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Encyclopedia > Virgin
In Roman times, Vestal Virgins were strictly celibate or they were punished by death.
In Roman times, Vestal Virgins were strictly celibate or they were punished by death.

In its most general sense, virginity is characterized by a state of unimpacted purity, usually stemming from a lack of experience (for example, newcomers to game Bingo could be referred to as virgins). Traditionally, virgin is used to describe a person who has not engaged in sexual intercourse. This use is traditionally restricted to a person who has not yet engaged in vaginal intercourse, but it is sometimes used to describe someone who has not engaged in sexual activities in general. Also, someone can be referred to as an "anal virgin," being a virgin to anal sex (specifically receiving anal sex). The status of "virginity" is sometimes respected and valued in certain societies, especially in relation to views of many religions on sexual conduct before marriage. The term maiden is also sometimes used to mean a virgin, although that can also refer to an unmarried woman, generally supposed to be young (though there are contrary usages such as "maiden aunt"). A vestal virgin, detail of an engraving by Sir Frederick Leighton, created Lord Leighton, the first British aritist to be given a title. ... A vestal virgin, detail of an engraving by Sir Frederick Leighton, created Lord Leighton, the first British aritist to be given a title. ... A vestal Virgin, engraving by Sir Frederick Leighton, ca 1890: Leightons artistic sense has won over his passion for historical accuracy in showing the veil over the Vestals head at sacrifices, the suffibulum, as translucent, instead of fine white wool. ... Bingo Bingo is a game of chance where randomly-selected numbers are drawn and players match those numbers to those appearing on 5x5 matrices which are printed or electronically represented and are known as cards. ... Coition of a Hemisected Man and Woman (c. ... Sexual behavior is a form of physical intimacy that may be directed to reproduction (one possible goal of sexual intercourse) and/or to the enjoyment of activity involving sexual gratification. ... This article is about the issues and phenomena pertaining to human sexual function and behavior. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...

Contents


Physiology

Among human females, the hymen is a membrane, part of the vulva, which partially occludes the entrance to the vagina and which is often physically torn when the woman first engages in sexual intercourse. The presence of an intact membrane is therefore often seen as physical evidence of virginity in the broader technical sense. The absence of one, however, is not necessarily an indication of participation in sexual intercourse, since in some women the hymen is either absent from birth, or sufficiently vestigial not to be affected by sexual penetration. Also, the hymen can be broken before a woman engages in sexual intercourse, for example during strenuous exercise or during the insertion of a tampon. Conversely, in rare cases a woman's hymen is imperforate, and as menstrual discharge cannot then escape, surgical intervention to break it is necessary to protect her health. This article is about modern humans. ... The hymen (or maidenhead) is a ring of tissue around the vaginal opening. ... It has been suggested that Net flux be merged into this article or section. ... Labeled picture of external human female reproductive anatomy. ... Human female internal reproductive anatomy. ... Coition of a Hemisected Man and Woman (c. ... A vestigial organ is an organ whose original function has been lost during evolution. ...


Traditionally, women were not regarded as virgins after a sexual assault, but some people disavow this notion. There are also women who take this "spiritual" conception of virginity to its maximum, considering "born again virgins" to be virgins, regardless of their past sexual conduct. Rape is forced sexual activity. ... Born again is a term used originally and mainly in Christianity, where it is associated with salvation, conversion and spiritual rebirth. ...


There is no obvious physical indicator of virginity in human males, though there may be social indicators, including possible sexual anxiety and a lack of sexual knowledge. The word "chastity" (or "celibacy," when referring to the lifestyle choice) is sometimes used for women in place of 'virginity', and more rarely for men. Chastity, in many religious and cultural contexts, is a virtue concerning the state of the mind and body. ... Celibacy may refer either to being unmarried or to sexual abstinence. ...


In Mythology

Virginity has been often considered to be a virtue denoting purity and physical self-restraint and is an important characteristic of some mythical figures such as the Greek goddesses Athena, Artemis, and Hestia. The Vestal Virgins were strictly celibate priestesses of Vesta. The Maiden or Virgin is one of the three persons of the Triple Goddess in many Neopagan traditions. The constellation Virgo represents a wide selection of sacred virgins. Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture A goddess is a female deity, in contrast with a male deity known as a god. A great many cultures have goddesses, sometimes alone, but more often as part of a larger pantheon that includes both of the conventional genders and in some cases... Drawing from a sculpture of Athena at the Louvre. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In Greek mythology, virginal Hestia is the goddess of the hearth, of the right ordering of domesticity and the family, who received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household, but had no public cult. ... A vestal Virgin, engraving by Sir Frederick Leighton, ca 1890: Leightons artistic sense has won over his passion for historical accuracy in showing the veil over the Vestals head at sacrifices, the suffibulum, as translucent, instead of fine white wool. ... Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman mythology, analogous to Hestia in Greek mythology. ... Triple Goddess symbol, representing the three aspects of the moon (waxing crescent, full moon, waning crescent) and womankind (maiden, mother, crone). ... Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism, meaning New Paganism) is a heterogeneous group of religions which attempt to revive ancient, mainly European pre-Christian religions. ... See VIRGO (physics) for a French-Italian project in physics. ...


