Verified by Psychology Today. All About Sex. Hymen was also the Greek god of marriage.
The hymen is a thin piece of mucosal tissue that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. It forms part of the vulvaor external genitaliaand is similar in structure to the vagina. In children, a common appearance of the hymen is crescent -shaped, although many shapes are possible.
The concept of female "virginity" has a complicated history, and has often been incorrectly linked to breaking the hymen. Bleeding after intercourse was thought to be proof of an unbroken hymen, and thus, proof that a woman had not had sex before. The reality, however, is that the state of your hymen has nothing to do with sexual activity.
If you've been given any kind of sex ed in high school, chances are that the hymen was described as some kind of "obstruction" in your vagina that will tear when you eventually have intercourse, sometimes causing bleeding and pain. We tend to talk about it as some kind of road-block or wall of tissue, possessed uniformly by every woman, that needs to be broken down literally, " breaking the hymen " is the term most used before you're officially not a virgin. Aside from the problem that the hymen is still considered a completely nominal way of determining virginity — when lots of sexual activity doesn't involve going near it, for one thing — the way we've been trained to talk about it as a body part, and by extension to talk about sex, pain, and our expectations of first times, is completely wrong.
A virginity test is the practice and process of determining whether a person, usually a female, is a virgin ; i. The test typically involves a check for the presence of an intact hymenon the flawed assumption that it can only be torn as a result of sexual intercourse. Virginity testing is widely considered controversial, both because of its implications for the tested girls and women and because it is viewed as unethical.
The hymen is the stuff of legend and lore in many cultures, the treasured prize a woman gives her husband on their wedding night. People often do not know what it looks like or what really happens to it when virginity is lost. For example, some of my teen patients have questions about a partner male or female inserting a finger into a vagina.
Skip navigation! Story from Sex School. Maybe you first heard about "popping the cherry" on the bus to middle school.
For 30 dollars, Hymen Shop ships from Hong Kong to just about anywhere in the world. In nations where virginity can be a literal issue of life and death, the Artificial Hymen Kit is controversial: Egyptian lawmakers attempted to restrict access after a blogger imported a kit from China. But its origin is less dire. Invented in the early nineties by a Japanese kinesiologist, distributors say the kits are popular in the fetish, porn, and sex industries.