The hymen has been traditionally associated with virginity, but now, we know that this belief is not entirely true. The hymen can tear due to exercise, tampon use, and masturbation in addition to sexual intercourse. Human females aren’t the only ones who possess these crescent-shaped, thin membranes. Mammals, such as whales and elephants, have hymens too.
There are several theories that try to de-mystify the hymen, but evolutionary scientists are still perplexed as to its true physiological purpose. One theory suggests that “the hymen arose because it was a desirable trait, due to the common societal preference for virgin wives.” However, the problem to this reasoning is that it only applies to humans. Animals don’t really care whether the female is a virgin or not when it comes to mating and reproduction. Another theory suggests that the hymen is to protect women from vaginal infections.
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