The T.I. effect: New York lawmakers mull ban on 'purity tests' weeks after rapper says he checks daughter's virginity every year

The legislation was proposed shortly after rapper TI received widespread criticism for boasting that he accompanies his daughter to a gynecologist to ensure she is still a virgin.


                            The T.I. effect: New York lawmakers mull ban on 'purity tests' weeks after rapper says he checks daughter's virginity every year

New York state legislators have reportedly introduced a bill this week, seeking to ban doctors from performing or supervising virginity examinations, also known as "purity tests." The legislation was proposed shortly after rapper TI received widespread criticism for boasting that he accompanies his daughter to a gynecologist to ensure that she is still a virgin.

Doctors performing the particular exam generally check to see whether a female patient's hymen is intact to determine whether the woman has been engaging in sexual activity. However, scientifically the presence of the 'intact hymen' cannot be considered a reliable indicator of sexual activity. 

A memo attached to the legislation S6879 noted that there is no medical or scientific definition of virginity, and the notion, in itself, is a religious and social construct. The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Roxanne Persaud and its New York Assembly counterpart, is also backed by State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages and co-sponsored by Rick Gottfried, Andrew Hevesi and Walter T Mosley, according to the Huffington Post.

Reports state that legislation would subject doctors to "penalties for professional misconduct" along with levying potential criminal sexual assault charges for supervising or performing the exams. 

Although the controversial practice has been prevalent in the country, the 'purity test' recently made headlines after rapper T.I disclosed on a podcast taping with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham that he goes along with his daughter for the checkups.

"Not only have we had the [sex] conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” the rapper said of his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah Harris.  This is what we do. Right after the birthday we celebrate. Usually like the day after the party, she’s enjoying her gifts. I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.’” The rapper also mentioned how his daughter's gynecologist told him that the hymen can rupture for multiple reasons which may not include sexual activity, like horse riding, bike riding or other athletic sports.

TI, however, pushed the doctor's arguments aside, saying: "Look doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Man, just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously.” 

Assemblywoman Solages, while talking to the New York Post, said: "It’s misogynistic, it’s appalling."

"I was horrified to see this was happening. If a celebrity can impose his power to ensure his 18-year-old daughter gets checked, imagine what can be done in households across New York state?” she added.

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