The Believe that sex can cure certain sickness in both male and female
The vagina curing myth (also referred to as the virgin cure myth, virgin rape myth, or simply virgin myth) is the belief that having sex with a virgin girl cures a man/woman of some certain diseases or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Long before the advent of HIV?AIDS, it has been proven that Africans have long believe that vagina can serve as curative organ for certain diseases in both men and women.
Anthropologist Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala says the myth is a potential factor in infant rape by HIV-positive men in South Africa. In addition to young girls, who are presumed to be virgins because of their age, people who are "blind, deaf, physically impaired, intellectually disabled, or who have mental-health disabilities" are sometimes raped under the erroneous presumption that individuals with disabilities are sexually inactive and therefore virgins.
The myth was first reported in 16th century and gained prominence in 19th century as a cure for syphilis and gonorrhea among other sexually transmitted diseases. The origin is unknown, but historian Hanne Blank writes that the idea may have evolved from Christian legends of virgin martyrs, whose purity served as a form of protection in battling demons.
A survey by the University Of South Africa (UNISA) in South Africa found that 18 percent of laborers thought that having sex with a virgin cures HIV/AIDS. An earlier study in 1999 by sexual health educators in Gauteng reported that 32 percent of the survey participants believed the myth.
According to the controversial Betty Makoni of the Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe, the myth is perpetuated by traditional healers advising HIV-positive men to cure their disease by having sex with virgin girls. In Zimbabwe, some people also believe that the blood produced by raping a virgin will cleanse the infected person's blood of the disease.
In 2002, psychologist Mike Earl-Taylor wrote that the virgin cure myth may explain the staggering rise in child or infant rapes in South Africa, which is facing an HIV/AIDS epidemic. UNICEF has attributed the rape of hundreds of girls to the virgin cleansing myth.
|A street sign in South Africa, appealing to adults not to rape children in the belief that it will cure them of AIDS|
However, it is unknown exactly how common the myth is and to what degree rapes happen because of the belief in it. The claim that the myth drives either HIV infection or child sexual abuse in Africa is disputed by researchers Rachel Jewkes and Helen Epstein, as well as by research on convicted sex offenders in Malawi, where no evidence was found to support the idea that the virgin cleansing myth prompted any rapes.[