The whole issue of virginity made headlines recently with the humiliating testing of a number of alleged rape victims in India and 17 Egyptian women who took part in the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo. In the latter case, the aim of the tests appears to have been to ‘protect’ members of the Egyptian army against possible rape accusations.
Writing in a Dutch newspaper, Ineke van Seumeren – a gynaecologist at the UMC teaching hospital in Utrecht - and fellow Myth Dispelled (Mythe Ontkracht) member and chairperson Ines Balkema argue that virginity testing is pointless:
In the opinion piece, the two women write: “The hymen is not a sealed membrane. In most cases it is a small, flexible lip; sometimes it’s hard and inflexible […]. It varies from woman to woman […]. A vagina is made to allow a baby to pass through; it’s an illusion to think that a vagina will expand because of something small like a penis.”