Why is a Picasso painting worth more than your boss’s child’s drawing with crayons? Buying fruit, you wouldn’t want the bruised and dented one, you’d attempt to get the fresh one.

“The average male loses his virginity at age 16.9; females average slightly older, at 17.4. And a new study shows that genetics may be a factor. Inherited traits, such as impulsivity can make a person more or less willing to have sex at an earlier age.” (1) In western culture, to remain a virgin past teenage-dom, is seen as shameful. However, in other cultures, such as my own, we have been raised to think otherwise. There is no shame in being intimate with someone if you’re in a committed relationship, but sharing it with anyone who offers you a drink at the bar is a different story. “You may not be able to keep certain desires from arising, but you can control your reaction to them. Really, to act upon every sexual urge would be as wrong and foolish as hitting someone each time you felt anger.” (4)

Virginity is just one of those topics that are uncomfortable to talk about. It’s seen as a marker of innocence. Your virginity is something so sacred and to give it to your spouse is a big deal. But it seem as the years go by, the age people lose their virginity is constantly getting younger. This issue was more important in previous years but it’s almost as if it has lost its value today.  It’s only natural that we have hormones and given ‘the right moment’, we’d all be tempted, but there is a huge element of self-control involved. But what do men want in their future bride to be?

Most western men aren’t too picky, as long as their spouse hasn’t slept with ‘too many’ men, she is still marriage material. They may prefer someone with more experience because stealing someone’s virginity is scary to males, they don’t want that kind of responsibility. They understand that females who aren’t easy to get, will give it away to someone within the context of a serious relationship. Whereas, when most men of power look for their future bride, she must be ‘pure’ because it has a lot of advantages. Look at the royal family for example. Its about pride, they can walk with their head held high that she has only let him in.

But society’s double standard that being a female virgin is an accomplishment, whereas a male virgin is a failure, exists. Patriarchy deems male virgins as worthless. It is not typical or acceptable for a guy to remain a virgin because it makes him less manly to his social group. So the moment males lose their virginity or have intercourse, they boast about it till the world’s end, but women keep it secret and will mostly reveal only to close friends in avoidance of being classed as a ‘slut’. But many females respect male virgins (because they are so rare) and encourage them to take pride in their virginity and not give it away at their first opportunity in an attempt to be established as a real man.

Men should consider that just as they want to take pride in their spouses being pure, we (as females) might want the same thing from them. Although that is how it should be seen, we are so unphased by the double standards because it’s a norm in our society, that we have lost our moral standards.

There are reasons why people chose to remain celibate. Some of these reasons may be personal, cultural or even religious. “Religious affiliation and religiosity have been shown to be correlated with sexual practices and attitudes. Research findings have shown that the primary influence on maintenance of female virginity is religious and moral values” (2) Strong religious values are what keeps some girls pure, they want to remain clean for their husband so that their families and spouse value them more. Culturally aswell, it helps to keep others with similar ideologies from ruining their family’s reputation.

Certain religions are stricter on their girls however. For example, sex before marriage is severely frowned upon in Islam. “This is because notions of family honor and shame are so intrinsically associated with a girl’s virginity that personal affection and sexual choice do not matter at all.” (3) Similarly, African and Asian families share similar views on the topic because it’s the way their parents taught them; the mentality they grew up with. This doesn’t make either choice right or wrong.

While some females are cautious and picky with whom they decide to bare all with, others fall victim to the sweet words cleverly fashioned by males; the false sense of modern day love. Within three weeks of being an item, they boast about how ‘in love’ they are by promoting their relationship status. Shortly after, they dive into intercourse only to realize that there wasn’t a real connection, but simply lust.

It’s been proven philosophically, that once you lose it the first time, it loses its value and you aren’t as enthusiastic about waiting in your following relationships. “The importance of a woman’s virginity may vary in different cultures, but generally there’s not the high value there used to be” (5) Individuals value their virginity depending on the mentality they grew up with and the people they surround themselves with. So, virginity itself does not have any value, but the ethic that controls the girl to maintain her purity does.

 

References:

(1)  http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37853719/ns/health-sexual_health/t/surprising-sex-statistics/#.U16ovb-dClI

(2)  http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ssc.wisc.edu%2F~delamate%2Fpdfs%2FHand21stChap.final.doc&ei=veVeU5v0J8PSPJmBgegP&usg=AFQjCNECipoWbwmFHWny6jkDkm-IZRCguw&bvm=bv.65397613,d.bGE

(3)  http://www.futurescopes.com/love-and-sex/9846/virginity-different-cultures

(4)  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102008095

(5)  http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/01/22/virginity.value/