…Ask Delhi’s teens. For most of them feel virginity is overrated in India. Like Madonna, they sing ‘Fear is fading fast, I’ve nothing to hide’.That’s the mindset of Liberal, New Age Young India represented by 15 to 19 year-olds. What’s more, the Delhi Timessurvey on the Big V — Virginity — reveals that 63% boys and 38% girls in this age group are not virgins. In a gender-bender finding, more girls (50%) than boys (10%) are OK with marrying a non-virgin. For most of these teens, losing one’s virginity has nothing to do with marital status or societal stereotypes. Simultaneously, an overwhelming 70% of respondents across both sexes want Indian society/parents to be more accepting of pre-marriage physical intimacy…
Is virginity more important to girls than boys?
Yes: 90% No: 10%
And you thought things had changed for the better in the Indian society? It’s definitely more important to girls as there is a lot of hue and cry about this in our country. Girls also attach a lot of emotional importance to their virginity,’’ says Ruchi of JMC. However, Anurag of Khalsa College feels virginity is seen to be more important to girls because of societal stereotypes. ‘‘In India, chastity and purity tend to be synonymous with girls. No one cares if the guy is a virgin or not. Personally, I feel virginity is as important or unimportant to both sexes.’’
Should Indian society/parents be more liberal towards sex?
Yes: 70% No: 30%
While correspondence student Shikhar feels that a more liberal attitude to sex will see ‘‘unwanted teen pregnancies,’’ Pragya, 19, of the Institute of Home Economics, maintains that ‘‘today’s youngsters need more freedom to explore different opportunities; they don’t like depending on or consulting their parents for personal matters.’’ In other words, it is all about the freedom of choice. As psychiatrist Sanjay Chugh tells us, “With of the coming of satellite television, the youth has realised that there is too much hue and cry in the country when it comes to issues pertaining to virginity. Teens today are not only open to discuss relating to sex or virginity but do not believe in living in myths that very individual before marriage is a virgin.” Adds Simar, 19, of the Institute of Home Economics, ‘‘Gen X is bolder than earlier generations and exposed to various things at an early age. Issues like a more liberal attitude to sex must be considered seriously.’’
How important is virginity in a relationship?
V Important: 67%
V Important: 54%
Virginity is extremely important in a relationship. I wouldn’t want to marry a guy who has slept around,’’ says Mayuri Khanna of JMC. But for Neha of the same college, ‘‘Virginity isn’t such a big issue; everyone makes out before marriage. If I place such a restriction in a relationship, I’d never find a guy.’’ Navin Garg of DPS throws in a rider. ‘‘Virginity isn’t an issue as long as my partner is my girlfriend. But if I were to marry someone else, the girl has to be a virgin.’’ Simultaneously, Sheetal Shah of LSR says: ‘‘Why do we think that losing one’s virginity is a sign of loose character? I’d love to marry someone who has lost his virginity and expect him to accept me the same way. After all, experience makes one perfect.’’ Adds Karan Sood of Khalsa College: ‘‘I don’t give any importance to virginity in a relationship. In today’s time, sab chalta hai. Why do we need to make such a hue and cry?’’
Are you a virgin?
Yes: 37% No: 63%
Yes: 62% No: 38%
No, I’m not a virgin,’’ says Nitin Arora of DCAC. ‘‘I’m 19 and it would be shame if I was still a virgin. What would my friends think?’’ Reveals Nitin’s batchmate Manish Malik: ‘‘I lost my virginity in Class XII. I don’t think anyone is a virgin these days.’’ Anshu Sharma of JMC is a virgin. ‘‘But at 19, most of my friends are not. These days, everyone has experienced a physical relationship, if not the fullfledged act.’’ Janki of Modern School hasn’t gone the whole hog yet, ‘‘but my boyfriend and I have definitely touched each other a lot of times.’’ According to Anurag Sodhi of Modern School: ‘‘This is the New Age. We don’t believe in claiming to be ‘pure’. When people can have live-in relationships, what’s the harm in losing your virginity as long as you use protection? Moreover, virginity I feel is a relative term. My definition of virginity differs from that of my folks.’’
Would you marry a non-virgin?
