Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Virginity: Ottoman Empire
(460 words)

Ottoman notions of female virginity were inextricably linked to legal practices that treated women and young girls as both responsible and sexually chaste subjects. While Ottoman sijillāt and fatāwā are problematic in many respects, these records nevertheless provide important insights into the contingent nature of female virginity and concomitant ideas of bodily discipline. In nineteenth-century Ottoman Egypt, for example, virginity tests were deemed critical by state and society as they validated the assumption that an i…

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Ruiz, Mario, “Virginity: Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0209e>
First published online: 2009

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