Virginity More Important for Women than Men?

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Parakaleo

Puritan Board Sophomore
In a recent study group with some men discussing marriage and family, an interesting question came up. As a backdrop to the question, we do believe there are sins that are made more heinous by reason of various aggravations. Fisher's explains:

Q. 9. "What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?"
A. "Sins receive their aggravation, 1. From the persons offending. 2. From the parties offended. 3. From the nature and quality of the offence. 4. From the circumstances of time and place."
Does this extend to the "persons" or "office" of man and woman? In other words, could the same sin be more heinous if found in a man than a woman, or vice versa? Nature and Scripture both seem to point in this direction.

Specifically, the group contemplated the matter of virginity. Looking to Deut. 22, it would seem far more important for a woman to enter marriage as a virgin than a man. In terms of a counseling situation, a man has greater cause to end marriage plans based on revelations of a woman's sexual history than a woman has cause in the case of a man's sexual record.* Agree or disagree?

*Of course this does not make the sexual immorality of men excusable.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Regarding the "double-standard" in abstract:

Modern feminists rail against the "double standard" of women being judged more harshly for promiscuity than men and they want to eliminate this double-standard...and we've all seen where that has led our society.

Here is a defense of the "double-standard":

https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/a-defense-of-the-double-standard/


Men are biologically programmed to desire sex at a pretty constant level from puberty onward, with only a modest decline over the long term. Women, by contrast, are pretty much wired for chastity. Sexual desire, for them, follows arousal, instead of arousal following desire; they have disproportionately high rates of anorgasmia and other forms of sexual dysfunction, and these problems are less amenable to medical treatment than in men; and their desires are more subject to cultural and social influence than are those of men.

Since chastity comes more easily to women than men, and since the vast majority of men aren’t in fact rapists, why shouldn’t women be expected to bear the burden of chastity? It’s easier to police half the population’s sexual behaviors than the entire population’s, no?

At the end of the day, though, we know feminists are lying: it’s not the double standard they object to but the object of the double standard, which is chastity. They wouldn’t like a society in which men and women equally bore the yoke of high standards of chastity, either. And the more honest feminists are willing to admit this. And this makes sense, when you think about it; after all, it was never a feminist ambition to achieve equality by ennobling men, but to achieve it by degrading women — to make them clones and replicas of men.

Also, quite simply, women have more to lose by being promiscuous. They are at greater risk for life-changing consequences. And those who do not handle risks wisely are appropriately called fools. And thus women are more foolish when they are promiscuous.


Regarding past virginity/promiscuity in a pre-marital counseling situation:

All kinds of people become Christians and marry and have happy families. Many marry and divorce or have unhappy families as well. This includes formerly promiscuous people, as well as former virgins. Grace can work wonders. But, sin also cuts deep and leaves scars.

However, we should not be naive and think such things are a non-issue. These issues should be evaluated by each couple prior to marriage as part of the larger whole of fitness/compatibility for marriage. In my opinion, all such prior relationships (including those mindsets and personality traits which made those prior relationships possible) represent baggage which could possibly weigh down the uniqueness of the marital bond.
 
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JoannaV

Puritan Board Sophomore
In terms of a counseling situation, a man has greater cause to end marriage plans based on revelations of a woman's sexual history than a woman has cause in the case of a man's sexual record.* Agree or disagree?
I don't really understand the question. In any individual situation in which a couple are intending to marry and then one reveals previously unknown information about their sexual history, there is reason to reevaluate the relationship. Exactly what that reevaluation involves depends on the individual situation. How are you measuring "greater" or "lesser" in this? Are you counseling men to not marry but counseling women to overlook past sexual activity?
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
I don't like the way this discussion started and I like even less the way it is turning. Adultery is adultery, and is grounds for divorce. I can see no reason why a woman should more quickly overlook a man's sexual sins simply because he is a man. It amounts to saying 'Boys will be boys!'

If we say that a woman's adultery or promiscuity is more heinous than a man's, should the church then exercise harsher discipline on her than on a similarly offending man? I say no. They ought to submit to church discipline, and the church should not consider whether the guilty is male or female. If there is to be a particular discipline, it should be according to the individual case; again, it should not be according to categories of male and female.

As I see it, a man is more prone to sexual sin, but that does not excuse him in the least. This is sin. Before the Fall, the love between Adam and Eve was pure and sinless. Now sin has come into human relationships. But we cannot pass over sin under the premise that it is beyond our control. We maintain the fight against sin, without seeking out excuses for it.

