Sex Ed

Virginity Has Fallen Out Of Favor In Modern America

August 24, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller

Throughout much of recorded history, female virginity is something that has been highly coveted by heterosexual men who were looking to marry. Women who were known to have lost their virginity faced stiff social penalties, including a tendency to be deemed umarriageable.

This still holds true in many parts of the world today, including a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East, where women who have lost their virginity sometimes go to great lengths to become surgically “revirginized” due to fear of social exclusion and, in some cases, physical harm (you can learn more about so-called “revirginization” procedures and the psychology behind here)

In the Western world, however, things have changed dramatically in the past few decades. Female virginity is no longer prized—in fact, it’s now seen as a liability by men who are looking for a long-term relationship partner.

In my latest article over at Playboy, I present the results of some new research finding that female virginity (and male virginity, too, for that matter) has become a highly stigmatized status in modern America. Indeed, American men and women appear to have a strong preference for relationship partners who are sexually experienced rather than inexperienced.

Check out the full article for the details, including a look at some of the likely reasons behind why we’ve seen this dramatic social shift. While you’re over at Playboy, check out the rest of my Hard Science column to learn more about the science of sex. Some of my other recent articles include:

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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