Can any biological indicators effectively determine whether someone is a virgin?


Quick Answer

There is no foolproof test for virginity among human beings. Males undergo no significant anatomical alterations as a result of their initial experience of sexual intercourse. Even the presence or absence of the females' hymen, traditionally regarded as evidence of virginity, is an unreliable indicator of sexual history, as Howstuffworks explains in its section on sexual health.

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Full Answer

Many traditional societies place a high value on virginity, particularly female virginity. The most common "test" for virginity, and one that is sometimes a prerequisite for marriage, is the presence of a hymen. According to folk beliefs, the presence of either an intact hymen before marriage or blood stains in the bed after the wedding night evidencing the hymen's rupture are definitive proof of the bride's "intact" status. Howstuffworks dismisses this by explaining that the presence or absence of a hymen is only weakly correlated to past sexual activity. Many girls are born without the membrane or lose it sometime before puberty without having sex. Sometimes the hymen is resilient, and it survives the first sexual encounter either wholly or partially intact. What this means is that many girls and women who have never had sex lack a hymen, while some women who have had sex still have theirs intact, rendering this "test" inconclusive at best.

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