Rapper T.I.’s behavior, and obsession, over his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah’s virginity is more than troubling—it also goes against what we stand for at Response for Teens.
It is another example of how men have sought to control women’s bodies throughout history by equating virginity to a woman’s worth. In this case, it also seems to have sanctioned a parent grossly crossing the boundaries of his adult daughter and her right to privacy. His attitude is also misogynist and hypocritical since T.I. has acknowledged that he is aware that his 15-year-old son is sexually active.
It is a myth to believe that an intact hymen is proof of virginity, because hymens may be present in vaginas regardless of penetration. Furthermore, virginity testing is neither medically indicated nor a valid medical procedure according to a statement released by Ted L. Anderson, MD. PhD, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The World Health Organization (WHO) has also released a statement calling for the elimination of virginity testing.
While open communication is key to a healthy relationship of any kind, everyone should have the right to private health care and bodily autonomy. Here in Illinois, for example, after the age of 12, any young person has the right to seek sexual health services without their parents’ knowledge or permission.
You can trust Response for Teens to give you the information you need to make smart choices about your sexual health and relationships, including confidential services such STI testing, birth control, and more.