Would we likewise say that men are more prone to aggression, and should thus be handed a lighter penalty for assault or murder? Would we pardon a woman for gossiping because she happens to be a woman? Or perhaps we would let a child's habitual lying go unpunished?

I don't think this stands up to Scripture. Nature may show that men and women tend to struggle with particular sins. But as for us, what is required of believers is holiness.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I don't like the way this discussion started and I like even less the way it is turning. Adultery is adultery, and is grounds for divorce. I can see no reason why a woman should more quickly overlook a man's sexual sins simply because he is a man. It amounts to saying 'Boys will be boys!'

If we say that a woman's adultery or promiscuity is more heinous than a man's, should the church then exercise harsher discipline on her than on a similarly offending man? I say no. They ought to submit to church discipline, and the church should not consider whether the guilty is male or female. If there is to be a particular discipline, it should be according to the individual case; again, it should not be according to categories of male and female.

As I see it, a man is more prone to sexual sin, but that does not excuse him in the least. This is sin. Before the Fall, the love between Adam and Eve was pure and sinless. Now sin has come into human relationships. But we cannot pass over sin under the premise that it is beyond our control. We maintain the fight against sin, without seeking out excuses for it.

Would we likewise say that men are more prone to aggression, and should thus be handed a lighter penalty for assault or murder? Would we pardon a woman for gossiping because she happens to be a woman? Or perhaps we would let a child's habitual lying go unpunished?

I don't think this stands up to Scripture. Nature may show that men and women tend to struggle with particular sins. But as for us, what is required of believers is holiness.
Nobody is saying it is not sin or should be excused. Nor did I hear any mention of adultery.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Sexual chastity was emphasized as more important for women than for men in the Old Testament. Polygyny (multiple wives) was permitted whereas we read nothing of polyandry being permitted (multiple husbands).

Deuteronomy 22 emphasizes a woman's virginity, whereas a man's virginity is not mentioned. From Deuteronomy 22 it seems that almost every groom expected his bride be a virgin and be able to prove it. If this did not happen, there were even consequences.

Therefore, I conclude that the "double-standard" is Biblical. All sexual sin is sinful. But for women to be promiscuous is even worse.

Be mad at my answer if you will...but if you are mad, I would assert that your anger is evidence of your modern brainwashing by the feminist movement.

Promiscuity is a sin against their very nature and monogamy is rooted more in their biology. Whereas a woman has one egg released per month and bears in her body the effects of pregnancy and must bear and care for the child and has more to lose through promiscuity, a man could conceivably impregnate multiple females per week and has less of a role in the bearing and raising of the children. Whereas men gravitate more towards sexual sin and societal rules must be in place to limit this, it is a sure sign of a degraded and corrupt society whenever we see women promiscuous on a large-scale... and such is 21st Century America.
 
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Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
There is a practical problem with your assertion, Pergamum, and that is this: If it's less sinful for the men to fornicate than the women. . . who are the men fornicating with?

If men fornicate more often, how do they manage? They all visit the one local prostitute or the two loose women in town or something?

Otherwise, I'd assume that men and women were fornicating at roughly equal rates.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
Other thoughts that occur to me are Esther, who seems to be unindicted or even rewarded for apparently fornicating with an unbelieving king - spending a year getting prepared for this etc. - and Rahab, whose position as a prostitute goes seemingly unremarked. In short from reading her story it does not seem that her job as a prostitute is any issue for concern.

Similarly Bathsheba does not seem to be in any trouble for her congress with David. I know she was not a virgin at the time but still David is held responsible for the adultery, it seems, way more than her.

Polygamy while legally tolerated was never instructed or endorsed. It would seem that, as a protection for women taken this way, it was allowed so that the women could have some provision and protection for themselves and their children.

Polyandry does not seem to be popular in Christian or non-Christian circles so is it possible it just didn't come up? If men are the head of a marriage, then it would be civilly/logistically impossible for polyandry to exist, for who would be head of such an arrangement? Whereas in a polygamous arrangement the headship of the man still stands.

Consider also Proverbs, where the young man is warned strongly of the seductive woman; but not the reverse. This would lead me to understand that women are sexually aggressive, albeit in a feminine way. Proverbs is not warning young women to stay away from rapacious young men; although I suppose that would be implied.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Esther wasn't fornicating. 2:16, So Esther was TAKEN unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
The King was an absolute Monarch, and concubines were owned similar to property. Being taken as property is not the same as consensual sexual relations.

