I think it is a complicated topic.
In this modern age, it certainly is “worth” less than it used to be… that is both a good thing and a bad thing.
But as someone who is over 50, I can say that it is pretty funny in regards to how “serious” we all take this (how many sexual partners we have) when you get to my age, because you suddenly realize that life will deal us all a hand whereby many of us will indeed have many sexual partners… be that prior to us marrying, or after a Breakup of a Marriage (Divorce) or the passing of our partner (Death).
Even my Grandparents (circa late 1800s) and my own Parents (circa early 1900s) had more than one partner in their lifetime… in several cases due to circumstances… Divorces & Deaths, they got into their 80s with a list that certainly numbered greater than the fingers on one hand !!
OMGosh !! The horror of it all.
Truthfully, the older you get, the more you understand that keeping count is pretty silly. Sex is part of life and so it goes… just as natural as anything else.
One can assume that if a couple is together, they are having sex. So in the end, WHO you sleep with as a full grown Adult, really isn’t that big a deal…
I do think that in recent times that the “value” (different in some ways than worth) of one’s Virginity in young women has been lost.
There are lots of girls in their early teens (11 thru 15) who give it up without much thought to the first guy who trys to take it…
It now seems to be a “badge” to be able to say… I got rid of my Virginity as soon as I could (certainly what my Daughter told me a lot of her friends thought).
That somehow, being a Non-Virgin rushes one along into the state of adulthood… although most of us (who are now adults) would acknowledge, that growing into an adult has far more to do with one’s state of mind, and emmotional maturity vs any sort of physical milestone (example, one can certainly look 18 but still be a 13 year old with corresponding thoughts)
This rush to adulthood thru losing one’s virginity is a sad statement IMO
Virginity may not be “worth” as much as it once was… but it certainly should be valued by the girl in some sort of way. She should be aware that it is indeed special and should be given some value. As it is in a way reflective of the value that she puts upon herself.
I don’t think that it is a far stretch to say that we see countless posts here on WBee where women are desperately searching for love and respect from the men that they are so in love with… but because they have put so little value on themselves as women (long after the years where they gave up their virginity) they are in relationships that are rocky and unfullfilling.
IMO the concept goes hand in hand. If a young woman has been taught that she is a valuable individual, then she probably won’t be the girl who gives her virginity away as a pre-teen, or young woman to the first guy who comes along. She more than likely will strive for something more from a relationship, and see WHY it has value to her.
For the record…
As I said I am over 50. My generation was certainly at the forefront of the idea that women’s viriginity was moving away from being “a prize” into the area that us gals were just as equal as the men. My Parents certainly wanted me to hold out until I was married (or at least engaged). But at 18 and away at University I gave it up to a boyfriend who I most certainly had fallen in love with. In the end our relationship didn’t last and I was heartbroken. At the same time, I didn’t see anything wrong with going out into the world and “dating like a man”… so yes, all my subsequent relationships were sexual as well. And I was DETERMINED to be a modern woman where sex was JUST SEX.
But at the same time, I wanted to meet Mr Right, Marry and have Kids etc. Infact that was probably my greatest motivator. So much so, that in the end I really didn’t choose the best guy (because I didn’t know how to value myself… ) so I hooked up and got engaged to the first guy who came along who was willing (I met him when I was 20).
My Dating Story looks a lot like many of the posts we see on the WAITING BOARD… filled with angst, conflict, pain… and eventually there was marriage. But the angst, conflict and pain never really went away, because I hadn’t been selective enough in my Dating Years to see value in myself, I was just thrilled to have a guy who said he loved me… somehow I overlooked all his faults for the fairytale, and ended up living in a nightmare instead (all because I had low self-esteem, and didn’t value myself, who I was and what I had to offer).
25 Years on, and a horrible Divorce later. Not to mention, tons of counselling, and I finally connected the dots. You have to value yourself in order to have a great relationship. Period.
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So yes, Virginity / Sex / Dating is a complicated topic… and there is no one size fits all answer. BUT I also believe that we have to do more as a society to teach women to “value” themselves at a younger age… in order to get something “worthwhile” out of their lives & loves.