Gender and Virginity

Today I overheard that one of my classmates had a baby. In that second, I had already formed a negative opinion of her.

Why is that?

It is an accepted fact that many young adults engage in sex. If I heard a girl talking about sex with her boyfriend, I probably wouldn’t bat an eyelash. But somehow, once a baby comes in the picture, this normal girl is painted as a social pariah. A person to be avoided. A careless person who is now dealing with the consequences of her actions.

Maybe it’s because a young pregnant woman somehow mars the stereotypical image of a virginal pure maiden.

Maybe it’s because it’s the whole “child raising a child” thing. 

But if it’s acceptable for a young woman to be having sex, why is she discriminated against if she has a child? Even if one is “on the pill”, or using condoms, you can’t prevent pregnancy 100%. (Unless of course, you don’t have sex at all).

It seems unfair to judge someone based on a natural process. 

Another note, the men who get these women pregnant are often viewed differently. Yes, they may get flack from parents and get stuck paying child support. But the general public view is, “Poor guy. He just messed up his life.” There is no concept that he has done anything wrong by having sex, rather he has made a “mistake”. 

For women, there has always been the idea that “giving it up” is shameful, negative, or a form of self disrespect.

Why is it that virginity for women is regarded as something to be guarded, while admitting that one is a virgin is something shameful for men?

It is an individual’s choice when he/she wants to lose their virginity. There is no perfect time to “do the deed”. The most important thing is that the person feels comfortable with their decision.

Personally, I choose to be abstinent until I am married. But that is for religious reasons, and not related to my gender at all. I would expect men of faith to also practice abstinence, not just women. 

I don’t think that we should be able to judge women on their virginity or lack thereof. We shouldn’t label those who have had sex as “sluts” or “whores”. The same way that we shouldn’t judge virgins as “prudes” or “uptight”.

Let’s try to eliminate the negative stigma around young pregnant women. If society generally accepts that young women have sex, it makes no sense to discriminate her if she has a child. A child is a natural product of sex, and even if one uses condoms or birth control pills, a pregnancy cannot be prevented outright.

 

 

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