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Relationships

Virgin-Shaming Is The New Slut-Shaming, And It Needs To Stop

By Meghan Dillon·· 4 min read
virgin-shaming is the new slut-shaming

I was a virgin throughout college. I was waiting for love, and I didn’t judge others who were sexually active because I knew my decision wasn’t for everyone. But I was shocked by how much other women brutally criticized my choice.

If a man criticized my choice to stay a virgin, I knew he wasn’t a good guy to be around. I had plenty of male friends in college who knew I was a virgin and never brought it up. I had plenty of female friends who were the same, but I also experienced a lot of bullying from other women when it came to my virginity.

Sadly, I’m not alone in this phenomenon. We’ve seen how men who are virgins are shamed for their decision (Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor is the perfect example), but the way women shame each other for their lack of sexual experience is a phenomenon we need to talk about.

My Run-In with Hookup Culture

I was hanging out with a group of girlfriends one night at college when one suggested I should have sex with one of my guy friends. Others followed suit in the suggestion. This wasn’t them trying to help me out. This felt like a scene from Mean Girls. Some suggested that no guy would want to date me because of my virginity (which is why they said they were “helping me out”) and that I should just "get it over with." Others suggested that there was chemistry between me and my guy friend. 

I refused. I told them that sex was a big deal to me, and I didn’t want to give it up for a one-night stand and ruin a friendship. But they refused to back down, so I left with another friend when I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I learned two important lessons that night. The first was that these girls weren’t really my friends, and the second was how pervasive hookup culture really is. A movement that was meant to liberate women turned into women shaming each other.

I told them that sex was a big deal to me, and I didn’t want to give it up for a one-night stand and ruin a friendship.

Hookup culture is the norm on many college campuses, and those who don’t participate are sometimes shamed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women owning their sexuality, but over time this has shifted the norms of female sexuality.

We’re Worth More Than Sex

Women today tend to base a lot of their confidence and self-worth on their sexuality. This can lead some women to project their insecurities onto women who have no sexual experience. Plenty of research shows that casual sex has negative mental health consequences, like low self-esteem, and women have been projecting their insecurities onto each other for all of human history.

It’s important to note how harmful it is to put all of your self-worth into your sexuality. Looks fade with time. What are you going to base your self-worth on when you’re in your 50s or your 70s? To everyone reading this, please know you are worth so much more than your sexuality. You have so much more to offer, and you’re cheating yourself out of a happy life if that’s where you put all of your worth.

If it’s wrong for men to view women as sex objects (which it is), then it’s wrong for women to view men as sex objects as well.

It’s also harmful to see other people merely as sex objects. I’ve seen plenty of women view men for nothing other than sex, and it’s truly sad. If it’s wrong for men to view women as sex objects (which it is), then it’s wrong for women to view men as sex objects as well.

In short, viewing ourselves as sex objects and viewing each other as sex objects only leads to misery. It leads to objectifying others and projecting our insecurities onto others, which can explain why so many women are virgin shamed.

Closing Thoughts

It’s no secret that women can be brutally mean to each other (Have you ever watched Real Housewives?), and it’s at its worst when it comes to shaming women for their sexual choices. Men can be mean to each other, but the way women bully each other is a different kind of sinister. If slut-shaming is bad, so is virgin-shaming.

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