The same with Bathsheba. There was an unequal power relationship and David had Bathsheba brought to him. She is not spoken of as evil.

Polyandry is not popular because God made men and women different. Women are made more monogamous.

Yes, in the past under traditional sexual mores, good girls didn't put out and men often went to the few special girls for this (there was a disproportionate pairing with a few girls having most of the sex). The realities of prostitution mirror this...a few select women servicing many men (i.e. not an equal pairing).

That is also why we see the way the sexes are addressed in the Proverbs. A seductress is a special kind of evil and ignorant men (plural) are warned not to be duped by her (singular) wiles. All sexual sin is still sin. But females further sin against their monogamous nature when they take on many lovers. No wonder the OT imagery of whoredom and spiritual adultery such as found in Ezekial is used; it was a particularly loathsome sort of evil.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Therefore, I conclude that the "double-standard" is Biblical. All sexual sin is sinful. But for women to be promiscuous is even worse.

Be mad at my answer if you will...but if you are mad, I would assert that your anger is evidence of your modern brainwashing by the feminist movement.
Maybe. Or maybe taking Romans 2:1-3 seriously means that the concept of a double standard ought to make us queasy. Perhaps it's true that a man is more easily depraved in this area than a woman - but that's hardly a commendation of the man!
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
In 1 Cor. 7, the chastity of virgins is in some part the responsibility of a man, and this reflects a traditional value of male-female roles where men were regarded as protectors. Society had laws and customs to reflect this value, and so a woman who committed fornication or adultery also broke laws and customs, and this would have added to her shame. The modern disastrous experiment of an unisex society thinks little of this value, and casts scorn on laws and customs which value men as protectors. A woman who commits fornication or adultery with the mentality that she is her own protector will likely feel less shame, especially if she has nothing to do with traditional laws and customs. Or, if she has been under the traditional value, it is likely that she tries to cover over her shame with brazen and unnatural displays of independence.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
Well If the original question is "more important for woman then men?" then
from examples cited here I might say: the opposite. Because Esther and Bathsheba are presumably innocent due to their being in a subordinate or submissive role. Whereas Joseph, in a similar role, fled leaving his coat behind to avoid what he termed a "sin" although he was a slave.
 
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Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
Fisher's explains:

Q. 9. "What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?"
A. "Sins receive their aggravation, 1. From the persons offending. 2. From the parties offended. 3. From the nature and quality of the offence. 4. From the circumstances of time and place."
Does this extend to the "persons" or "office" of man and woman? In other words, could the same sin be more heinous if found in a man than a woman, or vice versa?
There is no need to speculate on this point. The Larger Catechism goes into considerable detail as to what the divines had in mind with those categories (Q151). There is no direct mention or categorical correlation in the given Scripture proofs that any of these aggravations have uniquely to do with one's sex. Nor do later commentaries on the Catechism, that I know of, ever suggest such an idea. So it seems from a confessional perspective there is no support for it. Personally it gives me great pause and suspicion anytime a doctrinal or theological novelty outside those boundaries is posed, let alone championed.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
From William Gouge's Domestical Duties:

7. Of the difference of adultery in a man, and in a wife.

Quest. Is the bond of marriage as much violated on the man's part when he committeth adultery as on the woman's when she doth so?

Answ. Though the ancient Romans and Canonists have aggravated the woman's fault in this kind far above the man's, and given the man more privileges than the woman, yet I see not how that difference in the sin can stand with the tenor of God's word. I deny not but that more inconveniences may follow upon the woman's default than upon the man's: as, greater infamy before men, worse disturbance of the family, more mistaking of legitimate, or illegitimate children, with the like. The man cannot so well know which be his own children, as the woman; he may take base children to be his own, and so cast the inheritance upon them; and suspect his own to be basely borne, and so deprive them of their patrimony. But the woman is freed from all such mistakings. Yet in regard of the breach of wedlock, and transgression against God, the sin of either party is alike. God's word maketh no disparity betwixt them. At the beginning God said of them both, they two shall be one flesh: not the woman only with the man, but the man also with the woman is made one flesh. Their power also over one another in this respect is alike. If on just occasion they abstain, it must be with mutual consent. If the husband leave his wife, she is free, as he should be, if she left him. Accordingly the punishment which by God's law was to be inflicted on adulterers is the same, whether the man or the woman be the delinquent, (Deut 22:22). If difference be made, it is meet that adulterous husbands be so much the more severely punished, by how much the more it appertaineth to them to excel in virtue, and to govern their wives by example.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
So Gouge seems to say that the evils (guilt) are the same for both genders for adultery; though he admits that the evils (results/consequences) are much more for the woman, it seems.

