone you really like and trust.

  350. 351 John van Dokkumburg
    June 15, 2008 at 10:40

    A marriage is like – not love , its a contract because peoples unbelieve and unfaith. But blind because of love , you want to have , and not let go .. Before marriage for having sex is knowing what you get .. part of the believe . And If you want to possess , and be one ( of soul), then you must marrie ,

    If you dont have that intension but better knowing what love is , ( the bigger soul ) you dont marriage a man but buy his love with everything you have , and he will have you for the inner world , the place where the woman wants to life .And so, A men can rest . And a men makes his women wanted in the world , free here way , making place , making here world a peacefull and wide world like the nature is in universe .

  351. 352 Zaynabova
    June 15, 2008 at 14:09

    i am really thinking why verginity is detectable in women but not in men? it must have a purpose otherwise this would have not remain but gone with evolution

  352. 353 Raymond Gilden
    June 15, 2008 at 16:14

    Should a man be a virgin when he marries? If you answer this “yes” then I suppose it’s fair that a woman be a virgin.

  353. 354 stupid
    June 17, 2008 at 01:15

    I am virgin and I expect no less from my girl. I feel like it is cheating to give up to my senses. It is not fair for my future girl. I might consider if she admits to having sex before I met her but lying before marriage about sex is a biggest blow to the trust crucial to the smooth flow of relationship. Layer of hymen is not what I mean by virginity.

    Yes, I am very conservative when it comes down to sex. I, however, restrain myself not for the sake of religion. In Muslim tradition a man is allowed to marry as many woman as he wants and it requires all the woman to be virgin. What a hypocrisy!

  354. 355 sarah
    June 20, 2008 at 03:38

    in Islam, if you ask forgiveness for some sin you did in the past, then you are forbidden to talk about that sin, for it is a sin to talk about a sin, therefore, if one asks if you are a virgin, and you reply yes, then you are not lying. go to http://www.sunnipath.com/answers and type in “talking about sins”

  355. 356 Sorin V
    July 6, 2008 at 10:43

    I am a man with some experience. I want to present why a girl should be virgin at marriage. In world there are good things and bad things. One should try to benefit of good thing, nice events in his/her life. on average a marriage lasts statistically 8 years, when it should last > 50. There is no doubt that no man really wants a woman that had a sexual intercourse with another male.
    1. Virginity is a beutiful state – it is the beauty of inocence.
    2. Virgins are safer in terms of health – very few sexually transmitted diseses.
    3. Virgins are more beautiful and clever : they are girls desired and cherished so they have the time to choose the man they dream of and the determination to postpone sex until they accomplish their plan : a new happy family. They are not desperate to give up to an average man witch offers them nothing REALLY important before sex and cheats them.
    4. Every woman starts as a virgin and loves her virginity. But many of them quickly fails, their love life ends with a stupid mistake. They become after the failure hopeless, second hand, meaningless. Then they try to develop a Philosophy of non virgins to countermeasure their shame and failure, to be able to move on in live.
    5. Virgins are greatly outnumbered by non-virgins. They are in small number and are very valuable as love and sex partners. So, the non-virgins try to destroy their reputation and negate their value. Many of the virgins, especially low-self esteem and low IQ, give up and begin to consider themselves wrong.
    6. There is a small proportion of female that has some health (including mental health and body health) witch happens to have an intact hymen and spoils the reputation of virgins. But a clever man will distinguish them.
    7. So many men have to accept a non-virgin as the mother of their children and they are not happy although they will never recognise. They will develop a theory to compensate their unfortunate destiny. They will never love a non virgin, they will have no inner motivation not to cheat.
    8. A healthy virgin models herself after her first man, provided that the relation lasts enough. They will never or hardly come back to the original state and model after a new man.
    9. Any woman can find a male and loose her virginity in less than 1 hour, so the non-virginity state is easy to obtain, therefore of no value.
    There is therefore absolutely no reason to marry a woman that is not virgin. Non virgin should pay for her stupidity by a loveless life.
    When a man has no better choice but a non-virgin and when a women is not clever enough to be able to choose a person – the most important person in her life, and the most important choice – at least just SHUT UP.

  356. 357 Sorin V
    July 6, 2008 at 12:31

    No, there is no fear that the second man in a woman’s life is not better that the first. It is another lie. In every aspect of life, the first pleasurable experience is the best and it is best remembered. A woman might not have orgasm at her first intercourse, but the story of her love, her expectations, her emotions of doing it for the first time are of much higher value than hundreds of later orgasms afterward. Are men so lazy and insensible to consider too much an effort to initiate his recently virgin partner ? Everyone with what one deserves ……

  357. October 15, 2009 at 11:37

    Ladies should be virgin before marriage, one of the main causes of extra marital affairs is sex experience before marriage.lets take for example a fe3mal who has never experince sexual intercause will never no how it looks like, so either her husband is good at sex or not she will never no.

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