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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CHAPTER  XIV

VIRGINITY,  PREGNANCY AND DELIVERY

VIRGINITY

The question as to whether a woman is a virgin (virgo intacta) arises
in cases of nullity of marriage, divorce, defamation and rape.

SIGNS OF VIRGINITY

The signs of virginity in a healthy woman are seen in the genitals and
breasts.

Genitals.—The labia majora are firm, elastic and well-rounded, and lie in
close contact with each other so as to cover completely the labia minora or
nymphse and clitoris. The labia minora are soft, small and rose-coloured,
and the clitoris is small. The vestibule is narrow. The posterior com-
missure and the fourchette are intact and crescent shaped. They are rarely
destroyed by sexual intercourse, but are not infrequently lacerated in
attempts at sexual intercourse on children. The vagina is narrow and tight
with rugose walls, but the rugosity of the vagina cannot be considered as a
diagnostic proof of virginity, as it is only removed by the first birth, and not
merely by sexual intercourse; besides, in some cases it may be absent even
in a virgin.

Fig. 131.—Semilunar or crescentic                           ~ Fig. 132.—Fimbriate hymen.

hymen.

(From Peterson, Haines and Webster's              (Frorm ?*%*!«> ?<**?*>* Webster's

Legal Medicfoe and Toxicology,                          **&& Medicine and Toxicology,

Ed, IT,'Vol. L)     *                                                   ^ 1If Vo1' L'

The hymen is the most reliable sign of virginity.   It is a thin fold of

mucous membrane situated at the orifice of the vagina.   It is generally

annular with a ce&ixal opening which may be round or elongated.   It is

'usually semilunar or ereseeatic-with the openirig anteriorly.   Its free margin

is sometimes fimbmteA-l^tTOig numerous notches; wMd?r may be mistaken

for artificial tears^;l>iit'^&sqs#'kaWral motdxes ar^|iisi^||y '^mmetrical, occur

"anteriorly, and? && \&,3JSj&, ^.'i^-extenif/lta^.iie va^tial wall.   Tlie mucous

%-^embrane over the r^oi^l^ fe ;afe intact.   On the oflber iand, tears caused