Planned Parenthood relayed a crucial anatomy lesson to rapper T.I. following his unabashed admission of his annual visits to one of his daughter’s gynecologist to ensure her hymen is still intact.
Not long after a collective sentiment of disgust echoed throughout the internet on Wednesday, Planned Parenthood issued a thread of tweets hours after the Atlanta artist’s troubling statement. The family planning organization addressed the falsities surrounding hymens and the concept of virginity.
A virgin is someone who’s never had sex. But “sex” means different things to different people, so “virginity” does too. Many don’t care what it means or think it matters. Whatever you believe, the fact is you can’t tell if someone’s had sex by checking their hymen.“A virgin is someone who’s never had sex. But ‘sex’ means different things to different people, so ‘virginity’ does too. Many don’t care what it means or think it matters,” the thread continued.
The hymen is a thin, fleshy tissue that’s located at the opening of your vagina. Like other parts of our bodies, hymens are a little different for everyone.
“Some people just naturally have hymens that are more open. And many other activities besides sex can stretch your hymen — like riding a bike, doing sports, or putting something in your vagina (like a tampon or finger). Once your hymen is stretched open, it can’t grow back.”
Many on social media were not only appalled by T.I.’s comments, but for his overstepping of boundaries when it comes to his daughter’s medical information, which, now that she’s 18, requires a disclosure consent form.
While “virginity testing” is a custom across different cultures, CBS reports it was denounced in 2018 by the World Health Organization, U.N. Human Rights and U.N. Women. The WHO explained that the method of inspecting a female’s hymen has no clinical or scientific basis and is a disregard for women’s or girls’ well-being.
“I don’t want any of my children to have sex before it’s time for them, but who’s to say when it’s time?” he said. “I will definitely feel different about a boy than I will about a girl. And that’s just the God’s honest truth. I don’t think there’s any father out there who’ll tell you any different.”