In writing this post, I was one of the Top 15 2020 CBE Writing Contest winners.
This article first appeared in CBE’s blog, Mutuality, on September 23, 2020 (www.cbeinternational.org).
In a couple of places I have reproduced the text of the relevant verses; in the original, only references were given.
When I first received a letter offering me a routine pap smear test, I replied saying I didn’t want one. Why? I wanted my hymen to remain intact until I was married.
The nurse who followed up took some persuading when I said I was celibate, but she respected my wishes and conceded that the risks of cervical cancer were significantly reduced while I was sexually inactive. She did however express some bewilderment at how many young women, especially those with religious backgrounds, turned down cervical screening. It’s offered free of charge in the UK where I live and can be lifesaving.
The risk of cancer had never entered my mind. All I was concerned about was doing abstinence, marriage, and sex the “biblical way.” That meant leaving my hymen alone until I had penetrative sex for the first time, which I hoped wouldn’t happen until I was with my husband, on our honeymoon. Then, and only then, did I want this thin membrane inside my vagina to break and bleed.
Well, I didn’t bleed.Continue reading Proving My Virginity: Deuteronomy, Pap Smears, and the Hymen Myth