The debate over whether to ban “virginity testing,” explained
December 7, 2019 9:48 AM   Subscribe

New York State is considering barring the practice after T.I.’s comments about his daughter. The rapper T.I. sparked nationwide controversy last month when he said he takes his 18-year-old daughter to the doctor every year to check if she is a virgin. While he later said his comments had been misinterpreted, experts say “virginity testing” is a real thing that happens in the US. Now, one state is taking steps to ban it.

a doctor can’t actually determine if someone has been sexually active by examining the person’s hymen.

Hymens come in different shapes and sizes naturally, and can be broken by activities other than intercourse, Mishori said. There’s no medical evidence that examining the hymen tells a doctor anything about sexual history.

There are other methods of so-called “virginity testing,” including the “two-finger test,” in which a doctor inserts two fingers into the vagina to see how pliable it is, Mishori said. But this also has no basis in science.

In fact, there is no physical examination that can determine whether a person has ever had sex.


Previously, sorta.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (57 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
As a complete aside, almost a non-sequitur, she's 18 and so it's already illegal for the doctor to share her medical info with him!

Isn't it? HIPAA and all that?
posted by MiraK at 10:01 AM on December 7, 2019 [25 favorites]


“You can’t tell if someone is a virgin, so how can you ban something that is not possible?” Dr. Maura Quinlan, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, told the paper.

You can ban them from billing for the practice or related services, which would make it unappealing for practitioners.

Honestly, we should just ban men from being parents for a few generations.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:01 AM on December 7, 2019 [49 favorites]


Is it allowed under medical ethics in USA to perform a procedure that does not benefit the patient?
posted by mikek at 10:02 AM on December 7, 2019 [15 favorites]


Genji, my mom was the one who had me virginity-tested when I was 16/17. 🤷 My dad didn't even know and still doesn't. This problem is really not men being bullshit, not this time. It's fucked up cultural misogyny. Those of us who are unlucky enough to be born in more misogynistic cultures have this and worse to deal with.
posted by MiraK at 10:07 AM on December 7, 2019 [86 favorites]


As a complete aside, almost a non-sequitur, she's 18 and so it's already illegal for the doctor to share her medical info with him!

Isn't it? HIPAA and all that?


T.I. explained in the original interview that he pressures her into consenting to have the information shared with him.
posted by snowmentality at 10:08 AM on December 7, 2019 [23 favorites]


In the US context... does an American doctor who does this bullshit test believe they are testing something meaningful? Or do they know it's bullshit?
posted by Nelson at 10:11 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]


People really should break standard MeFi practice and read the articles before commenting here. All of the questions being asked are answered in detail in them already.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:13 AM on December 7, 2019 [39 favorites]


You'd think they'd know, right?? I was virginity-tested by a doctor in Singapore, in the late 1990s, and all the way to that appointment I was telling my mom, "But what if I tore my hymen doing karate all these years?" If *I* knew, how did the doctor not know?
posted by MiraK at 10:14 AM on December 7, 2019 [13 favorites]


T.I. explained in the original interview that he pressures her into consenting to have the information shared with him.

That's what struck me about his story. Usually when someone tells a story about themself they tell a version that paints them in a good light, but even in his own telling the doctor is clearly uncomfortable with what's happening and even tells T.I. it's a useless procedure.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:19 AM on December 7, 2019 [11 favorites]


People really should break standard MeFi practice and read the articles before commenting here.

You posted this right after my question (do doctors believe what they're doing is real?) but I really did read the article first and I read it a second time and I don't think the answer is in there. Maybe you meant someone else's question. (I'm usually the first to post "read the damn article" fwiw.)

I really am curious what's going on in the minds of a US doctor doing a "virginity test". Are they so medically ignorant that they believe the presence or absence of a hymen is indicative of virginity? Do they really believe that a two finger test means anything? (Are their fingers medically calibrated?!) I guess I shouldn't underestimate how misogynistic and backward doctors can be.

