I think to some extent it’s affected by modern folk-medicine ideas about the importance of a “healthy sex life” and the notion that shared sexual activity is some kind of physical “need”. Celibacy is not actually bad for anyone in its own right, although unhappiness about celibacy or fears about sex can certainly be bad for people.
Sure, healthy sex is a wonderful thing, but not everybody wants or can get every wonderful thing the world has to offer, and that doesn’t make them somehow a lesser person or a fit subject for ridicule.
ISTM that this is a type of prejudice that bears disproportionately heavily on men. Women remaining virgins don’t get the same level of social disapproval that men do.
I don’t know if this is necessarily true. Most of us, I believe, are fairly urban, progressive, and cosmopolitan, and thus are fairly in tune to the beliefs of liberal high society. Even those of us on here who aren’t particularly liberal still seem to have a very good understanding of progressive causes and issues. But in large portions of the United States, and to a great many people, slut-shaming and fat-shaming are perfectly acceptable. In fact, I’d even go as far as to argue that most people right now don’t consider fat shaming to be a problem. So I’m not convinced that society in general considers fat and slut shaming to be unacceptable.
If anything, virgin-shaming is a result of society’s long-term trend leftward. Virginity, in a culture of loose sexual mores, where pretty much anyone who wants to can lose their virginity, is indicative of some sort of hidden flaw. Perhaps it’s unfashionable religious attitudes towards sex, some sort of personal failure like hygiene, or problems “down there”. But society constantly tells young adults that it’s perfectly okay to have sex, and so if someone hasn’t had sex, there must be something ‘wrong’.
(I understand that many people don’t see anything wrong with not having sex, and indeed say so. But that’s like the fine print that no one reads. If sex is good, most people assume that not having sex is bad.)
Slut-shaming and fat-shaming still happen, but there’s usually a backlash when they do. At what point it becomes “unacceptable” (51%:49%? Higher?) I don’t know, but there is at least some effort to condemn it.
Some of us have the view that one’s sex life is private and never discuss it with anyone else (except some parts of it with a sexual partner). The only way someone knows if a person is a virgin is if that person broadcasts the information; thus I really don’t see a problem here.
I don’t think fat-shaming and slut-shaming are unacceptable in the general population. Among progressive-minded, conscientious people, yes. But it is still socially acceptable to call someone a “big fat so-and-so”. “Promiscuous” is still used to label women’s sexuality more than men’s. No one really wants to see themselves as fat or slutty.
I think virginity-shaming will be with us a lot longer than the other two, however. As long as sex is used to sell everything, being virginal will carry a stigma. People will say that there’s nothing wrong with it and they may be sincere. But it will always be seen as an unenviable condition–kind of like living with ones parents into adulthood.
I think I’m the only one on the planet who believes that women aren’t given such a hard time about virginity BECAUSE of how easy (relatively speaking) it is for them to acquire sex. People assume that even the ugly, socially awkward girl can find SOMEONE to holla at her if she wants them to (and sadly, even if she don’t wants them to). And I think there is a grain of truth to this. Men really ain’t that picky. So if a girl reveals that she’s a virgin, people may think she’s eccentric or high-minded. But they won’t peg her as a loser. A loser is someone who wants what he can’t have.
Good for the gays. But back in the day if you weren’t activily dating women (and doing some bragging on the side) one of two conclusions were to be drawn. You were either gay or a virgin (or not getting much to speak of).
Virginity is not like pleading the Fifth. And society is not a court of law.
If you routinely show up at every social event without anyone on your arm, you never talk about SO’s–past or present-- and you make the mistake of asking a certain kind of question or not understanding a certain kind of joke…well, it doesn’t take long for people to guess.
During casual moments when I’ve let my guard down, people have “guessed” my status. I usually play it cool and either lie or throw out something ambiguous, just to be mysterious. Among the people I associate with now, I haven’t come out and told anyone the truth. But I’m not naive enough to think they don’t know.
Which is problematic. Either virgins are portrayed as losers or saints, rather than normal people.
Are you arguing that people should have an open romantic life, but the consequences of being open about their sexual lives (or lack thereof) are fair game?
That’s somewhat what I meant when I said “but to a lesser extent”; common activities like dating or marriage will out someone who’s gay. But it wasn’t that long ago that it was common to keep such things secret. We’re not there yet, but we’re moving in the direction that gays and lesbians shouldn’t have to hide who they are. Why should virgins?
Interesting. I had one friend, who I’ve known for many years, ask me once. Apart from that, I don’t think the subject has ever even come up with a wink or a nod. Either I’m brilliant at not letting my guard down, or I give off such an asexual vibe that it never occurs to anyone to even wonder about it.
Not true, some people will insult preemptively, “You must be a 35 year old virgin,” or, “You going to be a 45 year old virgin someday.”
And you seem to imply that virgin-shaming is okay if someone broadcasts the fact that they’re a virgin.