Virginity Test: An Unscientific, Humiliating Exercise

Virginity Test: An Unscientific, Humiliating Exercise

In 2021, Advocate Smita Singalkar filed a petition before High Court, seeking a ban on the test and also its removal from medical syllabus.

Megha KuchikUpdated: Sunday, August 20, 2023, 09:13 PM IST
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Despite courts of law and human rights activists slamming the so-called 'virginity test' as nothing but an unscientific and humiliating exercise, the practice hasn't yet lost the ground completely. Underlining that the test violates a woman's right to dignity, the Delhi High Court has explicitly stated that a woman's chastity isn't connected to her virginity. Hence, subjecting a sexual assault victim to the test is not only inhumane but also goes against the ethos of the Constitution.

In 2021, Advocate Smita Singalkar filed a petition before the Bombay High Court's Nagpur bench. The plea sought a complete ban on the test and also demanded its removal from medical syllabus. The Maharashtra government was given many chances to reply, but it never clarified its stance. The court then summoned the chief secretary of the health ministry. In a knee-jerk reaction, the Medical Education and Research Department quickly directed all hospitals and medical colleges to stop performing the test. Medical Education and Research Director Ajay Chandanwale said, “We sent letters to every department, hospital and medical college telling them to stop the test. Following the directive of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, we removed the test from the syllabus.”

In her petition, Advocate Singalkar demanded that the chapter detailing the test should be struck from the second year of the MBBS curriculum. “The court's order is that the test should stop. Sometimes during investigations, victims suffer more (because of it). The two-finger test is completely wrong and should be banned. Every state should take the matter seriously and conduct awareness and training programmes on the same.”

She further said that the test can't prove if a woman was raped or not; hymen can get teared due various reasons like performing sports or cycling. Then, there is marital rape as well. “Even the Supreme Court has said that the two-finger test is wrong and should be banned. If the court is against it, why is it in the curriculum?” Pointing out that there is no scientific evidence to the test, Dr Nandita Palshetkar said, “I have said this before, it is humbug. The test is a result of misunderstandings and rumours.”

POINTERS :

Test lacks medical validity

Causes humiliation to sexual assault victim

Also violates human rights

It's discriminatory in nature

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