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.
They described losing their virginities in one of three ways: "as a gift, stigma or part of the process." Carpenter states that despite perceptions of what determines virginity loss being as varied among gay men and lesbians as they are among heterosexuals, and in some cases more varied among the former, that the matter has been described to her as people viewing sexual acts relating to virginity loss as "acts that correspond to your sexual orientation," which suggests the following: "So if you're a gay male, you're supposed to have anal sex because that's what gay men do.
By extension from its primary sense, the idea that a virgin has a sexual "blank slate", can imply that the person is of unadulterated purity.
The concept of virginity has significance only in a particular social, cultural and moral context.
There are cultural and religious traditions that place special value and significance on this state, predominantly towards unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth.
Like chastity, the concept of virginity has traditionally involved sexual abstinence.
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.
These are three of the eighteen definitions of virgin from the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED1, pages 230–232).
Most of the OED1 definitions, however, are similar. Jungfrau literally means "young woman", but is not used in this sense. The rather dated German word for a young (unmarried) woman, without implications regarding sexuality, is Fräulein.
However, in reference to women, historically, it was sometimes used to refer to an engaged woman—parthenos autou (παρθένος αὐτού, his virgin) = his fiancée as opposed to gunē autou (γυνή αὐτού, his woman) = his wife.
This distinction is necessary due to there being no specific word for wife (or husband) in Greek.
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.