She risks more and damages more by it on the average. In this case, which is the worse sin? The man's greater sin because he is supposed to be the example? Or the wife's sin, since she damages more by her adulteries? I am not convinced of Gouge's conclusions above.

Also, the above seems to deal with adultery. The OP mentioned virginity upon marriage; not adultery.

The OT seemed to carry civil penalties for the female party who could not prove her virginity upon marriage in Deuteronomy, and no such penalty is stated for the man.

It seems there has always been (in the OT as well as in virtually every culture) a greater expectation upon the female for maintaining virginity. The OP mentioned the "double standard" and I have sought to propose that such a double-standard is logical, and is reflected in Deut 22 and almost all human societies, whereas all modern "liberated" feminists rail against this inequality of expectation.

Throughout the history of the world, the concept of "virginity" was predominantly attached to femininity and largely excluded males. One of the first sources contrary to this would have been the New Testament, and that at its very final book which mentions males virgins in Revelation 14:4, a historical rarity:
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
In re: the civil penalties, the lack of virginity for a woman can by physically proven. The lack of virginity of a man can't be physically proven.

So to have a civil penalty for a non-virgin wife as opposed to a non-virgin husband may just go to proveability. How can one convict a man of not being a virgin? Whereas for a woman it is relatively apparent.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
In Deuteronomy 22: 13-21, if a bride is found not to be a virgin she is taken out and stoned.
In Deuteronomy 22:28-29, if a man (generic...single or married) deflowers a maiden, he is told to pay a fine and marry her.

And again, men may possess multiple wives...women may not.

Adultery for a man equals sex with a married woman, while adultery for a married woman is sex with any man.

In Exodus 20:17, the last of the Ten Commandments groups a man's wife along with his property: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." No such inverse passage is found where a husband is equated as a woman's property in the same manner (though the Apostle Paul does speak of a husband and wife's mutual rights one over the other in the NT).

In Deuteronomy 24 is described the procedure for a man to obtain a divorce from his wife, but no inverse procedure is given for the woman. Women were seen as owned by the family and their fathers in the Old Testament. Some say they are treated like property in the Old Testament. We must at least acknowledge they are treated as being owned by the household and their fathers/husbands and are not assumed to be free agents like men.

In Old Testament language, a man who committed adultery did not so much commit a wrongful act against his own wife, but rather against his male neighbor, a defrauding of his property.

The punishments are unequal for sexual sins, showing a greater value in preserving a woman's virginity than a man's, and showing a greater loss for a woman than for a man. The preservation of a woman's virginity prior to marriage was even a matter of family honor.

The OP asked about virginity and a "double-standard" (i.e. unequal expectations). I think it is clear that it exists, is echoed in the OT, is preserved in traditional Western culture as well as almost all cultures of the world, makes sense biologically, and is only rejected by modern egalitarian feminists.

There are different sexual expectations for men and women and unequal penalties for the same behavior. This clearly proves a "double-standard."
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I hope I don't come across as arguing with you. . . I find this subject interesting so am "thinking out loud."

In Deuteronomy 22: 13-21, if a bride is found not to be a virgin she is taken out and stoned. (Easily proven as not proveable for men; also there is deceit involved as she was presumably presented as a virgin)

In Deuteronomy 22:28-29, if a man (generic...single or married) deflowers a maiden, he is told to pay a fine and marry her. (I think this presumes what is often the case and certainly was then; he is the actor, she is acted upon)

And again, men may possess multiple wives...women may not. (This was never prescribed but rather acknowledged)

Adultery for a man equals sex with a married woman, while adultery for a married woman is sex with any man (that is new to me?)

