In a now-viral TikTok video, Dr. Jennifer Lincoln breaks some myths about what constitutes losing your virginity (and if virginity exists at all).
Virginity is a social construct created to maintain gender roles, invalidate those who are heterosexual, and perpetuate ideas of chastity and purity. In reality, there is no biological way to "lose your virginity." There are no physical tests to build evidence for virginity, and those with vaginas are definitely not supposed to bleed the first time they have vaginal sex. While all of these may seem like radical ideas, there is one doctor who has busted the myth of "losing your virginity." Dr. Jennifer Lincoln took to TikTok to discuss virginity. She has since gone viral for suggesting that there is no one way of losing your virginity, BuzzFeed News reports.
Dr. Lincoln, an OBGYN, first started by asking her followers what they believed losing their virginity meant. The answers she received were not totally unexpected, ranging from very physical ideas to more personal ones. As for the former, several TikTok users suggested it was the first time someone has vaginal sex. Latter, personal ideas included responses such as: "Whatever you decide it means, but happening by choice," and, "Whatever you designate as your first sexual experience, but there's nothing being lost." Consent being mandatory and the assertion that nothing was being "lost" were two running themes in dozens of responses.
After she received some answers, the doctor concludes in her video, "There is no one answer for what losing your virginity is. Maybe it's having vaginal sex. Maybe to you it's anal sex. But what about women who have sex with women? Do we just consider them virgins forever? I mean, I don't think they would agree. There's no one scientific definition of 'losing your virginity,' and that's the point... Virginity is a social construct, and not a really useful term, is it?" Across the country, only 17 out of 50 states mandate medically accurate sex education curriculums. Therefore, it is no wonder that some young people may be curious about their first sexual experiences.
"I often get questions from scared teenagers who want to know if they are still considered a virgin if they've done a certain activity," Dr. Lincoln explained in an interview with BuzzFeed. "Why? Because society is obsessed with virginity and the idea that it indicates purity, which means you're dirty if you are no longer a virgin. Questions range from if just the tip of the penis goes in, or just goes in for a second, or if it's just oral sex. What counts? And my answer is always the same: There's no definition of virginity and your worth is SO much more than society's obsession with purity culture."
According to the OBGYN, schools should take the energy they put into upholding the myth of virginity and place it elsewhere, where that energy could matter. For instance, in educating young people about the importance of consent. Dr. Lincoln asked, "Imagine if we took just a percentage of the energy that goes into telling young people why they need to remain virgins until marriage and instead emphasized consent and understanding how their bodies worked in a medically accurate, comprehensive way?" Finally, she had some advice for those who are currently navigating their first-ever sexual experiences: "It is completely fine if you choose not to have sex or have your own definition of virginity but don't let society define it for you, and through that define your worth."