Atlanta-based rapper T.I. has recently provoked controversy over several statements he made on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham, where he claimed to take his 18-year old daughter to a gynecologist every year to make sure her hymen “is intact.” According to a popular, yet scientifically inaccurate myth an “intact hymen,” is considered as proof of a female’s virginity.
“Right after her birthday, we celebrate, then usually like the day after the party, she’s enjoying the gifts, I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Tomorrow. 9:30,’ ” the rapper stated on the podcast.
According to the podcast, T.I. began having these checkups after his daughter turned 16. The rapper then went on to explain that he had his daughter grant him access to her medical information via the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, to make sure her hymen is still intact, as she had recently turned 18 and began college.
“So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor will come and talk, and the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism,” T.I. went on to explain. “He’s like, ‘Well you know, sir, I have to, to share information’ — I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain’t no problem.’ ”
He then went on to explain that the gynecologist told him that physical activities such as horseback riding, sports and bike riding can stretch open the hymen, which is acknowledged by medical professionals.
“I say, ‘Look doc — she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bikes, she don’t play no sports, man — just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously,” T.I. explained.“I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”
Medical experts such as California OB/GYN Jen Gunter explained that T.I.’s response was “horrible,” in a response to the podcast on Twitter. “The hymen is no virginity indicator, 50% of sexually active teens do not have a disrupted hymen,” Gunter explained. “The hymen is often very flexible.”
When most children become continent coincides with the time the hymen starts to take on different shapes and flexibility because evolution no longer cares. 4/12
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) November 6, 2019
Many other medical professionals, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have condemned the process of “virginity testing,” which is the process of examining is the hymen is still intact. According to the WHO, the process ” reflects gender discrimination against women and girls,” in addition to violating human rights and ethical standards.
“The term ‘virginity’ is not a medical or scientific term. Rather, the concept of ‘virginity’ is a social, cultural and religious construct — one that reflects gender discrimination against women and girls,” the WHO wrote last year. “Performing this medically unnecessary and harmful test violates several human rights and ethical standards including the fundamental principle in medicine to ‘do no harm’. WHO recommends that this test should not be performed under any circumstances.”