If the doctor knows the test is bullshit, why are they doing it anyway? To make a quick buck? To say "yes she's a virgin" to reassure the parents whether they think the child/victim is a virgin or not? At the end of the article there's some optimistic stuff saying doctors could use the test as "a chance to try to elevate the discussion" but there's no evidence that's what's happening now.
posted by Nelson at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2019 [6 favorites]


Is it allowed under medical ethics in USA to perform a procedure that does not benefit the patient?


Depending on the situation the patient is in, the maximum benefit may be obtained by performing a sham virginity test and telling the parents she is a virgin. Social work is an integral part of medicine, and sometimes calls for Machiavellian measures.
posted by ocschwar at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2019 [24 favorites]


I really am curious what's going on in the minds of a US doctor doing a "virginity test".

"Two more payments and that yacht is all mine."
posted by Splunge at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2019 [26 favorites]


I really am curious what's going on in the minds of a US doctor doing a "virginity test".

"Two more payments and that yacht is all mine."


Can we not with this 'greedy doctor' trope anymore?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:28 AM on December 7, 2019 [11 favorites]


“Usually like the day after the party, she’s enjoying her gifts, I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30,” the rapper continued, adding that, “as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”

Ugh this is just so sickening knowing that it's about asserting his status as owner and her status as property. Imagine if the context of something like this was "Now that you're an adult I'm going to help you establish healthy practices for taking care of yourself in the long term" and not whatever this is.

I understand why they're saying if they outlaw virginity testing then only outlaws will do virginity testing but that still gives doctors way more credit than they deserve for knowing how to handle this conversation *and* doing a good job with it.

Maybe instead this would be a good opportunity for some kind of blanket legislation against non-existent medical procedures to get ahead of this "re-implant ectopic pregnancy" thing too. Can we just stop treating women's bodies like lifeless incubators all together.
posted by bleep at 10:32 AM on December 7, 2019 [34 favorites]


Can we not with this 'greedy doctor' trope anymore?

But why else do some doctors go along with a practice that has no medical benefit or purpose? Where is the AMA and why isn't it directing how their doctors practice and how medical schools train future doctors, as it concerns this abusive procedure?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:37 AM on December 7, 2019 [36 favorites]


I think it's a combination of the fact the us economy is so market based that most general practitioners are sole proprieters/small business owners. Everything takes a cost/benefit analysis. Couple that with the the patriarchy and the "cost" variable plummets.
posted by avalonian at 10:42 AM on December 7, 2019


Can we not with this 'greedy doctor' trope anymore?

Maybe if it weren't patently obvious that there are greedy doctors, this wouldn't be a trope, hmm?
I suppose you could try "Not all doctors!"
posted by evilDoug at 10:43 AM on December 7, 2019 [38 favorites]


But why else do some doctors go along with a practice that has no medical benefit or purpose?

Honestly, I can think of lots of other reasons why a doctor might go along with this sort of thing other than money, though most of them are even less flattering to the doctors that do.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:45 AM on December 7, 2019 [20 favorites]


> People really should break standard MeFi practice and read the articles before commenting here. All of the questions being asked are answered in detail in them already.

The WHO made a general statement, my question was specifically about licensing bodies in the United States which was not provided in the article. Asking on a discussion forum in hope of learning from people who may be more knowledgeable than myself.
posted by mikek at 10:48 AM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]


But why else do some doctors go along with a practice that has no medical benefit or purpose?

In my experience it's because they share the parent's belief that the daughter's sexuality should be monitored and that the daughter's virginity is property of the parent until she's married. Misogyny is a real thing. Policing women's bodies is a real thing. It's often not about money.

I was 22 when I moved to USA. My apartment was just outside campus, right next to a liquor store owned by an Indian uncle who was around my parents' age. This guy would not sell me alcohol. Just plumb refused. I am Indian too, and he felt a paternalistic interest in controlling my access to the vice of alcohol at the expense of his own business and profits. My 21-yr-old Japanese roommate? No problem. My 25 yr old white Bulgarian roommate? No problem. My 23 yr old Palestinian Muslim roommate? Totally cool. But me, I was in some small way this man's ward, his property. He probably thought he owed this to my parents, because he would want someone else to control his daughter's access to alcohol the way he was controlling mine.
posted by MiraK at 10:50 AM on December 7, 2019 [82 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. Sorry - circumcision is a different thing, conversations about it have inescapable connection to Judaism/minority religious identity and antisemitism, and based on experience, steering toward that topic is extremely likely to take over a thread that's not actually about that.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:57 AM on December 7, 2019 [33 favorites]


Were I a doctor asked to do this, I would not do it, but I would pretend that I had, then assure the parent that their daughter was still a virgin.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:58 AM on December 7, 2019 [17 favorites]


If the doctor knows the test is bullshit, why are they doing it anyway?

