This study shows that virginity is a multidimensional concept with two distinct dimensions: the experiential and the developmental.
Manjushree Palit, Associate Professor, Jindal School of Psychology & Counselling, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Katherine R. Allen, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
A qualitative grounded theory approach was used to analyze 34 narratives from young men about their experience of retaining, losing, or giving away their virginity, where 7 said they were virgins, 26 said they were non-virgins, and one did not mention his virginity status.
We found that virginity is a multidimensional concept, with two distinct dimensions: the experiential and the developmental. The experiential dimension refers to young men’s perception and understanding of their virginity in four overlapping areas: physical, spiritual, relational, and emotional. The developmental dimension refers to young men’s perception of their underlying sexual identity growth processes and the gendered and sexual double standards that influence this understanding. Clinical implications of this study are useful in education and counselling.
They seek to empower young men with information relating to the multidimensional nature of virginity experience, and minimize the negative effects on romantic relationships, sexual adjustment, and self-identity development.
The findings are helpful in designing interventions for young men and women who are at high risk for sexually transmitted infections and can help them negotiate mutually safe and pleasurable experiences regarding their virginity.
Published in: Sexual and Relationship Therapy
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