European Journal of Womens Studies
Charged with personal, societal and legal significance, the hymen, as a fold of flesh, has the power to rule the sexual identities of unmarried women in Turkey. This article examines the forms and associated meanings of contemporary challenges to virginity rules among educationally advantaged, upwardly mobile young women. The article demonstrates that in the process of negotiating often contradictory expectations of their sexual behavior, young women cultivate purposefully ambiguous identities related to their state of virginhood. The author calls these identities 'virginal facades' and explores their complex and contradictory implications. The author highlights an important normative shift from a focus on the physical reality of virginity to a focus on the moral expression of virginity, and emphasizes the intricate connection between social class and women's sexuality experienced by some young women as sexual guilt.
Ozyegin, G. (2009). Virginal facades: Sexual freedom and guilt among young Turkish women. European Journal of Women's Studies, 16(2), 103-123.