In Exodus 20:17, the last of the Ten Commandments groups a man's wife along with his property: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." No such inverse passage is found where a husband is equated as a woman's property in the same manner (though the Apostle Paul does speak of a husband and wife's mutual rights one over the other in the NT). (does this not reflect headship, not culpability for sexual sin)

In Deuteronomy 24 is described the procedure for a man to obtain a divorce from his wife, but no inverse procedure is given for the woman. Women were seen as owned by the family and their fathers in the Old Testament. Some say they are treated like property in the Old Testament. We must at least acknowledge they are treated as being owned by the household and their fathers/husbands and are not assumed to be free agents like men. (arene't laws often inclusive? Like if a law says "if a man raise up against another man and strikes him so he dies. . ." we infer that if a woman does it, same deal. With this line of argument, unless women are specifically mentioned, very few laws apply to them)

In Old Testament language, a man who committed adultery did not so much commit a wrongful act against his own wife, but rather against his male neighbor, a defrauding of his property. (again is it not true, the offense is against the wronged spouse whether male or female, and God; assuming rape were not involved)
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I hope I don't come across as arguing with you. . . I find this subject interesting so am "thinking out loud."

In Deuteronomy 22: 13-21, if a bride is found not to be a virgin she is taken out and stoned. (Easily proven as not proveable for men; also there is deceit involved as she was presumably presented as a virgin)

In Deuteronomy 22:28-29, if a man (generic...single or married) deflowers a maiden, he is told to pay a fine and marry her. (I think this presumes what is often the case and certainly was then; he is the actor, she is acted upon)

And again, men may possess multiple wives...women may not. (This was never prescribed but rather acknowledged)

Adultery for a man equals sex with a married woman, while adultery for a married woman is sex with any man (that is new to me?)

In Exodus 20:17, the last of the Ten Commandments groups a man's wife along with his property: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." No such inverse passage is found where a husband is equated as a woman's property in the same manner (though the Apostle Paul does speak of a husband and wife's mutual rights one over the other in the NT). (does this not reflect headship, not culpability for sexual sin)

In Deuteronomy 24 is described the procedure for a man to obtain a divorce from his wife, but no inverse procedure is given for the woman. Women were seen as owned by the family and their fathers in the Old Testament. Some say they are treated like property in the Old Testament. We must at least acknowledge they are treated as being owned by the household and their fathers/husbands and are not assumed to be free agents like men. (arene't laws often inclusive? Like if a law says "if a man raise up against another man and strikes him so he dies. . ." we infer that if a woman does it, same deal. With this line of argument, unless women are specifically mentioned, very few laws apply to them)

In Old Testament language, a man who committed adultery did not so much commit a wrongful act against his own wife, but rather against his male neighbor, a defrauding of his property. (again is it not true, the offense is against the wronged spouse whether male or female, and God; assuming rape were not involved)
Doesn't matter whether or not virginity is proveable for men; the silence as to the man's virginity is telling. She is property of her house and her virginity is a matter of family honor.

The Levirate was a prescribed example of polygyny (i.e. not merely permitted, but commanded..though only for a time).

Yes, Exodus 20 reflects headship and leadership (atheists like the word ownership) over his wife.

About Deuteronomy 24: sometimes man or mankind is used in the generic, but with regard to the sexual laws, many of them specify male and female actions and different and unequal male and female penalties. Expectations were different for the sexes (i.e. a double-standard exists).

Again, it seems assumed from the Old Testament that adultery for a man equals sex with a married woman, while adultery for a married woman is sex with any man. Adultery seems to be defined as, "unlawful intercourse with another man's wife." Strangely, there are no civil penalties given to men for sleeping with a prostitute (though the Proverbs show the foolishness of this, and Deuteronomy 23:17-18 tells us, ""There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.").

This is a difficult topic. Below is the best summary I can find (and this summary shows unequal penalties for the sexes):

If a married man has sex with a married woman (other than ones own wife), is it adultery?
Yes, they were put to death (Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22-24).

If a married man has sex with an unmarried woman, is it adultery?
No, she became his wife (Genesis 4:19; 29:23-30; 31:17; 32:22; 36:2,6, Exodus 21:10, Deuteronomy 21:15-17; 25:5-10, Judges 8:30, 1 Samuel 1:2; 25:42-43; 30:18, 2 Samuel 5:13, 1 Kings 11:1-3, 1 Chronicles 4:5; 8:8; 14:3, 2 Chronicles 11:21; 12:7-8; 13:21; 24:3, Daniel 5:2-3).

If an unmarried man has sex with a married woman, is it adultery?
Yes, they were put to death (Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22-24).

If an unmarried man has sex with an unmarried woman, is it adultery?
No, they were commanded to marry each other (Exodus 22:16-17, Deuteronomy 22:28).
Perhaps the above inequalities are a by-product of polygamy, which god tolerated for a time (thus skewing other relations as well). Thus, they do not pertain to our day except inasmuch as general equity demands (and I have no idea how to work that out except to say that a whorish woman is worse than a promiscuous man).

