The virginity myth and the sexual agency of Singaporean women
Ng, Hui Ling
Date of Issue2016
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
The virginity myth (Valenti, 2009) identifies society’s expectations for women to be virginal till marriage. The theory combines the historical background, morality doctrines, and religious discourses that justify society’s need for women to remain virgins until marriage. The woman-specific myth continues today through an economic structure that discriminates women. It is reinforced through sex education that justify abstinence as the only method to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Women’s bodies were thus never their own. Coerced by male-centric circumstances since time immemorial, women lack sexual agency. In Singapore, our social, education, political, and economic institutions resembles that which propagates the repression of female sexuality. But the changes over the years seem to have empowered Singaporean women. Thus, to what extent can Singaporean women practice sexual agency? By interviewing 14 women, this research hopes to answer this question. Since most literature has focused on Euro-American contexts, this research hopes to contribute a local perspective to the field.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University