a result, desperate young women are using
fake blood and even going in for reconstructive
surgery to fake their virginity, the investigative
radio documentary reported. In an echo of
social attitudes held in many parts of the
Indian subcontinent, the programme found
that most of the 17 to 21 year old men interviewed
in the region of West Midlands - home to
a large number of Asians - preferred women
to be virgins at marriage.
of 'izzat' - or honour - are strongly held
among some conservative Asian communities
in Britain and have been linked not only
to the practice of forced marriage but also,
in some cases, the murder of young women.
An adviser formerly with the national sexual
health charity Brook said she personally
received requests for information on faking
virginity on a daily basis from young Asian
women - and that she provided the information
because she feared for the safety of these
said: "They would sometimes come in
to the centre because they were concerned
about the fact that maybe they had had unprotected
sex with a boyfriend and they were concerned
about whether other men would know they
had had sex before and were not a virgin.
discussions would then go around some of
the myths around virginity... that girls
bleed on the first time of having sexual
intercourse. So we were able to say, 'lots
of girls don't'.
problem is that lots of men and lots of
people within the (Asian) community believe
that that is true, and therefore they (young
women) are very concerned that they will
get married and they won't bleed and their
husband will believe they weren't a virgin
at marriage and all the problems that that
would cause them in life."
said women were using red dye and mock blood
that can be bought from novelty shops that
they inserted into their vaginas or spread
on the bed sheet after having sex. One Pakistani
woman said she knew someone who had used
a bottle of red ink - and got away with
it. "Her mother-in-law was very happy,"
said the woman.
the seriousness of the issue, the adviser
said she agreed to provide information on
how to fake virginity because "for
some young women the risks to them and their
personal safety were so great that if they
were not able to fake it then the consequences
could have been dire.""
community worker who works with young Asians
in west London said some girls have had
to flee their homes and go into shelter
"because their life is on the line.
Somebody may have found out".
Cardozo, a gynaecologist at Kings College
Hospital in London, said some desperate
Asian women were seeking reconstructive
hymen-repair surgery, but that it was "quite
difficult to achieve" the repair because
there may not always be enough tissues to
any case, there was no guarantee that the
woman would bleed.
main aim of hymen repair is to bleed on
wedding night, but of course there are many
women who don't bleed on their wedding night,
whether they are virgins or not.
is because the hymen may be very stretchy,
they may have used tampons for menstruation,
they may have had lot of exercise and subtle
tissues and therefore there are many women
who have their first intercourse without
bleeding at all.
there's no guarantee these women will achieve
the aim they set out to achieve," the
some 24 such repairs had been performed
in the state health sector, the vast majority
of such surgeries are thought to take place
in the private sector, which each surgery
costs between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds. ($3,000-4,000)