NMC to modify MBBS curriculum to address issues on Virginity Tests, Two finger Tests
New Delhi: Introducing a major change, the apex medical regulator, National Medical Commission (NMC) has decided to teach the MBBS students about the unscientific, inhumane and discriminatory sides of virginity tests and two finger tests of female genitalia. NMC, the Apex medical body, has also decided teaching medical students how to guide the courts, which often orders it...
New Delhi: Introducing a major change, the apex medical regulator, National Medical Commission (NMC) has decided to teach the MBBS students about the unscientific, inhumane and discriminatory sides of virginity tests and two finger tests of female genitalia.
NMC, the Apex medical body, has also decided teaching medical students how to guide the courts, which often orders it in matrimonial suits, about the unscientific nature of the signs of virginity and the related tests.
Such a decision has been taken by NMC on the basis of the recommendations of the Expert panel set up by Aruna Vanikar (President of UG Medical Education Board -UGMEB) of NMC on the orders of Madras High Court to address the issues about LGBTQIA+ community in the MBBS curriculum. However, the issue of virginity was added in the domain of the expert panel on the request made by Dr Indrajit Khandekar, Professor of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram- Wardha.
Dr. Khandekar was a member of the expert panel. Apart from him, the other members of the panel include Dr Vijendra Kumar, Member-UGMEB; Dr Prabha Chandra, Senior Professor, Psychiatry, NIMHANS, and Dr Surekha Kishore, Executive Director, AIIMS, Gorakhpur.
"Virginity test has been ordered by the courts across the country in various matrimonial disputes like nullity of marriage and impotence. On court orders, to opine whether the girl is virgin or not; doctors examine girls' hymen for hymenal opening size or tears and also insert fingers into the vagina to assess the vaginal laxity. However, as at present the doctors are not taught to explain to courts that all these so-called signs of virginity (i.e., virginity test) do not have any scientific basis and there is no scientific sign or test that can help anyone to conclude whether the girl is virgin or not. Therefore, doctors keep on doing such examination on court orders and such practices keep on leading miscarriage of justice," mentioned a release from Dr. Khandekar.
Dr. Khandekar had been actively pointing out the unscientific basis of the "virginity test". Medical Dialogues had reported back in 2018 that he had prepared a detailed report highlighting the reasons for removing "virginity test" from the MBBS syllabus and how it violates human rights and leads to gender discrimination.
At that time, he had submitted the report to the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI), which has now been replaced by NMC. The report had been submitted to the Union Health Ministry, women and child development, and the Registrar of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS).
In his report, Dr. Khandekar had stressed upon the fact that the "virginity test" is not a useful clinical tool and can be physical, psychologically and socially distressing for the examinee. As per the report, the test cannot give decisive evidence of vaginal intercourse or any other sexual history.
Back then, Dr. Khandekar had pointed out that due to the inclusion of the test in the medical syllabus of the MCI, almost all the textbooks of forensic medicine, that are part of the MBBS course, include its details, signs and medico-legal aspects. Some textbooks even give details about "false virgin" and "true virgin", he had mentioned, adding that none of them quote any scientific literature or study to support their statements.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.