Maybe some doctors don't think it's bullshit -- doctors are humans with flaws, biases, and superstitions, not emotionless med-bots running on pure logic and empirical data. A lot of doctors believe a lot of nonsense:

This NY Times Mag article mentions, among other things, a study showing many doctors & med students think black people experience less pain than white people

Another on physician bias against the overweight

From the Guardian on ignorance & bias against trans patients
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:59 AM on December 7, 2019 [31 favorites]


[not trying to derail to any of those topics, just responding to the question with relevant examples]
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:00 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]


Until I read this article, I hadn't even thought about what a fantastic opportunity this is for doctors to screen for child abuse and domestic violence. YES PLEASE, more of that! Let's welcome these parents into doctors' offices and ask them about the way things are at home. Then let's ask the parents to wait outside and ask their children the same questions. Send the kids home with pamphlets about domestic abuse and resources to contact, for good measure.
posted by MiraK at 11:04 AM on December 7, 2019 [30 favorites]


even in his own telling the doctor is clearly uncomfortable with what's happening and even tells T.I. it's a useless procedure.

In a follow-up he claimed to be "exaggerating" for comic effect, which, even if true, is almost as bad, because he obviously thinks he's justified in being the "classic" over-protective dad and he's using shitty 1980s stand-up level humor to justify/shield himself -- "aw shucks, you know how us dads can be -- hey, at least I didn't pull a shotgun on her boyfriend the first time I met him, the way my step-father did to me!"
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:06 AM on December 7, 2019 [6 favorites]


Until I read this article, I hadn't even thought about what a fantastic opportunity this is for doctors to screen for child abuse and domestic violence. YES PLEASE, more of that! Let's welcome these parents into doctors' offices and ask them about the way things are at home. Then let's ask the parents to wait outside and ask their children the same questions. Send the kids home with pamphlets about domestic abuse and resources to contact, for good measure.

This is what I was thinking, that the very request would be a red flag raised, and cause to explore the possibility of abuse/family tensions that could be addressed directly with the patient alone if at all possible. If a parent insists on such a procedure, it might be best to find out from the patient what would be the best answer to provide for the parent seeking the procedure and provide it as deemed wise. This is possibly ethically questionable, but also keeping in line with what may be best course of action for the actual patient.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:19 AM on December 7, 2019 [8 favorites]


Probably of interest: Virgin: The Untouched History by Hanne Blank-- the first book about virginity. Covers physical, historical, cultural aspects, etc.

I'll offer another reason for why a doctor might do a bullshit procedure. Just not wanting to argue with the parent,
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 11:20 AM on December 7, 2019 [5 favorites]


On the topic of adjacent atrocities, there's also a anal exam for testing whether a man is homosexual. It pops up several countries. In theory it's a diganostic administered by a doctor, but in practice it is used as a tool by governments to sexually assault young men into submission and also maybe to justify imprisoning or executing someone.

That's why my question above was focused on US doctors; we like to imagine we're somehow evolved beyond sexual superstition. The idea that any US medical facility would actually perform or bill for a virginity exam is shocking to me. I really shouldn't underestimate the misogyny present in medicine, including in the US.
posted by Nelson at 11:51 AM on December 7, 2019 [27 favorites]


wait til you all find out about how surgeons let medical students into the OR to do pelvic exams on unconscious anaesthetized women who are not told about it and have not consented to it.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:14 PM on December 7, 2019 [51 favorites]


Examining someone to determine virginity is more than invasive; doctors say it can be painful and even constitute sexual assault if done without the patient’s consent.

