CheckPoint: Virgin bursary controversy

04 February 2016 – In a country where teenage pregnancy rates are high and the highest HIV/Aids prevalence in the world – should SA condone …

JOHANNESBURG – Virginity testing is practised all over the world, but in modern society, it is widely frowned upon.

Britain once tried to introduce it to test women entering the country on a so-called “fiancée visa”. Last year there was uproar in Sweden when it was revealed that some doctors were doing it at the insistence of ultra-religious parents, wanting to prove that their daughters were virgins.

But in a country like ours – with high teen pregnancy rates and HIV – should we be listening to those who say it’s not okay to reward girls for being virgins?

The Children’s Act allows for virginity testing to be performed on male and female children over the age of 16.

But in practice, it’s only performed on girls.

And while in theory some girls seem willing participants to virginity testing, custom often dictates.