PSA: This Is How
Actually Works Rapper T.I. said that he takes his 18-year-old
daughter to the gynecologist annually to
check that her hymen is "still intact." T.I.'s comments have sparked conversation about the construct of virginity and the role the hymen plays in "proving" whether or not a woman has had sex. But the truth is that most
people's beliefs about hymens
are totally unfounded. "The hymen is a small ragged membrane
that covers part of the vaginal opening,"
says ob-gyn, Michael Cackovic, M.D. It's made of tissue from mucous
membrane remnants that develop
during the embryologic process. "It's often incorrectly thought of as
anatomic proof of virginity when in fact
its true purpose isn't known," Cackovic says. Many people picture the hymen as a type
of wall or structure waiting to be broken. In reality, the hymen has an opening
to allow menstrual blood and other
secretions to leave the body. Because every human body
is unique, some hymens have one
opening while others may have many. Only 0.05% of hymens are
imperforate, or completely sealed. Some people are even
born without a hymen. So, using it to measure "virginity"
doesn't really make sense, does it?