New York state lawmakers introduced legislation this week that would ban doctors from performing or supervising virginity examinations, or “purity exams,” after rapper T.I.’s recent comments about accompanying his daughter Deyjah to the gynecologist annually to confirm she’s still a virgin.
According to Huff Post, the New York Senate bill, S6879, is sponsored by state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and its New York Assembly counterpart is sponsored by state Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages and co-sponsored by Rick Gottfried, Andrew Hevesi, and Walter T. Mosley.
The legislation would subject doctors to “penalties for professional misconduct” along with potential criminal sexual assault charges for performing or supervising these types of exams.
Doctors performing the exams typically check to see whether a female patient’s hymen is intact, even though medical professionals do not consider it a reliable indicator of past sexual activity.
As a memo attached to the legislation notes, there is also no medical or scientific definition of “virginity”. It describes rather that virginity is a social and religious construct.
The purpose of the bill would be to prevent the performance of hymen examinations on women as a means to ascertain whether or not a woman is a virgin.