Just who would conduct these “virginity tests”?

That’s how to make girls eager to go to school – force them to undergo “virginity” tests. Way to go, Indonesia.

From the Guardian:

A plan to make female high school students undergo mandatory virginity tests has been met with outrage from activists, who argue that it discriminates against women and violates their human rights.

Education chief Muhammad Rasyid, of Prabumulih district in south Sumatra put forward the idea, describing it as “an accurate way to protect children from prostitution and free sex”. He said he would use the city budget to begin tests early next year if MPs approved the proposal.

“This is for their own good,” Rasyid said. “Every woman has the right to virginity … we expect students not to commit negative acts.”

Stupid thug. Having a right to one’s own virginity is not the same thing as being forcibly “tested” for it as a condition of attending school. That in fact is the opposite of a right to one’s own virginity, since the school is in effect raping the students by “testing” them.

And why just girls? Why is it only women who have a “right” to virginity?

The test would require female senior school students aged 16 to 19 to have their hymen examined every year until graduation. Boys, however, would undergo no investigation into whether they had had sex.

The plan has met with some support from local politicians, who said the test would help cut down on “rampant” promiscuity in the district.

It would cut down on “rampant” female education, too.

Local and national MPs, activists, rights groups and even the local Islamic advisory council have all denounced Rasyid’s plan as potentially denying female students the universal right to education, in addition to targeting girls for an act that may not have even been consensual, such as sexual assault.

Good. Let’s hope they prevail.


  1. CaitieCat says

    (content note: hymens, slut-shaming, rape non-graphic)

    Which leaves out, too, that the hymen is not and never has been a reliable indicator as to whether its owner has had any PIV sex; there are far too many ways in which it can be damaged/ruptured by “ordinary daily activities”, basically. It’s just a nice three-fer for the fundies: they get to slut-shame, AND make sure the slut never gets any education to learn about how to fight the way she’s being oppressed; some of them, for the third, will make sure to pressure her to make up for her sluttiness by being raped by them.

  2. says

    Snap! I was reading about this ghastly story today in the Huffo Post. It said that the “social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook lit up with outrage, with some people calling the tests a form of child abuse that could emotionally scar the students.”

    I’d agree with that statement to a point. However, I would go further, and not just call it “a form of child abuse”. I would consider it full blown child, or rather, adolescent abuse. It’s pure violation of the bodily rights of young people. It’s grotesque even just pondering on the fact that it would indeed be sanctioned by the government.

  3. says

    Just so. In the US theocrats want to rape women via mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound for women who seek abortions, and in Indonesia it’s “virginity tests.” Any excuse to shove something up a woman, eh.

  4. says

    I recently watched a video that was doing the rounds on Twitter. It concerned cavity searches of two young American women. The searches took place right in the middle of the motorway. I was horrified to see such a thing happening in a first world country. Thankfully, the perpetrator was fired from the police force, and is now up on sexual assault charges. The same should be applicable to those who dare to bring into law the “virginity tests” in Indonesia. They would be guilty by association.

  5. ugfabian . says

    This is completely awful. I’m glad there are a lot of people in politics there know it is awful. That can’t be said for every country.

  6. Claire Ramsey says

    The Education Chief is not very good at formulating an argument, is he? So called “virginity tests” are not going to do jack to “protect” children from prostitution and free sex. What a pompous gasbag.

  7. thephilosophicalprimate says

    There is no such thing as an even remotely plausible “virginity test,” period. Hymens are wildly varying between individuals and even over the course of a given girl or woman’s development, they change in respond to hormone levels, they often self-repair if damaged, some girls are born *without* a discernible hymen, and so on and so forth. ( Here’s a recent discussion of this very issue, with lots of links to more detailed info; but just googling “hymen myth” leads to all sorts of medical/scientific refutation of this nonsense.) So completely setting aside the repressive misogynistic agenda here, the very idea that this would be “an accurate way to protect children from prostitution and free sex” is ridiculous. Indeed, it could not be an “accurate way” of doing ANYTHING, because it cannot possibly involve any accuracy in any way. It’s sheer mythology. It’s not even mythology; it’s outright bullshit.

    Of course, this Rasyid asshat and his fellow travelers would have been informed that virginity tests are impossible by any *competent* medical professional they consulted, or they could have learned this themselves with a very small amount of research — which means that they didn’t even bother to find out whether their proposal was even remotely feasible before proposing it. Because this is in no way about actually accomplishing the stated goals; it’s about pushing their actual agenda — punishing girls simply for being female, and denying them an education on any and every possible pretext.

  8. wyleyl says

    Rasyid is obfuscating. It isn’t about women having a right to virginity, nor is he interested in protecting women. It’s about men having a right to women’s virginity, and how interested he is in protecting men’s property.

  9. says

    Hi Ophelia –

    You and I used to be friends on Facebook, until my account was disabled permanently, evidently because I posted a graphic image of African girls undergoing virginity tests.

    If you can help get out the word about my FB issue, I would greatly appreciate it. Here’s my blog on this issue:


    Keep up the good work. D.M. Murdock/Acharya S


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