Virginity in different cultures

by dainguyen267 on November 4, 2016 - 10:36pm

            Nowadays, when sexual behaviors are publicly and openly portrayed through television and other electronic media, viewers, specially people in a development period when gender roles, sexual attitudes, and sexual behavior are being shaped, will have a different perception regarding virginity of a woman.  In addition, the movement for gender equality has successfully broken down barriers between women and men. Thus, it leads to a dramatical change in conservative attitudes towards virginity and premarital sex.

            In the western society or developed countries, the concept of staying a virgin until marriage is moderately disregarded. Women are no longer being judged by their virginity, society uses the same standard that they apply to men to judge women instead. However, virginity still plays a key role in Asian culture, particularly in rural areas. Indeed, a virgin woman is always higher respected when they come to marriage. Virginity in Asian culture and some Africa countries are not only an evident to prove that there is no sexual intercourse, but also it represents for the dignity of a woman. Moreover, religion is also another factor that makes virginity plays a very important role in some cultures or human perception.   

Comments

Hi dainguyen267,

You make some pretty interesting points in your post. You're right in saying that men and women in western society are more liberated in terms of their views on sex and sexuality compared to people in Asian culture. Being an Asian myself, I can verify that sex is still considered highly taboo. Reputation is everything in Asian culture, especially in rural areas (where I'm also from). It is a society where reputation most often precedes the person. I don't know about other places but in rural China, a woman who has had sexual intercourse before marriage is more looked down upon than a man who has had premarital sex. Gender inequality is very much alive in these areas. Purity is highly valued in a woman because women in Asian societies are supposed to embody innocence and their expected main role is to be a housewife. A lot needs to be changed in order to get rid of this stigma. It's true that gender equality must be achieved but like you said, you would still have the religion factor to contend with.
Great post!

Hi dainguyen267,

I found your post very interesting. I can see that the Western society has changed their point of views on losing ones virginity and having premarital sex. I was curious to know what your opinion is regarding how much the media is responsible for this alteration in behaviour and perspective in the Western world? Do you think the media is fully responsible or do you believe that is from the number of people discontinuing religious beliefs is increasing?

Great post! It pointed out some factors in todays and even previous generations (not too long ago) that were not taken into consideration before but, makes sense after I read your post. I do believe that the media increase and, even less religious backgrounds do play a significant role in people losing their virginity before marriage. An additional factor that was not mentioned would be how medical health centres have improved their ability to have 'safe' sex. That being said, from today verses 1940, there is easy access to contraceptives such as birth control or condoms. Therefore, in the West there is less of a 'fear' to become pregnant or at least there are options if one does become pregnant (e.g. abortion, adoption, welfare). In rural China, to be married before having sex may ensure the women or man that they will have support from one another and could financially support the child due to the higher risk of becoming pregnant.

oneillp

Hi!

I really enjoyed reading your post, however; I do not agree with all of your points. Virginity amongst different cultures is looked at very differently, some countries valuing it much more than others. In many cases, I believe it is religion that creates these views (positive and negative) about virginity. For example, in the Muslim religion, it is extremely frowned upon to engage in premarital sex. I have to disagree with you in your suggestion that virginity is similarly valued amongst women and men. I feel that women are under constant scrutiny for their actions and can experience extreme shaming by the public when their personal lives get publicized. Women are often devalued once they give up their virginity and men tend to be very judgemental about this - regardless of the normality of sex in our society.

In western countries, sex is everywhere. It is publicized and has been made to seem normal in everyday life. Nudity takes place in television shows and movies regularly. This makes it very difficult for immigrants (such as Muslims) to ignore and to maintain their beliefs against premarital sex which are enforced by their religion. The normality of the naked body and of sex itself makes sex much more common for younger people of all religions to engage in.

Overall, a lot of gender inequality exists in our world both in developing and developed countries. This is something that is improving but we still have much work to do in the area.

Hi there,

I enjoyed reading your post, as this topic is something that I find very interesting. I don't agree with some of the points you made in your post as I still believe that there is a lot of gender bias and inequality in terms of how women's sexuality is viewed. As a student in university I hear people all the time making comments on a how if a girl is engaging in a lot of sexual activity she is called certain offensive names; while men are praised for their ability to get a lot of girls. Although sex before marriage isn't seen as something shameful anymore in Western societies, there are still many cultures who strictly enforce that virginity is something sacred until marriage. I think that this is something difficult because as society is evolving, there are sexual images and messages all throughout the media. This is difficult because there are many cultures who live in Western society and they must remain true to their cultural believes while being flooded with these images constantly. As nudity and sexuality is becoming more normalized, I can imagine it is difficult for these cultures to remain true to their beliefs at time.
Overall, there is still a lot of gender inequality in society.

Hi there,

I would like to start off with great post! It was a very interesting piece to read. I come from a south asian background and I can relate to some of the things you said. Virginity is highly viewed in our culture as well due to social and religious reasons. Now days because of the western influence a lot of south asian girls are disregarding this and following the western culture. In our culture a virgin before marriage is highly viewed because it reflects her character and self-respect. However since it is a part of the norm almost for western culture, it takes away from the religious and cultural aspects of it for some south asian girls as well. A lot of girls almost feel left out if they don't take part in sexual intercourse before marriage because of the way media portrays it.

Hi there,

I would like to start off with great post! It was a very interesting piece to read. I come from a south asian background and I can relate to some of the things you said. Virginity is highly viewed in our culture as well due to social and religious reasons. Now days because of the western influence a lot of south asian girls are disregarding this and following the western culture. In our culture a virgin before marriage is highly viewed because it reflects her character and self-respect. However since it is a part of the norm almost for western culture, it takes away from the religious and cultural aspects of it for some south asian girls as well. A lot of girls almost feel left out if they don't take part in sexual intercourse before marriage because of the way media portrays it.