Out of all 50 states in the U.S., only 17 require that sexual education is medically accurate. It is because of this that OBGYN and massive TikToker Dr. Jennifer Lincoln is calling out misinformation and filling in the gaps for her growing 1.8 million followers – starting with the myths around losing your virginity.
In a now viral video, Dr. Lincoln asked people to define "losing your virginity" in the comment section and, though the responses varied, there were two common themes among them: consent being mandatory and there being a general need to restructure the framing of virginity without a sense of "loss."
"There is no one answer for what losing your virginity is," Dr. Lincoln concluded in the video. "Maybe it's having vaginal sex. Maybe to you it's anal sex. But what about women who have sex with women? Do we just consider them virgins forever? I mean, I don't think they would agree. There's no one scientific definition of 'losing your virginity,' and that's the point... Virginity is a social construct, and not a really useful term, is it?"
"I often get questions from scared teenagers who want to know if they are still considered a virgin if they've done a certain activity. Why? Because society is obsessed with virginity and the idea that it indicates purity, which means you're dirty if you are no longer a virgin," Dr. Lincoln told BuzzFeed. "Questions range from if just the tip of the penis goes in, or just goes in for a second, or if it's just oral sex – what counts? And my answer is always the same: There's no definition of virginity and your worth is SO much more than society's obsession with purity culture."
Without a medical need to define virginity, there only remains a tired social understanding, which Dr. Lincoln challenges people to stop considering in the traditional sense.
"Imagine if we took just a percentage of the energy that goes into telling young people why they need to remain virgins until marriage and instead emphasized consent and understanding how their bodies worked in a medically accurate, comprehensive way?" Dr. Lincoln said. "Think of how impactful and empowering that would be! It is completely fine if you choose not to have sex or have your own definition of virginity – but don't let society define it for you, and through that define your worth."
You can watch Dr. Lincoln's full virginity video below: