There was some justifiable outrage recently when rapper T.I. said that he had a gynaecologist annually test that his daughter’s hymen was still intact.
Leaving aside the brutal, if not fatal, penalties that women may suffer even today if they lose their virginity in a socially unacceptable manner, T.I.’s attitude is reminiscent of Old Testament times.
Or is it?
CONTENT WARNING for discussion of murder and toxic purity culture.
Deuteronomy 22:13-21 is one of the scarier passages for impressionable young Christian women, as it seems to hold up pre-marital sex as a crime punishable by death. Even for married women, such as myself, the passage can be puzzling: hymeneal blood following intercourse is a notoriously unreliable proof of virginity.
So, do we:
- Take Deuteronomy 22:13-21 as nevertheless prohibiting all pre-marital sex,
- Write it off as an ancient relic, void of Christian love as we know it, or
- Say there’s got to be more here than meets the eye?
In case you hadn’t guessed, this post is all about option 3. (If you want a summary in fewer than 500 words, click here.) Continue reading About that virginity test in Deuteronomy 22: it’s not what you think