‘Virginity test’ to be removed from Maharashtra MBBS syllabus

An expert panel of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has unanimously proposed to remove the contents of virginity test from the curriculum of forensic medicine of MBBS course. The paraclinical expert academic board of Nashik-based MUHS took the decision following a plea by Dr Indrajit Khandekar, professor, forensic medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) Sewagram, who said virginity test has no scientific basis. The MUHS had held a meeting on April 9 under the chairmanship of Dr R J Bharma. Board members, including forensic experts Dr Hemant Godbole and Dr Sandip Kadu, were also present at the meeting, where this decision was taken. The boards move came in response to a detailed report submitted to Registrar of MUHS Dr K D Chavan on December 26, 2018 by Khandekar. Khandekar had urged the state government and the MUHS to remove the contents about virginity test from the medical curriculum of forensic medicine subject of MBBS course on the ground that it has no scientific basis. Khandekar, in his report, had highlighted the unscientific basis on which virginity is determined by doctors and reasons for its removal from the syllabus. The report had also highlighted how it violates human rights and leads to gender discrimination. Due to inclusion of signs of virginity in medical syllabus, almost all the textbooks of forensic medicine of MBBS course includes the details of virginity, its signs and medicolegal aspects, he said. Khandekar said some textbooks also gives details about `false virgin and true virgin. But no textbook quotes any scientific literature or study to support their statements or information, he said. Inclusion of `signs of virginity in medical curriculum\/textbooks has created (and still continuing to create) wrong impression in the minds of doctors, general public, communities that virginity test is scientific and medical one. Hence, there is a need to highlight the unscientific basis of it in medical books, said Khandekar. He said virginity is a very personal issue and no one has any right to know whether the other person is virgin or not.