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A Short History of Virginity

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A Short History of Virginity

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7TH CENTURY B.C.
THE VESTAL VIRGINS

These ancient Roman priestesses have to keep their hymens intact until age 30 or be buried alive. Riding horses falls out of favor around the temple.

4 B.C.?
THE MADONNA

The Virgin Mary gives birth to Jesus, and a religion, allowing a Florida woman in 2004 to sell a grilled cheese with Mary's image on it for $28,000.

9TH CENTURY
THE WORD "VIRGIN"

Enters the English vernacular and applies only to women — a handy new metric for maidenhood!

1558-1603
ELIZABETH I

Despite royal romps with the Earl of Leicester and others, Elizabeth gets tagged the Virgin Queen.

1980
LITTLE DARLINGS

Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol are jailbait battling to see who can lose it first.

1990
BEVERLY HILLS, 90210

Nighttime soap debuts in which Tori Spelling teaches viewers that virginity is cool, especially if your boyfriend is Brian Austin Green.

1999
GARY COLEMAN

At 31, tells Howard Stern that he's never been laid; says of oral sex, "That's not a place for a young woman's face to be."

2002
JESSICA SIMPSON

Having promised her creepy dad she'd stay a virgin until marriage, weds Nick Lachey, ending 22 years of foreplay.

2003
BRITNEY SPEARS

Drops her virgin act and cops to sleeping with JT two years into their relationship. (We were shocked. Shocked!)

AUGUST 2005
STEVE CARELL

The goofy sideman turns box-office stud, thanks to the weirdly charming The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

DECEMBER 2005
HYMENOPLASTY

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the demand for hymenoplasty, aka revirgination, is booming.

2007
JORDIN SPARKS

The American Idol proudly declares her intent to wait until marriage to have sex. (Cue snort from Paula Abdul.)
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