Lorena Gonzalez Proposes Ban on “Virginity Testing”

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

No Medical Reasons Exist for Sexist, Traumatizing Hymen Examinations

SACRAMENTO – (Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced legislation today to prohibit licensed medical practitioners from performing so-called “virginity testing” on women.

Under Assembly Bill 1909, any medical practitioner who performs or supervises these pelvic exams on a woman’s hymen would be subject to professional misconduct penalties. 

“So-called ‘virginity testing’ is a form of violence and harassment against young girls and women,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “There is no medical reason for this examination. It’s time for California to listen to calls from the international community and ban this traumatizing, sexist and unnecessary practice.” 

Recently, rapper T.I. sparked a nationwide controversy around “virginity testing” when he claimed he annually took his teenage daughter to the gynecologist to check her hymen to determine if she had sexual intercourse. This is a dangerous and false conception. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) states that the appearance of a girl or woman’s hymen cannot prove whether they have had sexual intercourse or are sexually active. 

These invasive and traumatizing examinations have no real scientific or medical basis because there is no examination that can prove a girl or woman has had sexual intercourse. The concept of “virginity” is a social and cultural construct.

The United Nations, W.H.O., U.N. Women and U.N. Human Rights have called for a global ban on the practice. Currently, there are no federal or state bans on this practice in the United States. In December, a ban similar to AB 1909 as proposed in New York.

For questions or to request an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov