VIRGINITY AND DEFLORATION

VIRGINITY AND DEFLORATION

Virginity means inexperience of sexual intercourse on the part of a woman. Defloration means loss of virginity, i.e., experiencing sexual intercourse by a woman for once at least.

Virginity and defloration have legal importances. Loss of virginity before marriage is not a ground for nullity of marriage. Virginity after marriage indicates nonconsumation of marriage by sexual intercourse and that is a ground for nullity of marriage or divorce. This may be due to impotence of the husband or the wife or frigidity of the wife. Defloration or loss of virginity is related with rape committed on a virgin girl. Apart from this, false allegation of loss of virginity of a female amounts to her defamation. Hence, legal issues related with virginity and defloration are –

1. Nullity of marriage or divorce, 2. Rape. 3. Defamation. 4. Fabriated charge of rape.

A virgin woman has certain features in her private parts, some of which are lost during the first act of intercourse (defloration) and some others are lost due to repeated acts, of intercourse.

Signs of virginity in a female

1. Genital findings –

VIRGINITY AND DEFLORATION(a) Hymen – A virgin girl is expected to have an intact hymen. It is wall-like flap of thin tissue placed anterior to the vaginal orifice or the outlet. It is about 1 mm. thick and may be of different shapes and appearances. It may be, 1. annular and situated centrally; 2. semilunar and placed anteriorly; 3. septate with two openings separated by a septum of hymenal tissue. 4. cribriform with multiple openings ; 5. hymen with elongated vertical opening; 6. Imperforate – without any opening for the vagina; . Infantile, with very small opening.

In deflorated woman the hymen is usually ruptured. During the first act of intercourse the rupture usually occurs posteriorly at 5, 7, or 6’° clock position. In a woman who is habituated to sexual intercourse, there will be multiple ruptures of the hymen with presence of tags of the hymenal tissue on the margin giving the hymen an appearance known as carunculae hymenalis. After pregnancy and delivery the hymen is almost abolished with presence of its remnant only near the marginal attachment as an irregular thick margin. Such a state of hymen is known as carunculae myrtiformis.

In a deflorated woman, the hymen may be intact when the victim is a young child when the marginal tissue prevents intrusion of the penis in the vagina and when the hymen is thick, fleshy, elastic and loose.

Similarly, in a virgin woman, the hymen may be ruptured or absent due to surgical interference, ulceration, scratching due to chronic itching, diseases like diphtheria, regular use of sanitary napkin, deliberate rupture to make a girl fit for illegal intercourse for immoral purposes like, prostitution and certain accidental injuries. Masturbation should not cause rutpure of the hymen, as the manipulation involves mainly the superficial or outer aspects and when it involves intra-vaginal manipulation, it is so done not to cause rupture of the hymen and pain.

An unruptured hymen in a young woman should not allow entrance of any finger, other than the little finger. Fimbriated hymen with marginal irregularity should not be confused with ruptured hymen.

(b) During the first act of coitus, the fourchette i.e., the lower meeting point of both labia minoras may rupture, to heal in a thick irregular line. Changes in the fossa navicularis, labia minora, labia majora, vaginal wall, vestibule and clitoris occur only after several frequent acts of intercourse.

(c) Fossa navicularis – In women who are habituated with frequent sexual intercourse, the fossa navicularis, the depression between the fourchette and the vaginal opening, changes its appearance.

(d) Labia minora – These are usually pinkish, smaller and mostly covered by labia majora in virgins. But in women with frequent experience of intercourse, these are enlarged, partly darkly pigmented, and project much outside the labia majora.

(e) Labia majora – These are firm and fleshy and both sides are in close apposition in virgins. In women with frequent experience of intercourse, these are lax, not in close apposition, have rather a gap in between the two sides, through which the labia minoras peep out.

(f) Vaginal walls in virgin women have rugosity and the vagina is not capacious in them. With frequent intercourse the rugosity is minimised and the organ becomes more spacious.

(g) The narrow vestibule, the whole space between the labia minoras and above the vaginal opening, in a virgin becomes spacious with appearance of folds due to frequent intercourse.

