Egypt General Admits to “Virginity Checks” of Protesters

According to CNN.com, a senior Egyptian general has admitted to performing “virginity checks” on female protesters this past Spring so that they couldn’t claim to have been raped.

The article states:

“The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn’t later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.

“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said. “None of them were (virgins).”

Of course, there is no way to really tell if a woman is a virgin by examining her vagina. Some women are born without a hymen. Others may have their hymen wear away from masturbation, fingering from a partner, tampon use, or other types of penetration. And of course, women can be raped whether or not they are virgins, so it is unclear how they feel that proving these women are not virgins could be a way to say that they have not been raped. To me, it seems more of a judgment of these women’s sexuality – that if they are not virgins, that they are somehow sexually “immoral” or perhaps would “submit to/agree to” sex, that it wouldn’t have to be “taken” from then in rape. The tests are said to have been performed by male doctors, with soldiers present.

Read more at CNN.com.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

  • http://twitter.com/slikid2 Jevad Jackson

    It’s not akin to rape. IT IS RAPE.
    Think of the logic (or total lack there of) of this statement:
    “We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped
    them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first
    place,” the general said. “None of them were (virgins).”
    It was done to humiliate and intimidate and discourage further women protestors.