This was my first thought before I could even click the link. The excellent/critical points that this a) doesn't work, and far more importantly b) fathers/parents/doctors/others don't own and have no right to women's bodies have already been well made here. My only 2 cents here (other than heartbreak and rage) is that I cannot imagine putting my child in harm's way for any reason or belief, which is absolutely how this seems to me.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:33 PM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]


Good. Now do the other 49 states and the rest of the world.
posted by saysthis at 3:03 PM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]




wait til you all find out about how surgeons let medical students into the OR to do pelvic exams on unconscious anaesthetized women who are not told about it and have not consented to it.

We are not unaware.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:48 PM on December 7, 2019 [7 favorites]


In the US context... does an American doctor who does this bullshit test believe they are testing something meaningful? Or do they know it's bullshit

Certainly from my perspective as a UK doctor, that girl would be a virgin and remain so even after pregnancy and childbirth as far as my discussions with her father were concerned. No way would I put a patient at risk by potentially disclosing information to a family member that might lead them to being the victim of an honour killing, and unfortunately me and him having lengthy arguments about the pointlessness of the test might also have repercussions for the patient (of course I wouldn’t do the test either, I’d use the time to check in with the patient away from him).

I’d also be raising safeguarding concerns separately, but right there in the room? Not saying anything to antagonise a clearly abusive man, or raise doubts in his mind about his daughter.
posted by tinkletown at 5:19 PM on December 7, 2019 [23 favorites]


“wait til you all find out about how surgeons let medical students into the OR to do pelvic exams on unconscious anaesthetized women who are not told about it and have not consented to it.”

Can’t speak to the US, but this has not been a thing in the UK in the 22 years since I started med school. Maybe in the 60s and 70s, definitely not now. Shouldn’t have happened ever, but there has been a sea-change in attitudes to patient autonomy and consent over the past thirty years, and it absolutely would not be tolerated these days (even if a surgeon suggested it, the theatre nurses and anaesthetist, who would be sitting right there monitoring the patient, would not allow it to happen - all of them would risk being struck off if they condoned it).

If you are having gynae surgery, you are often examined by the surgeon doing the op ^as part of the procedure^ (to feel what they are doing/lift things into position). But you aren’t going to get a random pelvic exam as part of your knee replacement.
posted by tinkletown at 5:33 PM on December 7, 2019 [3 favorites]


I want to know what the point of the ‘virginity’ test is. I mean, what happens if they find out that she’s not ‘pure’?
posted by Jubey at 6:23 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think that the point of these tests is crystal clear: sadism, humiliation, to display power and dominance, to induce terror, and to remind women of their place and the penalties for not staying in their place. The consequences of failing the test vary, from domestic abuse, to social sanction, to death.
posted by skye.dancer at 6:50 PM on December 7, 2019 [31 favorites]


What if instead of banning these "tests" we treated them the way anti-abortion legislatures treat abortion?

Sure, you can have this done - but first you have to watch a video about how bad and useless and potentially damaging it is, then you have to wait at least 24 hours, then you can have the procedure done if and only if there are, like, wide enough hallways in the facility. and also here's your case number and contact info for a social worker, in case you need to talk.*

*I'm aware of no state actually mandating this for post-abortion care, but I bet we could slip it in anyway, may as well aim high.
posted by Tess of the d'Urkelvilles at 8:24 PM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]


Tess, why on earth would we keep a procedure like this one legal? It is inherently abusive, assaultive, and a violation. There is no way to do a virginity check that isn't sexual assault by the doctor and domestic abuse by the parent. What possible reason could there be to merely put bureaucratic obstacles on front of it rather than ban it? Would you suggest the same for minor girls who "want" to have sexual relationships with their fathers, I mean, what?! I almost want to apologise for overreacting to your comment but no, no, your comment is seriously minimizing the trauma and violence inherent in these tests. They can't be condoned.
posted by MiraK at 5:55 AM on December 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


It shows my ignorance, but until I saw the headlines, I had thought this was a relic of the past, not something that still happened routinely.

