Male 'virginity'

Suppose a male were to purposefully engage in indecent viewing and masturbation. Suppose now said male has stopped these actions. Suppose also that that same male were to have never engaged at any time in any sin with an actual live female. Never kissed, never held hands, absolutely nothing. Is this male a ‘virgin’? (I realize this word is a reference to female maidens, but I’m asking in the common usage.)

What is the purpose of your question?

A person who has not had intercourse is a virgin.

Virginity, however, is just one aspect of chastity and purity for the unmarried. Physical virginity becomes quite meaningless when coupled with lack of chastity and purity in other aspects of sexuality. One can be a virgin and not be chaste. One can no longer be a virgin and yet be chaste.

Strive for chaste behavior in your state in life.


We shouldn’t be obsessed with finding a spouse who is a “virgin” (by whatever definition you’re using). Rather we should look for a spouse who has confessed any past sins and is living chastely.

Yeah. But he’s not chaste until his life is reformed.

Virginity isn’t important except if disease is a factor.

I realize for Cold War era children this is sometimes a hot button issue from your youth, but sometimes people ask a question because they’re curious to know an answer, and there aren’t necessarily ulterior motives.

All of the above.

If the temptations have been overcome through grace, and physically there has been no contact, then yes, a male is still a virgin.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of there. Virginity is not a dirty word.

Yes, he is still a virgin. Who cares about virginity, though? It’d be nice if both parties were virgins on their wedding night, but I’d much rather see someone who engaged in sexual intercourse, but confessed it and resolved to abstain until marriage, then someone who is technically a virgin but engages in other inappropriate practices.

Virginity is just a technical term. Chastity is what’s important and what people should strive for.

Yes, such a person would be a virgin. (I feel compelled to add that ‘virginity’ applies equally to males and females–of any age–definitely not just to “female maidens”!) A virgin–whatever his/her age or gender–is someone who has not engaged in sexual intercourse. It’s that simple.

As for “indecent viewing” and “masturbation”, the Church also includes them in sins against purity and/or chastity, and it really doesn’t seem relevant in this context whether or not the person engaging in these activities is a virgin. If any person has engaged in the acts Steve mentions but has stopped them (and presumably repented and confessed these sins), he would be forgiven. We all have temptations of one kind or another and I imagine everyone reading this has at some point engaged in some kind of behavior forbidden by the Church. We’re fallible human beings, after all, and if we were perfect we wouldn’t need a Savior. God is always ready to forgive the penitent.

But definitely, anyone who has never even kissed or held hands with another person–much less engaged in intercourse–would most decidedly be a virgin. :slight_smile:

Yes and no. The Church traditionally uses the term Virgin in a technical sense that applies only to women. It is a physical state. For example, any chaste man or woman can become consecrated religious… but only a Virgin woman can become a Consecrated Virgin. The Church does not consecrated male virgin males.

St. Thomas in his Summa says that "Since then virginity consists in freedom from [willful purpose to cause the resolution of semen to attain pleasure], it follows that the integrity of the bodily organ is accidental to virginity; while freedom from pleasure in resolution of the semen is related thereto materially; and** the purpose of perpetually abstaining from this pleasure is the formal and completive element in virginity.**

Or in other words, if you have willfully sought and achieved sexual pleasure outside of its proper context in marriage, you have lost your virginity.

There are consecrated male virgins on a diocesan level. I’m not sure where they are, but in my research into the subject for the sake of a proposed new movement, someone on these forums attested to the fact that they do exist. Here is our proposal as it stands at this moment:

There is such a thing as “second virginity”, particularly for those who have been unchaste.

If the above is the interpretation of the Summa, what about females who have engaged in self-abuse?

I have to respectfully disagree that a person can not be a virgin yet are chaste. I have not had any kind of sexual activity in 30 years, and I certainly am chaste!

That’s a really good question actually! I am no theologian so I am not qualified to interpret the Summa. If you want, you can read the article here ( and come back to tell us what you make of it.

Jesus said if we looked with lust we’ve committed the act, so STOP and confess and get forgiven. And be honest when you discuss he issue with your future spouse. Talk to your priest.

Chastity can be regained at a later date. Virginity cannot, hence my OP question.

Not to disrespect those who have been pure, but what is the point of the consecrated virgin thing? I mean, somebody married gets to have another person to love, but they are in the “world”. A monastic person has to be celibate, but they get to live apart from the “world”. Isn’t that just like combining the negatives of each and leaving out the benefits? If one’s already forfeited the right to marry, why wouldn’t they just go all the way and become an actual monk?

I’ve heard them referred to as “technical” virgins.

This has everything to do with what GOD wants. God doesn’t always call a person to serve him as a monk or a nun. There are various non-marriage vocations.

Female consecrated virgins are the oldest vocation in the church. The Order of Virgins, as it is referred to, was suppressed at some time during the history of the Church, but resurrected after Vatican II. There are now many CVs in the world.

Secular Institutes also consecrate their virgins, be they male or female.

The Consecrates of St. John the Beloved arose because there had been talk of consecrating virgin males. One campus minister mentioned that he had fielded inquiries from virgin males of his collegiate parish. While there are a few secular institutes for virgin males, there is nothing like what the CSJB proposes to be. I’ve even had some interest from ordained priests, but the original vision didn’t include them. Perhaps I should.

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