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VIRGINITY

The state of bodily integrity in either sex. This integrity may be physical or moral, and either factual or intentional. Physical virginity is sometimes defined as the absence of any sinfully experienced lustful sensation. But, strictly speaking, a person is physically a virgin unless he or she has had sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex. Moral virginity means the absence of any willful consent to venereal pleasure; again, strictly speaking, with a person of the opposite sex. Virginity is factual when, de facto, a person has not in the past sought or indulged in sexual pleasure; it is intentional when a person intends never to experience such pleasure, according to the previous distinctions made. (Etym. Latin virgo, maiden, virgin.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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