The question is, “Is virginity important in the Philippines?” The social construction of virginity is highly gendered in many parts of Asia. It may be perceived as a gift, a stigma, a process, or a form of worship. This paper examines the socially constructed meanings ascribed to women’s virginity in the Philippines. Based on qualitative data, the findings of this paper indicate that virginity is a highly valued status and a significant aspect of gender relations.
Men’s virginity is not a prize for men
Traditional valuations of sexuality persist in the Philippines. Men’s virginity is not a prize, but rather a stigmatized status. Despite its social significance, men are not encouraged to lose their virginity. However, some cultural norms allow men to continue with their virginity. The Philippines is no different. A recent survey conducted in the country reveals that virginity loss is still a major cause for shame and embarrassment for young men.
Filipino women are routinely warned against sex before marriage. This tradition has its roots in the patriarchal culture. Dra. Lordes Lopez wrote a book on the psychopathology of Filipino women. Nonetheless, she pointed out that male virginity is not a prize. It’s a joke and a scarce commodity. As a result, men don’t value their virginity.
Alternatives to dualistic/binary definitions of virginity
In a society where traditional values and religious beliefs strongly discourage premarital sex, the concept of virginity was often relegated to the sidelines. This left women with a poor understanding of what it meant to be a virgin, and society developed words for it. In Filipino, virginity is associated with loose womanliness, and in other languages, it’s referred to as pokpok. Other Filipino words for virginity include laspag, which refers to a woman’s loss of freshness after several sex encounters.
These two-dimensional definitions of virginity have created conflicting pressures for young women. When young women are unable to decide whether to keep their virginity, they are stereotyped and judged based on it. Fortunately, there are now many alternatives to dualistic/binary definitions of virginity that allow young women to choose their path. Here are five of them:
Religious underpinnings of virginity
This paper explores the socially constructed meanings attached to women’s virginity in the Philippines. The findings come from qualitative data and synthesize the findings to identify how women’s virginity was construed. In this way, virginity was viewed not as a normative development but as a sacred act that carries religious underpinnings. The findings of this study are relevant for all Filipino women.
The institutional Church values the Santo Nino as a cultural icon, but her ontological status is still in dispute due to the dangers of idolatry and superstition. Yet, scholars of virginity in the Philippines have noted that there are strong connections between the Santo Nino and the Virgin Mary, as well as the Virgin Mary. Thus, both the Catholic Church and the Church-sponsored Virgin Mary are revered as icons of virtue in the Philippines.
A Filipino’s responsibility to her parents is rooted in the belief that she has an obligation to care for her parents when they grow old. Hence, Filipino Catholics pray for utang na loob, a Filipino expression that means “never mind what happens.” In fact, the phrase is closely related to the notion that “it’s in God’s hands.” The phrase can be interpreted both as a healthy, optimistic approach to life or as a fatalistic outlook on life.
Impact of polygamy on women’s virginity
There is no clear empirical evidence on the impact of polygamy on women’s virginities in the Philippines, but this topic remains highly valued. In a survey conducted in 2008, sixty percent of Filipinos said that remaining virgin until marriage was very important. Another three percent believed it was important but did not place much importance on this value. The study also found that valuation of virginity varied widely across a range of demographic characteristics, including age, sex, marital status, and urban/rural location. However, the authors found no significant associations between virginity and educational attainment, a proxy for socioeconomic status.
The Philippine polygamy culture has negatively affected the virginity of women. Filipinos have traditionally valued virginity as the most important asset a woman has. In contrast, men believe that conquering virginity enhances their masculinity. As such, the polygamy system has severely affected the development of women’s virginity. While virginity is often viewed as a highly prized asset, it is a fragile thing and should be protected.
The Philippines is a country with a long history of colonialism and high levels of sexual conservatism. One of the most recent studies has found that 25 percent of the population live below the national poverty line, which is defined as less than 192 USD per month. Most Filipina women are born into low-income rural areas, and more than half of adult females are heterosexual.
The study’s findings show that there was a disproportionate number of young men seeking unmarried women for sex in the country. In the Philippines, virginity was not viewed as a normative developmental process, but instead as a sacred act with religious underpinnings. In the past, young men may have kept their daughters in the house until they were married. These factors are not surprising.
Relationship between virginity and heterosexuality
The Philippine context is one where traditional valuations of sexuality and virginity persist. In particular, women in the country express disapproval of sex between unmarried men and women. Despite this, Filipino women place lesser importance on male virginity, perhaps as an endorsement of cultural belief systems that restrict the role of female sexuality. However, there is no evidence of significant association between virginity and heterosexuality in the Philippines.
There are several reasons why this societal view is problematic in the Philippines. Filipino women have been disobedient to heterosexuality, but the traditional view of virginity is rooted in religion. Men, for example, believe that conquering virginity increases their masculinity. This notion is supported by research conducted by Mindanao University and Javier I.N. (1980), Mindanao Art and Culture.
While Filipino women rarely use religion or community norms as bases for valuing virginity, these norms are still important. Women also express androcentric concerns about their husbands. In contrast, men, who do not practice homosexuality, are more likely to be married to women who are still virgins. The relationship between heterosexuality and virginity is complex, and is complicated by cultural norms and cultural values.
Despite the prevalence of sexually promiscuous behavior, Filipino men are more likely to disapprove of a woman having sex before marriage. They are also more likely to disapprove of women having sex with other men before marriage. The gender gap in Philippine sexual culture also makes it difficult to draw conclusions from the data. Despite this, the findings from the Philippines’ largest survey of men indicate that there is a double standard regarding sex.