You Say Hymen, We Say Vaginal Corona

In keeping with the Sex and Language theme week, we thought it would be interesting to mention this fact: the “hymen,” thought of as a brittle membrane that is broken when a woman loses her virginity, does not exist. As Scarleteen informs us, the proper term is “vaginal corona” and these thin folds of mucous tissue are formed differently in each individual woman and are not a good indicator of sexual experience, tampon use, or anything else.

Since the word “hymen” has such negative connotations of purity and being a virgin from the limited perspective of male-female vaginal penetrative intercourse, why not start saying “vaginal corona” instead? We dare you.

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About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.