Virgin Births: A Myth or Reality?
Miraculous births have always made interesting stories, forming an important part of the historical and mythological literature. Various tales depicting the phenomenon of virgin births due to supernatural intervention have been an important part of the religious texts of many religions. However, a recent study revealed that a small fraction of the American women reported to having had virgin births. This study was published in a popular medical journal.
As per a study that was carried out, it has been revealed that about 0.5 per cent of the 7,870 women who were surveyed reported to have conceived without having experienced vaginal intercourse. In the beginning, the statisticians at the University of North Carolina thought that they had made analytical errors while tracking sexual development into adulthood, soon they realized that it was no mistake as the responses among the women surveyed remained consistent. The professor of biostatistics at Gilling’s School of Global Public Health reported that the women surveyed agreed to have been virgins and also agreed to having been pregnant.
It was found that about 30.5 percent of the women surveyed had taken chastity pledges, this led the researchers to believe that many of them did not want to admit that they had experienced a sexual encounter. The researchers are of the opinion that the women reporting virgin births could be doing so due to the religious stigma. The parents of the women who reported virgin births agreed that they did not share a comfort zone with their children to discuss about sex and contraception. Most researchers said that they did not believe in the phenomenon of miraculous births.
The study conducted involved women to be interviewed four times from the age of 12 till they were 28 and a half. The women who denied having vaginal intercourse during this period were reported as virgins. The women who reported a pregnancy before they began having sex were listed as virgin pregnancies. It was found that 59.8 per cent of the virgins gave birth to boys and the average age of the virgins reporting pregnancies was 19 compared to 21 of the non- virgins.
Professor Herring is of the opinion that it was due to the lack of proper sex education and religious influence that women reported virgin births. He added that it was just a misclassification as the respondents were afraid to admit that they had experienced sexual intercourse. He denied the occurrences of virgin births stating that, it was just to conceal the act of intercourse to avoid religious stigma.