But, I will point out (especially since my stance is an extremely unpopular one in our day that is likely to make people mad) that the above does show a "double-standard" - which is what the OP is all about, and which I think I have proven.
 
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Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
I see what you're saying in the OP, and I think the quote from Gouge bears out that there is more of a unique type of fallout and damage from a woman's sexual unchastity, yet before God as Judge, the sin itself, of both men and women, is equally condemned by God. One problem in talking about the consequences of a woman's sin against nature in this way may be the use of the term "double standard"; that's a short-hand description, but it has a misleading connotation, I think. Maybe some other way of putting it would be best?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Verkehrsteilnehmer

Puritan Board Freshman
The OP is a bit confusing, since only a female can be a virgin. Homosexuals misuse the term for effeminate males, but that is not what the OP is referring to. Christians, remembering the virgin Mary, especially ought to understand the meaning of the word.
Dave
PHX
OPC
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The OP is a bit confusing, since only a female can be a virgin. Homosexuals misuse the term for effeminate males, but that is not what the OP is referring to. Christians, remembering the virgin Mary, especially ought to understand the meaning of the word.
Dave
PHX
OPC
I would agree for secular and ancient/classical sources, but the New Testament introduces this:

Revelation 14:4:

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
 

Parakaleo

Puritan Board Sophomore
This has been fascinating. I am interested by all the comments and differing points of view. I agree with Pergamum that Scripture really does present the virginity of women as more "valuable" than that of men (though impossible to quantify). Remember, the question was originally framed in terms of a pre-marital counseling situation. All good counseling involves the application of wisdom. Christ's forgiveness and His cleansing of a woman is real, but the ongoing effects of past sin are also real. It is the course of wisdom to take all this into consideration.

What if it was discovered that non-virign women entering marriage are significantly more likely to seek divorce? After controlling for the first five years of marriage, there is a 500% greater likelihood that a woman with two previous sexual partners before marriage will end the marriage she is in.

wolfinger-sex-partners-divorce-figure-1-1.jpg

Not surprisingly, women who enter marriage as virgins have the lowest divorce rate of all. As believers, are we to dismiss all such statistical analysis as mostly describing the "way of the ungodly"? Are we to assume it has no relevance to the godly?
 

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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Not surprisingly, women who enter marriage as virgins have the lowest divorce rate of all. As believers, are we to dismiss all such statistical analysis as mostly describing the "way of the ungodly"? Are we to assume it has no relevance to the godly?
What are the statistics for men who enter marriage as "virgins"?
 

Parakaleo

Puritan Board Sophomore
What are the statistics for men who enter marriage as "virgins"?
I don't know. Since nearly 70% of all divorces are initiated by the wife, the statistics for the man being a "virgin" or not are less relevant.

I take it you are saying the statistical analysis is of use for the believer?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
It's up to the man or woman to decide whether he or she wants to marry once he or she hears the sexual history of the potential wife or husband, if he or she ever -really - hears it. He or she might be influenced by such statistics. This would be true of Christians or non-Christians.

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timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Sexual chastity was emphasized as more important for women than for men in the Old Testament. Polygyny (multiple wives) was permitted whereas we read nothing of polyandry being permitted (multiple husbands).
I do not think that the Bible emphasizes sexual chastity more for women than it does for men. It just uses different passages addresses different arguments to each sex. You mentioned some of the passages that focus on women but don't forget the massive and repeated emphasis that the early chapters of Proverbs place on avoiding the adulteress.
 

Mr. Bultitude

Puritan Board Freshman
What if it was discovered that non-virign women entering marriage are significantly more likely to seek divorce? After controlling for the first five years of marriage, there is a 500% greater likelihood that a woman with two previous sexual partners before marriage will end the marriage she is in.
I bet it would be far less dramatic a difference if it controlled for religious beliefs and church attendance.
 

Parakaleo

Puritan Board Sophomore
but don't forget the massive and repeated emphasis that the early chapters of Proverbs place on avoiding the adulteress.
Correct, but the primary reason for these warnings is that a young man will not sin against another man. Same goes for Joseph with Potiphar's wife, who said he will not lay with her because Potiphar is a good master and "because you are his wife," (Gen. 39:9). Absent in both these examples is the notion that a young man has a "virginity" to be guarded.
 
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