Issues in Interdisciplinarity 2020-21/Truth in decision making

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Truth and virginity[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

To define the word virginity, or virgin, which the dictionary describes as ‘a person who has not had sexual intercourse’[1], one must first define sexual intercourse. This in itself is a highly contended topic as, when looking for a definition, one is presented with the very heteronormative idea that it is merely the process of ‘heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis’[2], ignoring the LGBT community and what sex is to them. The word virginity originates from the latin ‘virgo’, which then evolved into ‘virginitatem’, or in French ‘viginite’, and translated into English it becomes maiden: a sexually intact young woman[3]. Even the etymology of the word highlights the role the patriarchy has had in the concept of virginity, and how when talking of its importance and value, societies almost exclusively think of female virginity, which will be the main topic of our research also. An interdisciplinary approach is required when finding the truth in what virginity truly is as it can be defined in so many ways. Biologists often take the positivist approach and describe in in purely scientific terms, viewing it merely as a biological process. This view conflicts with that of gender studies or anthropology, in which virginity is not a fixed universal idea applicable to all, rather it is more of a state of mind. It is important to look at how the different definitions of virginity in different cultures affect the value they each place on it.

Biology[edit | edit source]

Anthropology[edit | edit source]

Gender Studies[edit | edit source]

Tensions between the disciplines[edit | edit source]

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. “Virgin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2020.
  2. “Sexual intercourse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2020.