Nearly 1 percent of young women in a U.S. study who have become pregnant claim to have done so as virgins, according to a report in the Christmas edition of Britain’s BMJ medical journal.
The authors of “Like a virgin (mother)” – whose prose is devoid of irony – say such scientifically impossible claims show researchers must use care in interpreting self-reported behavior. Fallible memory, beliefs and wishes can cause people to err in what they tell scientists.
Based on interviews with 7,870 women and girls ages 15 to 28, 45 of the 5,340 pregnancies in this group through the years – 0.8 percent – occurred in women who reported that they conceived independent of men…
For the study of putative virgin pregnancies, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed data from the thousands of teenage girls and young women who took part in the long-running National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
The girls were 12 to 18 years old when they entered the study in the 1994-95 school year and were interviewed periodically about their health and behavior over 14 years, including via computer as a way to encourage them to be candid when answering questions about their sexual history…
The researchers found that although the mothers in question were more likely to have boys than girls, and to be pregnant during the weeks leading up to Christmas, neither similarity to the Virgin Mary was statistically significant.
Obviously vows of chastity can result in learning how and when to lie. And what lie you think people will believe.