"Maybe it's not so black and white": Experiences of virginity among a sample of Canadian young adults

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Tetro, Maria
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University of Guelph

The present study investigated the experiences of virginity among 21 self-identified virgins (18 females/women and 3 males) between 20 and 26 years old. Participants took part in either a face-to-face or video-chat interview and were asked about their experiences of virginity and their conceptualizations of virginity. A thematic analysis was conducted on the data. Participants varied in the amount of importance that they placed on their virginity, but the majority considered it “not a huge deal” or as “just a fact” about them. Participants accounted for their virginity by indicating that they were actively resisting a change until certain conditions were met, or attributed their virginity to situational factors. Participants also spoke about the influence of socio-cultural context, specifically religion, the media, their families, and culture. Lastly, participants differed in the ways in which they conceptualized the sexual behaviours that would constitute a change from virginity to non-virginity.

virginity, virgin, Canadian, young adult, sexual behaviour, human sexuality