As the name suggests, virginity testing is the examination of a girl's virginity done by other people. A highly controversial practice, Virginity testing is a controversial practice intends to determine whether a girl has had sexual intercourse or not. This practice of determining a girl's virginity is condemned and seen in a bad light as it is a violation of human rights. However, some cultures do practice it as the celibacy is expected to be intact. Some cultures continue to follow a regressive belief of girls deemed to be 'impure' and not worthy of respect if they aren't virgin anymore. Virgin Policewoman Only! Indonesian Female Officers Subjected to Two-Finger Virginity Test and Are Expected to Be 'Pretty' for Recruitment.
Sometimes the testings are also conducted on women who are being evaluated for sexual assaults. In places particularly parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia still practices Virginity tests.
How is virginity tests performed?
While most experts believe that virginity tests are extremely unreliable that can have severe repercussions for girls who are subjected to it, different regions perform different kinds of virginity test. While, if done, it is expected that such practices should be done under the supervision of a medical professional only. However, where medical doctors aren't available, and usually done illegally, testers- usually older women are asked to search for a hymen.
This form of virginity test is done to check the laxity of the vaginal muscle using fingers. This involves doctors inserting a finger into the female's vagina and check the level of vaginal laxity. This determines if she is "habituated to sexual intercourse".
Reliability of Virginity Tests
Reliability of any of the virginity tests is highly questionable. An absence of hymen of breakage of it can be because of any reason, not just sexual intercourse. Same with the vaginal laxity which does not need to happen due to sexual intercourse necessarily. "two-finger test" is based on subjective observation.
The U.N. recently announced in a statement at the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Rio de Janeiro that, 'This (virginity tests) medically unnecessary, and often times painful, humiliating and traumatic practice must end.' The U.N. also called these tests a violation of human rights and a form of gender discrimination. 'The social expectation that girls and women should remain 'virgins' is based on stereotyped notions that female sexuality should be curtailed within marriage. This notion is harmful to women and girls globally.' U.N. states.