The V-Card Giveaway was developed and implemented by the It's on Us Action Team and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as a way to deepen ongoing campus conversations about Affirmative Consent and healthy sexuality. The project challenges students to reject the construct of virginity, and with it the idea that decisions about sexual intimacy are a single, yes or no choice. Instead, the project encourages students to explore their own values, and then choose behaviors ranging across a continuum from sexual abstinence to sexual intimacy, that are aligned with those values. Finally, the project also recognizes that values change over time, and that people may need support in understanding their own values, and in making healthy choices about sexual behaviors.
Isn’t virginity based on biology?
No. Many vaginas have a thin membrane (called a hymen) around the opening. Sometimes hymens tear the first time a person has vaginal sex. Other times hymens stretch and don’t tear. No one, not even doctors, can look at someone’s vagina and tell if they’ve had sex.
Don’t we want to encourage virginity- especially for younger or unmarried people?
The way that we talk about virginity is harmful. Messages about virginity tend to be:
- Sexist: Virginity messages are targeted at girls and women.
- Heterosexist: Vaginal intercourse is portrayed as “real” sex while other behaviors, including sexual intimacy between people of the same gender, are ignored or discounted.
- Revictimizing: Some survivors of sexual violence first experience vaginal penetration without consent. The idea that virginity can be forcibly “taken” is both hurtful and untrue.
- Shaming: Equating virginity with “purity” suggests that having sex makes people dirty.
How can I become a Values, Not Virginity, Activist?
Challenge the idea that “sex” only means one thing. Encourage people to explore their own values. It’s OK to choose sexual abstinence or sexual intimacy. Feelings and desires change, so it's important to check in with sexual partners each time you are intimate.
Campus and Community Resources for Exploring Values and Healthy Sexuality
- Disability Resources Office leads SUNY Cortland’s efforts to include students with disabilities in a welcoming, vibrant, diverse, and accessible college community.
- Health Promotion Office provides opportunities for members of the College community develop skills and attitudes necessary to make responsible health decisions.
- Interfaith Crew is an SGA sponsored club for students looking to explore various faiths and build bridges between people of different faiths, including no faith.
- PRIDE Club is an SGA sponsored student club for LGBTQ* students and their allies.
- SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape) is an SGA sponsored club whose main mission is to educate and raise awareness about sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of assaults on the campus as well as in the community.
- SOGIE the Sexual Orientation, Gender Indentity and Expression committee fosters a safe and positive environment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ*) community on campus.
- Title IX provides education, policy, and programming to reduce campus sexual violence.
- The LGBT Resource Center is devoted to creating a visible and empowered community through education, advocacy, resource enhancement, and linkages to essential services for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people, as well as their families and other supportive community members.