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Of course, attitudes can be more flexible. In many rural communities, in England and elsewhere, it used to be taken for granted that a man would not marry a girl until he'd got her pregnant, because men wanted wives who could bear children. And as for a relationship being the one and only, again it was generally women were were expected to stick to the one person, men have always been able to get away with having multiple relationships, whether by having many wives,or concubines, or keeping a mistress or just visiting prostitutes. In societies that value virginity, the onus is always on the women to be 'chaste'. And of course the high death toll among women in the past from childbirth fever meant that a lot of men, even if monogamous, would get through two or three wives in a lifetime.

One of the benefits of living in the modern world, as far as I am concerned, is that we do not have to live with this morbid obsession with virginity. A woman can choose to be virgin or not, as she pleases, just as she can choose to be submissive or not, as she pleases, these things are no longer social requirements, and a good thing too.

by Louise C on 2005 Jan 3 - 15:50 | reply to this comment
valuing virginity
Wow, Louise. I was impressed with everything you said. I sometimes disagreed with what you said, but I was still impressed.

I think the value placed on virginity in various countries is indicative of the decreasing value placed on women in those same countries. I do not have the time to begin such an information quest, but it could be interesting to see if the general value of women in general decreases as the value of virginity goes up.

I sometimes think it is not the virginity itself that is so valuable here, if it is, but the meaning behind it. If one has "thrown away" that part of her (or him) in a wild decision made with no forethought, then it is not worth much. But if a concrete decision is made to give that one-time-only offer to someone, whether married or not, whether going to marry that person or not, then the virginity is priceless, and the recipient should be aware of that.