For years, bedsheets have been used as a means to ‘test a woman’s virginity’ on her wedding night. This ritual is one of the many forms of ‘virginity testing’ in Morocco. The bride is expected to leave a bloodstain on the bedsheet during her first intercourse. Otherwise, she faces physical and verbal abuse, shunning, honor killing, suicide, rape or divorce.
Break the Myth
There is no real evidence of a woman’s virginity. Hymens vary dramatically from one woman to another. For some women, it’s so elastic that it can go through vaginal intercourse without sustaining any damage. In addition, 1 in 2000 women are born without a hymen.
Mouvement alternatif pour les libertés individuelles.
Ibtissame Betty Lachgar
President of Coalition internationale des femmes mobiles (CIFM).
Dr. Amira Yaakoubi
Only 50% of women bleed during their first intercourse.
The myth still persists even after a recent study on 36 pregnant women showed that 34 of them still had an intact hymen.
There is no real evidence of a woman's virginity.
Sometimes a tradition can be so embedded within a culture that questioning it has never been considered. However, when we shed light on such topics and raise awareness, it starts a debate, even if it’s an uncomfortable one. There’s always a limit to traditions, especially when they have negative effects on individuals and violate universal human rights.
It’s time to ban the invasive, sexist practice of ‘testing a girl’s or woman’s virginity’, and to shut down the virginity myth once and for all.
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