Question:We recently went into an argument with a group of girls and boys on the topic: "Can a woman deliver a child and remain a virgin?" We took our separate ways and decided to contact others who may have knowledge better than we do. Now here is our chance because we trust there are many experts out there, one could be you, who know the rightful answer. So please, is it possible a woman can give birth to her firstborn and remain a virgin? When is virginity broken beyond restoration?
Your next problem is going to be deciding who's "expert" is more accurate because you can find people on many sides of an issue all claiming to be an expert in that field.
Really, the problem comes down to what definition of virginity do you accept.
- "a person who has never had sex" [Wordnet]
- "A virgin (or maiden) is, originally, a young woman characterized by absence of sexual experience (see Etymology). Virginity is the state of being a virgin (never had vaginal intercourse). It is derived from the Latin virgo, which means "sexually inexperienced woman"" [Wikipedia]
Generally, people want to feel good about themselves, so they tend to focus on definitions which keeps them looking like they behaved properly. Thus, you will find some giving a narrow definition.
- Virginity is when the hymen is intact. The problem here is that a woman's hymen can be broken by other means than by a male's penis. Also this definition makes virginity only apply to females and not males.
- Virginity is lost when vaginal sex takes place. The problem here is that this means most homosexuals are virgins since the definition assumes sex between a male and female. It also implies that other forms of sex, such as oral sex, anal sex, and hand jobs are not really sex -- something the reasonable among us know to be untrue.
- Virginity is lost when sex is willingly given. The motivation behind this is to be able to tell rape victims and abused children that they are still virgins.
- Virginity ends when a person has a sexual experience with another person.
When the Bible states that Mary was a virgin prior to Jesus' birth, it simply means that Mary never had a sexual experience with anyone before. ""Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus" (Matthew 1:23-25). I want you to focus on the phrase "did not know her." This is an older way of saying he was not intimate with her. He did not come to know her body and she did not come to know his body until after Jesus was born. So it wasn't until after Jesus was born that Mary experienced sex and thus was no longer a virgin. (She had several more children after Jesus. "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" (Mark 6:3).
If we accept that coming to know a person, or being sexually intimate with a person, means they are no longer a virgin, then we don't eliminate homosexual acts from removing virginity. "And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally"" (Genesis 19:5). It also keeps sexual touching a part of a sexual experience. "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:1-2).
From a biblical viewpoint, the definitions of virginity which aim to soothe a person's self-pride mask the significance of Jesus' birth. The angel announced to Joseph that the virgin Mary was with child. It was a significant event which had never been seen before in the world. If only consensual sex took away virginity, then the virgin birth of Jesus would not be significant. Many women have been raped and ended up pregnant. Such would not be historically significant. If only vaginal intercourse took away virginity, then again it would not be significant. Many women have become pregnant because they were fooling around with a man and semen accidentally contacted the vagina. A man's penis doesn't necessarily have to be in the vagina to cause pregnancy and quite a number of women have become pregnant without ever experiencing vaginal intercourse. So calling Mary a virgin with child would not be an unusual event if that is what virginity meant. For the same reason, women have become pregnant with their hymen intact either through contact with semen or only partial penetration. Once again this would not be unusual.
But if we accept that virginity means inexperienced in all forms of sex with another person, then what happened with Mary becomes a true miracle and an event that never happened before or since.