The posterior commissure i.e., the lower or posterior meeting point of the labia majoras, does not usually change due to intercourse.

2. Extra-genital signs of virginity –

(a) Breasts are hemispherical, firm, with smaller pinkish areola and small nipples. With defloration due to a single act of coitus these signs are not changed. But in women habituated to frequent acts of intercourse, the breasts are enlarged, loses firmness and may be slightly pendulous and the nipples will be large and raised. These changes are not directly due to intercourse but are the result of the process of acts accompanying intercourse.

(b) All signs of pregnancy, some of which are permanent, are signs of loss of virginity, except when pregnancy is the result of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilisation.

False virgin – False virgin is a woman who has lost virginity but does not show the signs of defloration i.e., retains the signs of virginity. As the most countable sign of defloration or loss of virginity is the rupture of hymen, its intactness may be taken to be the infalliable proof of virginity. But in a few percentage of women, the hymen may remain intact even after multiple acts of coitus. This may occur when the hymen is thick, tough, fleshy, elastic and loose. In such cases, other signs of defloration may be there depending on the length of the period of experience of sexual intercourse.

Differences between virginity and defloration
Points of difference Virginity Defloration
1. Basic difference  Condition in a woman having no experience of sexual intercourse  Condition in a woman having experience of sexual intercourse.
2. Hymen  Usually intact. Some may have ruptures due to some other reasons  Usually ruptured; exception – false virgin.
3. Introitus  Does not admit more than the tip of a finger. This is also painful  May admit 2 fingers, which is not painful.
4. Vagina  a) Marked rugosity of the wall
b) Full length of a finger cannot be admitted
 a) Rugosity diminishes with the frequency of habit of sexual intercourse.
b) Full length of a finger can be admitted and the vagina appears capacious, after repeated intercourse.
5. Fossa navicularis  Less conspicuous  More conspicuous after repeated intercourse.
6. Fourchette  Intact  May show healed tear.
7. Labia minora  Smaller, pinkish, covered by labia majoras  Enlarged, partly pigmented and partly protrude out through the labia majoras, after repeated intercourse.
8. Labia majora  Thick, fleshy; both side majoras are in close apposition  Less fleshy, slightly absorbed; both sides are not in full apposition, if experience of intercourse is for over a long period.
9. Breasts  Size – Variable, firm, hemispherical with pinkish smaller areola and small nipples  Size – Variable, may be flabby slightly or moderately pendulous, with
wider areola and large and raised
nipples. Other Changes may be there due to pregnancy.

 

Differences between true virgin and false virgin
Points of difference True virgin False virgin
1. Basic difference  The woman has no experience of sexual intercourse  The woman is experienced with sexual intercourse.
2. Hymen  Not ruptured. It is a thin flap of tissue of regular shape and appearance  Not ruptured. It is thick, fleshy or fibrous, elastic with folds.
3. Introitus  Does not admit more than the tip of a finger. This is also painful  May admit 2 fingers, which is not painful.
4. Vagina  a) Marked rugosity of the wall
b) Full length of a finger cannot be admitted
 a) Rugosity diminishes with the frequency of habit of sexual intercourse.
b) Full length of a finger can be admitted and the vagina appears capacious, after repeated intercourse.
5. Fossa navicularis  Less conspicuous  More conspicuous after repeated intercourse.
6. Fourchette  Intact  May show healed tear.
7. Labia minora  Smaller, pinkish, covered by labia majoras  Enlarged, partly pigmented and partly protrude out through the labia majoras, after repeated intercourse.
8. Labia majora  Thick, fleshy; both side majoras are in close apposition  Less fleshy, slightly absorbed; both sides are not in full apposition, if experience of intercourse is for over a long period.
9. Breasts  Size – Variable, firm, hemispherical with pinkish smaller areola and small nipples  Size – Variable, may be flabby slightly or moderately pendulous, with
wider areola and large and raised
nipples. Other Changes may be there due to pregnancy.