A doctor willing to perform such an openly misogynistic procedure should be at risk of losing their license to practice.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:09 AM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


MiraK I believe Tess is being sarcastic by comparing this to the restrictions around safe and legal abortion, I don’t believe they seriously want to keep virginity testing legal at all.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:17 AM on December 8, 2019 [4 favorites]


*It shows my ignorance, but until I saw the headlines, I had thought this was a relic of the past, not something that still happened routinely*

I don’t think they are being done routinely in the US. I think this crazy father is taking his daughter to her gynaecologist, who is rolling their eyes, then taking the daughter to one side for ten minutes, maybe doing a smear or whatever else is clinically indicated and billable, then coming back and saying “all good!”

From the article: “In a 2016 survey of OB-GYNs in the United States, about 10 percent of respondents said they had been asked to perform virginity testing, and 3.5 percent said they had done so. Sometimes, requests for such testing come from parents, Mishori said. But sometimes they come from patients themselves, who may ask a doctor to “write a note” or otherwise provide proof that they are virgins”

I would hope that the 3.5% of gynaecologists who HAVE done virginity tests (and hopefully it was a one-off, not a routine occurrence), are mostly cases where they have been asked by the patient themselves to “write a note”, to prevent violent retribution towards the patient from their fiance or family.

Again, if I was approached by a patient at risk of honour killing, I’d work with them to write whatever nonsense was needed to keep them alive, while signposting them to community services (“no evidence of sexual activity” is perfectly true assuming I hadn’t spotted a penis up there). These women are often not in a position to remove themselves from their entire community and become entirely self-supporting overnight.
posted by tinkletown at 8:24 AM on December 8, 2019 [11 favorites]


Ah, sorry, I plead as my excuse this post-satire world.

Edited to add to the conversation: I wonder if there is any functional difference between patients who "voluntarily" ask for these exams in order to get a note for their parents, vs. patients who come with with parents who are demanding the exam. To me there does not seem to be one. In either case the only ethical thing for a doctor to do, imo, is screen for domestic abuse, give them a ton of pamphlets describing what domestic abuse is, and send the patient back with phone numbers for counselors, women's shelters, and/or CPS.
posted by MiraK at 9:33 AM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Wait so how is shoving two of your fingers into some unwilling girl's vagina not sexual assault though and also as a non-virgin with vaginismus who can't even use tampons and cries through paps, this makes me so angry. It would hurt so much. Should absolutely be illegal. Also it's kind of nonsensical. Like "just to make sure no man has been touching your lady parts I'm going to force you to have some strange man touch your lady parts" wtf even
posted by windykites at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2019 [9 favorites]


“I wonder if there is any functional difference between patients who "voluntarily" ask for these exams in order to get a note for their parents, vs. patients who come with with parents who are demanding the exam”

Not to my mind, no. Though it does make it easier to elicit abuse when the abuser isn’t on the other side of a door.
posted by tinkletown at 10:50 AM on December 8, 2019


Mira K - I figured the bit about hallway width would be a tip-off, if nothing else. I wasn't thinking of how having old trauma brought up doesn't (ime) put me in a mood for sarcasm and hyperbole. and I'm genuinely sorry if my post brought that out for you.

It sucks to not get the benefit of the doubt, but not nearly as much as medicalized abuse sucks, so.
posted by Tess of the d'Urkelvilles at 11:07 AM on December 8, 2019 [3 favorites]



Honestly, we should just ban men from being parents for a few generations.


I suspect that hoards of deadbeat dads would readily point to this type of thinking, "it's what the women wanted!" Are we even still thinking about virginity, as a culture, anymore?
posted by erattacorrige at 12:04 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Health insurance in my US state takes privacy and abuse seriously, so there are ways to use health insurance as an 18+ dependent without alerting a parent, ex- or unhealthy/toxic family member that is the policy holder of someone else’s health care activity. You might need to read the fine print and fill out a form, but it’s an option for most situations.
posted by childofTethys at 12:43 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


So many questions.

What is the virginity test for guys?
If T.I. had a son instead, would he take his son for a virginity test?
(1 billion questions deleted about the efficacy of virginity testing for women, how it is misogynistic, controlling, etc.)

evilDoug:Maybe if it weren't patently obvious that there are greedy doctors, this wouldn't be a trope, hmm?
I suppose you could try "Not all doctors!"


