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Women’s morality and virginity in Indian culture

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Gynaecologist and sex counsellor Dr Mahindra Watsa and sexologist Dr Rajan Bhonsle discuss the connection between women’s morality and virginity in Indian culture in this candid and eye-opening article in The Times of India.

Dr Watsa says that, even in this day and age of pre-marital sex, he still gets many questions about brides’ virginity from newly married men.

Dr Bhonsle explains that “The presence of the hymen which ruptures (resulting in the bleeding) is not a sure shot sign of virginity”, and adds that in a relationship, if a couple is to make it work successfully, it is more important for the couple to worry about virtues like trust and honesty.

For some men in India, however, especially those brought up in very orthodox families or old-fashioned joint families, it’s the family members who tend to influence their decision.

A few myths busted:

  • An intact hymen is not a sure sign of virginity
  • A woman’s hymen can be ruptured by non-sexual activities like intense sports, dancing, sitting astride on two wheelers, etc
  • It is not necessary for a virgin to bleed the first time she has sex. In fact, according to statistics, only 42 per cent of women do so
  • With the current advances in medical technology, a plastic surgeon can quite easily reconstruct a layer of tissue to resemble the hymen (called hymenoplasty)

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