More Disappointing News For Late-in-Life Virgins

April 2nd 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Virgins are screwed.

Well, not literally obviously, and that's a part of their image problem. A new study of heterosexual men and women published in the Journal of Sex Research found that adult virgins are less desirable to others than someone with sexual experience. What's more, participants also shared that virgins are also less sexually desirable to each other.

ATTN: already wrote about the sexual problems late-in-life virgins face like struggling to orgasm, or for men, struggling to stay hard, but this new data could suggest that virgins won't even get to that point. Researchers found that adult virgins have a stigma over their head that makes them less sexually desirable. They speculate that this can "result in negative interpersonal consequences such as limited opportunities for romantic relationships."

The problem for virgins today is that most Millennials have already been around the block at least once. According to the study, 90 percent of young people surveyed between the ages of 22 and 24 have had sex before, with most adults experiencing their "first time" in late adolescence.

Shifts in virginity perceptions over time

Although this research didn't address the reasons behind respondents' answers, it marks a clear change in society's thinking about sex. Back in the day, staying a virgin until marriage, (more so for women) was greatly valued, making a woman a more "suitable" wife. But now it seems that sexual activity is the norm for Millennials.

The old thinking still creeps up in some cultural circles. ATTN: wrote about the idea of Born-Again Virgins and the lingering support for abstinence education to be taught in health classes. Some women are so afraid that men will find out they've lost their virginity, they pay to have hymen surgery to become "born-again."

During surgery, a thin piece of skin is replaced inside the vagina to mimic virginity. Esmeralda Venegas from Nature Medical of New York told ATTN: in March that there are plenty of men who still want to marry virgins. “Men, their fantasy is to possess a virgin," she said. "They want to see the hymen and they want to see the blood also."

Conversely, there is a huge stigma around male virgins. “The message men get, that their number of sex partners is equal to their value as a male, is part of the same patriarchal structure that judges, values and punishes women for their sexual choices,” Therese Shechter, a filmmaker who investigates sexual stigma, told TIME.

Though the findings aren't the best news for virgins, the important thing to remember is that everyone has a choice to do what feels right for them.

RELATED: What Really Happens If You're a Late in Life Virgin