Coming from someone who appears to be educating students, that is astonishingly prejudiced.

Of the 100s of MDs I work with annually, maybe 1% are outright greedy. Most are in it to help the community. (And the amount of debt they carry to even start helping others speaks to the selflessness of their cause.)

Saying that trope is accurate because it is "patently obvious" is lazy. It is as lazy as saying blondes are ditzy. "I suppose you could try not all blondes!"

Please.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 1:03 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I had a coworker 20+ years ago who was a very loud, in your face woman with little to no social filter. When I first started at that location, my introduction to her was by way of her walking into the office and, during a conversation with other colleagues she knew, proudly announcing that she took her daughters to get checked every year to "make damned sure their cherries weren't broken." She was a single parent with three or four children and did not earn a high salary. I didn't discuss her remark with her personally but my impression at the time was that she was trying to prevent her daughters from making the same mistake she felt she had made in getting pregnant too early in life.

I think (hope) most parents who do this are smart enough to realize that the hymen is not some kind of rigid sperm barrier. In the same way that stuff leaks out every month, other stuff can leak in. Their goal has less to do with medical certitude and more to do with showing the daughter, "I've got my eye on you, you'd better not even think about fooling around." You'll have a very hard time convincing such a person that they're not being a good parent -- they'd rather have their daughter's hymen examined every year than what they see as the likely alternatives, ending up bringing her in for an abortion, or winding up as young grandparents who have failed in helping their children escape the cycle of poverty.

So I think a productive conversation in this area involves less disgust and scorn toward the parents and more in terms of how to convince parents, particularly ones who live in neighborhoods where teen pregnancy is relatively high, that there are better alternatives to helping their children make wise choices than inducing a threat by way of barbaric procedure.
posted by xigxag at 2:37 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


a non mouse, a cow herd TI has a son, who is not a virgin, and he has expressed approval of that.

Like always, it's misogyny and a double standard because it's really about controlling women not valuing virginity.
posted by sotonohito at 4:00 PM on December 8, 2019 [15 favorites]


I faintly remember a virginity test being a thing (for her, not him) when Lady Diana and Prince Charles got engaged. Or was it just gossip that showed up in some trashy biopic I watched as an impressionable young person?
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:31 PM on December 8, 2019


Xigxag, similar arguments are made in favour of FGM. If the goal was solely to prevent pregnancy, they’d just get a LARC.
posted by tinkletown at 6:55 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm just getting madder and madder thinking of someone paying someone else to annually sexually assault their daughter to (ostensibly) ensure she's never had consensual, pleasurable sexual activity, but only the traumatic violating kind.
posted by windykites at 7:09 PM on December 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


a non mouse, a cow herd TI has a son, who is not a virgin, and he has expressed approval of that.

Like always, it's misogyny and a double standard because it's really about controlling women not valuing virginity.


Thank you sotonohito. Why am I not surprised at all?

I could have probably done some research on T.I. to realize he also had a son, but... he believes in virginity testing. I've already spent more time thinking about him than I should have.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:06 AM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think a productive conversation in this area involves less disgust and scorn toward the parents and more in terms of how to convince parents

No way. Disgust and scorn are the correct response toward parents who sexually assault their daughters. You know what's a great way to convince parents to stop doing it? We call sexual assault by its name and we start bringing criminal charges against these parents.

Please don't justify these heinous acts, especially under such a blatantly false pretense as "but they're just worried about teen pregnancy."

That single mom would have bought birth control for her daughters and filled their purses with condoms if she was interested in preventing teen pregnancy. Do you think she is unaware of the existence of prophylactics, ffs, that she sincerely believed that sexually assaulting her daughters was the only way to prevent them from getting pregnant? Hell, if this was truly about a worry about teen pregnancy, she could even have done some other massively abusive and violating things (which are nevertheless LESS violating than outright sexual assault), such as monitoring her daughter's periods. My mom did that, too. In addition to having my virginity checked. The two were quite separate, really, they were about very different concerns.
posted by MiraK at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2019 [8 favorites]


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