It is quite an appropriate study to come out at Christmas.
Mary being the first and all…
Because you see it seems that nearly one percent of young women who have become pregnant claim to have done so as virgins.
Yes, you read that right. Virgin births.
An American study has found that of 7,870 women aged 15 to 28 interviewed more than 0.5 per cent of them who said they were virgins had also given birth.
As soon as you read that you think IVF-technology-marvelous-advances-they-have-made.
But no. This is WITHOUT IVF.
The researchers also found that the mothers in question were more likely to have boys than girls.
And to be pregnant during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
(No mangers were mentioned and yes – the only wise men around turned into blubbering idiots at the sight of childbirth)
But this isn’t a gag.
The women were part of the long-running National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, according to a report in the Christmas edition of the BMJ.
The girls were 12 to 18 years old when they entered the study in the 1994-95 school year and were interviewed over 14 years about their health and behavior.
Based on interviews with the women, 45 of the pregnancies in this group through the years occurred in women who reported that they conceived without a man being involved.
The Medical Daily reports that the lead researcher Amy Herring devised a way to keep the answers from the women honest:
Herring and her colleagues set up an experiment where subjects were able to reply candidly to both computer-generated self-interviews and audio computer-generated self-interviews when asked about their sexual history. The team didn’t explicitly ask about virgin pregnancy. Instead, they used the subjects’ replies to create a rough timeline of when they began having sexual intercourse and at which point they became pregnant. The median age at which virgins reportedly gave birth was 19.3 years.
But the glaringly obviously question is how?
Whilst virgin births can take place in nature as far as we know (well aside from Mary right?) it is strictly a shark, komodo dragon and scorpion domain.
For these women it turns out to have nothing to do with medical marvels and all about what seems to be innocent self-deception, a lack of information, and self denial.
Of the 45 women who became pregnant despite claiming to be virgins, 31 per cent said they had signed chastity pledges.
The 45 self-described virgins who reported having become pregnant (and the 36 who gave birth) were also more likely than non-virgins to say their parents never or rarely talked to them about sex and birth control.