McMaster University

Demystifying Medicine
Seminar Series

Busting Sexual Health Myths — What is a Hymen?

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There are many misconceptions regarding the hymen. In this video learn more about this mysterious organ so you can make safe and educated decisions about your body.

— Video by Saima Ahmad, Atherai Maran, Candy Niu and Joy Sumin Park


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  • American Academy of Pediatrics. (2004). Virginal Myths Regarding the Intact Hymen. AAP Grand Rounds, 11(6), 67-67.
  • Castleman, M., M.A. (n.d.). The Hymen: A Membrane Widely Misunderstood.
  • Cinthio, H. (2015). "You go home and tell that to my dad" Conflicting Claims and Understandings on Hymen and Virginity. Sexuality & Culture, 19(1), 172-189.
  • Hegazy, Abdelmonem Awad, and M. O. Al-Rukban. Hymen: facts and conceptions. The Health 3.4 (2012): 109-115.
  • Hymen Greek Mythology. (n.d.).
  • Loeber, O. (2015). Wrestling with the hymen: Consultations and practical solutions. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care, 20(2), 128-135.
  • O'connell, H. E., Eizenberg, N., Rahman, M., & Cleeve, J. (2008). The anatomy of the distal vagina: Towards unity. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5(8), 1883-1891.
  • Raveenthiran, V. (2009). Surgery of the hymen: from myth to modernisation. Indian Journal of Surgery, 71(4), 224-226.
  • Van Moorst, B. R., van Lunsen, R. H., van Dijken, D. K., & Salvatore, C. M. (2012). Backgrounds of women applying for hymen reconstruction, the effects of counselling on myths and misunderstandings about virginity, and the results of hymen reconstruction. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care, 17(2), 93-105.