Virgin Birth: NOT SO RARE, AFTER ALLS

Nearly 1 percent of young women who became pregnant in a recent U.S. study claimed to have done so as virgins, according to findings published in the Christmas edition of the British Medial Journal.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via flickr

Writes Amy Herring, a professor of biostatistics at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health and first author on the paper (emphasis added):

Of 7870 eligible women, 5340 reported a pregnancy, of whom 45 (0.8% of pregnant women) reported a virgin pregnancy. Perceived importance of religion was associated with virginity but not with virgin pregnancy. The prevalence of abstinence pledges was 15.5%. The virgins who reported pregnancies were more likely to have pledged chastity (30.5%) than the non-virgins who reported pregnancies (15.0%, P=0.01) or the other virgins (21.2%, P=0.007).

The upshot, as Herring and her colleagues explain, is that "researchers may still face challenges in the collection and analysis of self reported data on potentially sensitive topics." Sensitive topics like, oh, we don't know, sex, obesity and penis size, perhaps?

[BMJ via Reuters]