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Romance and the virginity myth
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, dear! Laughing I can see how what I said could be confusing! "Midwife" is probably not the best translation, but it's the closest.

The midwives he was referring to were checking young marriageable women's hymens to see if they were intact, so that they could assure the prospective suitors that they were, indeed, getting virgins. I have no idea why they would be so rough about it that the hymens would tear. Confused
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynda X wrote:
Schola wrote, "Anyway, St. Augustine also wrote a bit about virgins who had their hymens torn by midwives, saying that of course they were still virgins, so I'm sure there were a reasonable number of enlightened men in the past."

I'm not clear here, Schola. Did St. Augustine mean that the midwives tore the hymens of the virgins when they were newborns, or was he saying that when delivering a virgin birth (which, I assume he would believe happened only once), that the midwives tore the hymen? If it is the first, why would midwives be doing anything to a newborn girl like that? Is it part of the delivery of a daughter to make sure that the baby's canal is open? Is this checking standard procedure of having a girl baby, especially in the past in a time without surgery?


Some girls have what is called an "imperforate hymen." At the onset of menstruation, this has to be opened to allow the flow to exit. The midwife was supposed to make a small hole. If she accidentally made a large hole . . .
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