Yes: 10% No: 90%
Yes: 50% No: 50%
Interestingly, while girls are forthcoming when it comes to marrying nonvirgins, most boys want to marry virgins. ‘‘Because a man has nothing to lose,’’ says Stephenian Arjun Mishra. Adds Lavya of Khalsa College: ‘‘I might get involved with a non-virgin, but I probably won’t marry her. I won’t be comfortable with the fact that she’s already had sex.’’ Adds Rahul Khanna: ‘‘I can’t be on good terms with someone who has already made love to another guy.’’ According to Divya Suri of Modern School: ‘‘No guy is a virgin. So, I can do nothing but accept a non-virgin guy.’’
Why did/would you lose your virginity?
(a) Because everyone does (peer pressure) 25%
(b) To make a statement, boast before friends 5%
(c) Physical intimacy is necessary for a relationship 10%
(d) Any other (eg it just happened) 60%
Reveals DCE student Rakesh Diwan, 19, ‘‘I lost my virginity just to boast about it to my friends. That’s what most guys do.’’ For Salim Javed, 19, of Rai University, ‘‘The first time was on a trip and, since we had been going out for two years, we thought it was the right time. I was 18 then and I guess I needed something to talk about with my friends.’’ For Avinash Khanna, 15, of Modern School: ‘‘It just happened when I was 14. It was with a girl I was going around with then. We broke up a few days after that so I don’t think both of us did it to boost our relationship. I guess we just wanted to experiment.’’ When Paayal Jain, a 17-year-old fashion student, lost her virginity, ‘‘it didn’t seem like a big deal — the main thing is to be sure about whom you lose your virginity to. Rest will follow accordingly’’ Imraan Yousuf, a 14-year-old, says ‘‘I must truly love the girl and vice versa when I lose my virginity. How can I go around with every person I like physically?’’ Shweta Sharma, 15, of DPS, feels physical intimacy is essential for a relationship. ‘‘I don’t mind losing my virginity as long as I’m sure that I’m not being taken for a ride.’’ Simultaneously, correspondence student Meenal Shah, 19, says she will only lose her virginity after marriage. ‘‘I might be considered old-fashioned but that’s the way I’ve been brought up to think.’’ What is evident is that though there might be many reasons for a person to lose his or her virginity, if there’s a real need, nobody hesitates!
What’s the ‘right’ age to lose virginity?
Ask any teenager this question and no one has the right answer for you. While some thing 15 is too early, others feel 18 is pretty late! Sidharth of SRCC lost his virginity at ‘‘16’’ to his girlfriend. ‘‘But given the opportunity to go back in time, I wouldn’t do it as, at 16, one is too young to understand the implications.’’ According to Neha of LSR: ‘‘They say it’s a big issue over a small tissue. If you do it once, there’s no sense of restraint.’’ Postschool is the right age for Rohit of Springdales. ‘‘Because you tend to be more responsible after school.’’ Overall, most girls want their virginity to be a gift for someone they are sure of. Most guys, on the other hand, seemingly don’t care whom they lose their virginity to. However, neither gender is able to put a specific figure to the ‘right’ age to lose one’s virginity. For Shweta Sharma, 15, of DPS: ‘‘The right age is when you fall in love, which could be any time. However, I wouldn’t recommend losing one’s virginity before 15.’’ For correspondence student Meenal Shah, 19: ‘‘Any age after marriage is fine. Only my husband can take care of my physical and, more importantly, my emotional needs in the best possible manner.’’ Fashion student Paayal Jain, 17, says ‘‘it’s not possible to pinpoint a particular age since hormones make us impulsive.’’ Rakesh Diwan, 19-year-old DCE student, sees the average age of losing virginity ‘‘getting younger and younger — I know 13-year-old guys who boast that they’ve done it.’’ According to Avinash Khanna, 15, of Modern School: ‘‘When it happens, it just happens. The age of 12 seems pretty young, but 21 is way too far!’’ Imraan Yosuf, 14-year-old, reasons that the right age is 18. ‘‘Because opportunities open after the age of 18.’’ Salim Javed, 19, of Rai University says: ‘‘18 to 25 is the perfect age to do the honours as there is no responsibility to get a job and no board exams!’’