In a very consequential decision, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has approved the deletion of the topic named ‘signs of virginity’ for second-year medical students of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology subject from the next academic year. This shows that the controversial ‘two-finger test’ or ‘virginity test’, would no longer be a part of the syllabus for medical students that began next academic year.
For many victims of rape and sexual abuse, going through the mental pressure and trauma is painful. And if that was not enough then they have to undergo the two-finger test, which holds no scientific truth to it and is heavily controversial.
In a new development which ensures clarity, a medical university in Maharashtra has now banned the chapter on two-finger test from its textbooks for medical students. Considering it inappropriate, illogical and disrespectful, the Maharashtra board said the virginity test and teaching the future doctors about the same thing totally violates the rights of women and their dignity.
The test, which is also named as the virginity or the vaginal test in different places involves the medical practitioner in which Doctor inserting his/her two fingers inside the patient’s vagina to find out the presence of hymen and detect the genital organs for any forced penetration. WHO (World Health Organisation) has called for a ban for the obsolete test by referring it fake, demeaning and useless.
“The test is completely unscientific and leads to character assassination and gender discrimination of a woman. There is no research and proofs that says the test can conclusively give the result by saying who is a virgin and who is not. In contrast to this, researches have shown that, detection of the hymen cannot give conclusive evidence of vaginal penetration and that abnormal hymenal features such as a laceration or an enlarged opening can be found with or without a history of sexual activity.
On the other hand, Apart from the test breaching rights, the controversial virginity or vaginal test holds no truth on a scientific basis. It basically conducted to test the patient’s virginity and to find out that if the hymen tissue is present or not, in the end, this test is not accurate at all.
The doctor can determine whether a woman is “habituated to sex” or not by ‘Going by the number of fingers in the vagina’. However, this test overlooks and ignored the fact that in women, the hymen can break for many reasons (instead of sex itself). For some women, it may happen due to strong physical activity (Exercise) or the hymen even breaks without a cause. Conducting such a test is hence of no use and have no right to questions their dignity. As experts suggest, the size of the fingers themselves may also disturb the vaginal walls and thus conclude that this test does not give out the right results.
For checking of forced penetration and sexual intercourse, it is finest to go for vaginal swabs and tests which layout is perfect and accurate results especially in cases of sexual assault.
Going through a mental pressure and traumatic, harsh test like this is also very sensitive and concerning for the patient as it brings along additional anxiety and mental stress. It can even take so many years to recover from such trauma. So, eliminating the practice of the two fingers test is what needs to be done to accelerate investigation and it also keeps the moral judgment aside, provides good medical treatment.