A different study by the Kinsey Institute sampled 484 people, ranging in ages 18–96.
"Nearly 95 percent of people in the study agreed that penile-vaginal intercourse meant 'had sex.' But the numbers changed as the questions got more specific." 11 percent of respondents based "had sex" on whether the man had achieved an orgasm, concluding that absence of an orgasm does not constitute "having had" sex.
According to Hanne Blank, "virginity reflects no known biological imperative and grants no demonstrable evolutionary advantage." Although virginity has historically been correlated with purity and worth, many feminist scholars believe that it is a myth.
They argue that no standardized medical definition of virginity exists, there is no scientifically verifiable proof of virginity loss, and sexual intercourse results in no change in personality.
And so those become, like markers, for when virginity is lost." In a 1999 study published in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association), the definition of sex was examined based on a 1991 random sample of 599 college students from 29 US states; it found that 60% said oral-genital contact (like fellatio, cunnilingus) did not constitute having sex.
Stephanie Sanders of the Kinsey Institute, co-author of the study, stated, "That's the 'technical virginity' thing that's going on." She and other researchers titled their findings "Would You Say You 'Had Sex' If ...?
The English cognate "maid" was often used to imply virginity, especially in poetry - e.g.
Maid Marian, the love interest of the legendary outlaw Robin Hood in English folklore.
When used of men, it does not carry a strong association of "never-married" status." By contrast, in a study released in 2008 by the Guttmacher Institute, author of the findings Laura Lindberg stated that there "is a widespread belief that teens engage in nonvaginal forms of sex, especially oral sex, as a way to be sexually active while still claiming that technically, they are virgins", but that her study drew the conclusion that "research shows that this supposed substitution of oral sex for vaginal sex is largely a myth".A 2003 study published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality focusing on definitions of having sex and noting studies concerning university students from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia reported that "[w]hile the vast majority of respondents (more than 97%) in these three studies included penile-vaginal intercourse in their definition of sex, fewer (between 70% and 90%) respondents considered penile-anal intercourse to constitute having sex" and that "oral-genital behaviours were defined as sex by between 32% and 58% of respondents".The traditional view is that virginity is only lost through vaginal penetration by the penis, consensual or non-consensual, and that acts of oral sex, anal sex, mutual masturbation or other forms of non-penetrative sex do not result in loss of virginity.A person who engages in such acts without having engaged in vaginal intercourse is often regarded among heterosexuals and researchers as "technically a virgin". Carpenter, many men and women discussed how they felt virginity could not be taken through rape.