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Virginity


Modern Standards for Virginity

In modern relationships where the goal may not always be marriage, new standards are set based on depth of caring, commitment, or some other agreed upon concepts. An interesting framework for describing some of the different sexual philosophies among unmarried virgins and nonvirgins was developed by D'Augelli and D'Augelli in 1971.

According to these authors, inexperienced virgins are individuals who have had little dating experience until college and have usually not thought much about sex; adamant virgins are people who firmly believe that intercourse before marriage is wrong; potential nonvirgins are individuals who have not yet found the right situation or partner for coital sex and often seem to have a high fear of pregnancy; engaged nonvirgins are those whose coital experience has usually been with one partner (typically someone they love or care deeply about) and only in the context of a committed relationship; liberated nonvirgins are people who have more permissive attitudes toward premarital intercourse and value the physical pleasures of it without demanding love as a justification; and confused nonvirgins are those who participate in intercourse without an understanding of its motivation, its meaning in their lives, or its effect on themselves or others.

Double Standard for Virginity

The issue of virginity is often subjected to a double standard based on gender. In our society, boys are typically encouraged to, and congratulated for, engaging in intercourse. Losing their virginity tends to elevate their status in their peer group and sometimes even in the eyes of their fathers or other older males.

Girls, on the other hand, are cautioned not to lose their virginity and their reputations often suffer if they do engage in sexual intercourse. One wonders then to whom the boys are supposed to be losing their virginity.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute


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