In Culture

Female virginity is closely interwoven with personal or even family honor in many cultures. Traditionally in some cultures (especially those dominated by Christianity, Islam and Judaism, as also Hinduism and the other Indic religions) there has been a widespread belief that the loss of virginity before marriage is a matter of deep shame. A family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family is a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships — including domestic partnership, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the Roman Empire). ...


In some cultures (for example the Bantu of South Africa), virginity testing is commonplace. This would typically involve personal inspection by a female elder. Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ...


Traditionally in western marriage ceremonies, a veil is taken as a symbol of the bride's virginity; it is a popular misconception that the white dress indicated virginity. It is unclear the extent to which this symbolism is accurate given that some women may choose to wear white even if they are no longer virgins. This may even hold true for women who are assumed to be non-virgins (for example, those involved in a second marriage), but the practice is not universal. White is a color, (more accurately it contains all the colors of the visible spectrum and is sometimes described as an achromatic color—black is the absence of color) that has high brightness but zero hue. ...


Some elements within Western culture no longer regard premarital virginity as a virtue and may allude to it disparagingly. The increasingly-common belief of some Western youth that virginity is not to be regarded as a virtue has become a matter of considerable debate, especially related to controversies involving sexuality among young people. Continuing virginity after a certain age is even regarded by some to be a negative thing, implying that the person is unattractive, prudish or sexually immature. This article is about sex acts and practices (i. ...


Some historians and anthropologists note that many societies that place a high value on virginity before marriage, such as the United States before the sexual revolution, actually have a large amount of premarital sexual activity that does not involve vaginal penetration, e.g., oral sex, anal sex and mutual masturbation. This has been termed technical virginity or hot virginity. Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος, human or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Sexual penetration (as opposed to outercourse) typically involves the insertion of the penis into a bodily orifice. ... Oral sex (from Latin os, oris mouth) consists of all the sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, tongue, etc. ... Roman men having anal sex. ... Masturbation is the manual excitation of the sexual organs, most often to the point of orgasm. ...


Religion

Christianity

Some Christian observers say that virginity indicates a requisite state of holiness in terms of sexuality before marriage. Conservatives believe the New Testament of the Christian Bible forbids pre-marital sex of any form. The Virgin Mary is a very important and holy figure in the New Testament and the virgin birth of Jesus is of key note. This article is about the issues and phenomena pertaining to human sexual function and behavior. ... See New Covenant for the concept translated as New Testament in the KJV. The New Testament (Καινή Διαθήκη), sometimes called the Greek Testament or Greek Scriptures, and sometimes also New Covenant, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written by various authors c. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. ... Jesus was actually a Sears employee before he got fired and was hired at Wang computers where he was assistant manager for saling Wangs and Wang accesories now but his most famous work is for probly writing the bible and starting up his own company that we now know as... Saint Mary and Saint Mary the Virgin both redirect here. ... See New Covenant for the concept translated as New Testament in the KJV. The New Testament (Καινή Διαθήκη), sometimes called the Greek Testament or Greek Scriptures, and sometimes also New Covenant, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written by various authors c. ... The Virgin Birth is a key doctrine of the Christian faith, and is also held to be true by Muslims (Quran 3. ...


Islam

Islam provides very strict conditions that sexual activity must occur between married individuals. Quotes such as 'Do not even go near Fornication' (Al-Israa 17: 32), are testament to this. Despite this, people who are not virgins may still be allowed to marry each other. However, in many conservative Muslim societies an individual who is not a virgin may be looked upon unfavourably for a possible marriage. Islam (Arabic: ; ( (help· info)), submission (to the will of God) is a monotheistic faith and the worlds second-largest religion. ... for Imam Muslim, see Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم) is an adherent of Islam. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


Judaism

One of the most fundamental aspects of Jewish tradition is the great significance attached to virginity. It appears in Judaism as early as the verse in Genesis, referring to Eliezer's encounter with Rebekah: 'And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her' (Genesis 24:16) and is a recurring theme throughout the Bible, especially with regard to the laws governing betrothal, marriage and divorce.


See also

Celibacy may refer either to being unmarried or to sexual abstinence. ... This is a list of noteworthy historical and legendary figures who have been famous for their virginity, or who have widely been believed to be virgins for an unusually long length of time—typically for the span of their lives, and with long enough lives to make this significant. ... Saint Mary and Saint Mary the Virgin both redirect here. ... Promiscuity is the practice of making relatively unselective, casual and indiscriminate choices. ... Sexual abstinence is the practice of voluntarily refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity. ...

External links

Look up Virgin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Virgin at Dictionary.com, an exposition of the many possible meanings of "virgin"
  • Magical Cups and Bloody Brides by Heather Corinna - Explores the historical context of virginity in a frank and easy-to-understand manner.
  • 20 Questions About Virginity - Interview with Hanne Blank, author of an upcoming book on virginity. Discusses relationship between hymen and concept of virginity.

  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Blessed Virgin Mary (12867 words)
The argument is based on the premises that the prophet's virgin is the mother of Emmanuel, and that Emmanuel is Christ.
The relation of the virgin to Emmanuel is clearly expressed in the inspired words; the same indicate also the identity of Emmanuel with the Christ.
The Virgin and Child is not a mere modern idea; on the contrary, it is represented again and again, as every visitor to Rome is aware, in the paintings of the Catacombs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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