Virginity testing: a systematic review

by Rose McKeon Olson and Claudia García-Moreno
Reproductive Health, 2017 14:61 – Published: 18 May 2017

10 pp. 678 kB
https://reproductive-health-journal.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12978-017-
0319-0?site=reproductive-health-journal.biomedcentral.com

So-called virginity testing, also referred to as hymen, two-finger, or per vaginal examination, is the inspection of the female genitalia to assess if the examinee has had or has been habituated to sexual intercourse. This paper is the first systematic review of available evidence on the medical utility of virginity testing by hymen examination and its potential impacts on the examinee. Included studies found that hymen examination does not accurately or reliably predict virginity status. In addition, included studies reported that virginity testing could cause physical, psychological, and social harms to the examinee. Countries should review their policies and move towards a banning of virginity testing.

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