Recent stories about a nearby university sent me to the CNN web page this afternoon. On the front page, however, I was sidetracked by the headline “What is Virginity Worth Today?“. Of course I was intrigued and read the story. It was kind of a let down, to be quite honest: another story about a girl auctioning off her virginity on the internet. Experts weighed in on the sad state of the morals these days. The girl herself, “Natalie Dylan”, gave the expected “my body, my choice” argument:
Fine. What I found interesting was the debate on why “virginity” itself has been so highly valued across time and culture.
I am fascinated by this approach to social anomalies: to look from an evolutionary psychology perspective. While this school of thought is by no means sufficient in answering all our questions, there are many useful insights provided, especially about biology and sexual dimorphism. For more on this, as N.e.W. is a book club, further reading I would recommend: The Essential Difference and Taking Sex Difference Seriously . These both go far beyond the simple anthropology referenced in the CNN story, but are interesting nonetheless. I am a bit partial to both of the authors as well. One is a relative of our favorite Kazakhstanian, and the other is a professor of mine with whom I am mildly obsessed.
I know everyone’s mind is on our new President as of late, but I needed a little break. I promise something nice and political next time.