August 15th, 2013

fairy tales
  • tasllyn

Victorian-ish virginity tests

Can anyone tell me or point me to a resource on how a doctor or healer would have checked for virginity during the Victorian era? Preferably not by just checking for a hymen, which is the big thing my research is indicating so far. There's mention of checking for scarring, but I don't know if there's anything else that could be checked for.

This is for a alternate-world-fantasy, with a semi-Victorianesque setting. I could fudge it a bit - their technology is based on an energy that's a cross between magic and electricity.The examiner is more of a scientist than a medical doctor, but he's probably the closest thing to a healer on the pirate ship, and has dealt with prostitutes in the past, so I'd like to think he wouldn't just rely of the presence or absence of a hymen. Although, that's probably what anyone else on the ship would check for. The character whose virginity is in question is a virgin but has probably broken her hymen from some activity or other - she fences a lot, for a start.

Honestly, the exam itself probably wouldn't show up in the book, but I'd like to have a good idea of what the examiner would realistically be looking for and what he would find.

Prior research: Basic Google search for "checking for virginity victorian" and "victorian virginity test," Wikipedia "virginity test"