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Virgin Envy - The Cultural (In)Significance of the Hymen

Virgin Envy

The Cultural (In)Significance of the Hymen

Paperback : 9780889774230, 256 pages, November 2016


Virgin Envy sets out to re-conceive the ways that we describe and relate to virginity as a cultural construct. Who is a virgin? How do we lose our virginities? What if we regret our "first time"?

Contributors to Virgin Envy everything from medieval romance to Bollywood films to Twilight and True Blood, to destabilize the many assumptions about sexual purity. In particular, the hymen is called into question. How is virginity determined for those without a hymen? How do we account for the ways in which the "geography of the hymen" has changed over the course of history? And what about male and queer virginity? Issues of commodification, postcoloniality, and religious diversity are also addressed.

"An ambitious, wide-ranging, and eclectic collection. " Corrinne Harol, Enlightened Virginity in Eighteenth-Century Literature


"Unreservedly recommended for community, university, and college Gender Studies collections. " - Midwest Book Review

"Boldly and unapologetically reclaims the meaning of the term 'virgin. ' Without giving too much away, spaces to talk about the tensions of 'normal' and 'deviant' sexual desires are opened. And, determining who is and who isn't a virgin is fascinatingly at the forefront of this text. " - This Magazine

"Explores in depth. .. what virginity is like--what it stands in for, what it is groomed and manipulated and fetishized to represent--as much as what it is. " - LRC