Controversial “virginity tests,” which involve intrusive and unscientific examinations, are being offered by medical clinics around Britain, according to an investigation.
The test claims to determine if a woman’s hymen is intact and is considered a violation of human rights by the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
Despite this, the BBC identified several private clinics across the country that confirmed they offer the procedure — which doctors say provides no evidence as to whether a woman has had sex or not.
“The whole idea the absence of part of the hymen means you’re not a virgin is wrong first of all. It can be torn for various reasons, and if I was to say ‘it is torn, I need to repair it’ and then I can give you a certificate, that means I am giving a false certificate,” Dr. Ashfaq Khan, a gynecologist, told the broadcaster, adding that he regularly gets requests from patients for virginity testing, as well as for “virginity repair.”
As a part of the investigation, the BBC contacted 16 medical centers across the country who advertised “virginity repair” services and confirmed with seven of them that they also offer “virginity testing” for between $200-$400. Several other clinics would not confirm with the outlet whether they provided the contentious procedure.
However, all 16 confirmed they do perform hymen-repair surgery, with the price of the procedure ranging from about $2,000 to $4,000.
According to data from the UK’s National Health Service, 69 hymen-repair procedures have been carried out in the past five years, the BBC reports.
Last year the rapper T.I. earned the ire of the internet and fans alike by revealing on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast that he takes his daughter to “yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” adding: “I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”